Outer Banks Season 1 Episodes 1 and 2 Recap – First Two Chapters Explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 15, 2020 (Last updated: March 6, 2024)
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Outer Banks Season 1 Episodes 1 and 2 Recap
Outer Banks Season 1 (Credit - Netflix)

Outer Banks Season 1 Episode 1 gives us the typical view of teens living in the village beach life. It opens up with John B running away from authorities with his friends after dropping a Pabst beer. John B describes how he is part of the Pogues in the Outer Banks — the working class, the neglected. He describes all his friends and discloses that he lives in a sea shack; his father disappeared as part of a shipwreck, his mother left him at 3 and his Uncle T is meant to be his guardian.

It’s clear that John B lives on the outskirts of life.

Outer Banks Season 1 Episode 1 Recap

John B’s social worker raises the fact that he is classed as a minor so that he needs foster care. But he’s in luck, as a hurricane hits so foster care is delayed. Of course, John B decides to surf during the hurricane. Impressive.

The next day, while out on the boat, John B, Pope, Kiara, and JJ find a boat underwater. They investigate and find a motel key. The group missed the dead body floating nearby. Meanwhile, a woman named Lana is looking for her husband Scooter.

By the way, within this friends group, all three of the boys fancy Kiara, which is a little creepy — curious to see where this goes.

John B and JJ check out the motel room and inside they manage to open up a safe with a gun and loads of money inside. The deputy sheriff heads to the motel room looking for Scooter. Pope and Kiara alert them regarding the cops. The deputy sheriff takes some of the money from inside the safe which hints that there’s some corruption happening within the authorities. Luckily, JJ and John B do not get caught.

Word gets around town that Scooter Grubbs is dead and everyone is on high alert to find the boat. John B questions how a marina rat like Scooter Grubbs managed to get a decent boat and have plenty of money — the group of friends suggest there is smuggling going on. John B and co are now considering getting the cargo inside the boat underwater but they have to stay lowkey for now so they decide to host a keg party.

At the party at the halfway point of Outer Banks season 1, episode 1, Topper and John B have a fight at the party after a confrontation with Sarah Cameron — it’s clear that John B and Sarah have some tension between them and Topper, her boyfriend, senses it. We are treated to a fistfight between two teens.

Topper starts drowning John B while mocking that his father also drowned. JJ loses his head and points a gun at Topper to stop him from drowning John B and then starts to shoot in the air to stop the party.

Outer Banks Season 1 (Credit – Netflix)

To provide more context to this “tension”; the island has Pogues and Kooks. Kooks are like middle-class teens so obviously the Kooks and Pogues hate each other. Kiara is middle class, but she’s somehow a Pogue, so technically she is an outlier.

John B then narrates that before his father vanished, he told him that he had “found something”. The police visit John B the next day. The officer tells him that they found a body in the marsh yesterday and asks him questions about whether John B has found a boat. The officer threatens him with foster care and juvenile. John B still states he knows nothing about a shipwreck.

Can I add that this part of the story does not make sense — the body of Scooter Grubbs was literally floating yards away from the shipwreck so why is everyone struggling to find the boat? It’s obvious where it is.

After heated arguments between John B and JJ about the night before, JJ tells John B that as teens without money, they have nothing to lose by checking out the shipwreck again.

Outer Banks season 1, episode 1 ends with a search party looking for Scooter’s boat. John B and co also head out. As John B heads down to the shipwrecked boat with limited oxygen, the deputy sheriff who is flagrantly looking corrupt at this point hops on their boat, not knowing that John B is underwater.

The deputy states the marsh is closed and they all have to act normal. As John B runs out of oxygen, the deputy sails off in his boat. John B gets to the surface in time. But then another boat follows them with two men inside — we have no idea at this point who these men are but they start shooting at John B and co. They manage to get away.

There’s a lot of moving parts already.

The episode closes with the group of friends opening a bag which John B found on the boat. Inside is a compass which everyone dismisses as valuable, but John B says the compass is his father’s.

Outer Banks Season 1 Episode 2 Recap

Outer Banks Season 1 Episode 2 Recap

Outer Banks Season 1 Episode 2 (Credit – Netflix)

Outer Banks Season 1 Episode 2 opens with John B determined to find his father after finding this elusive compass. John B has to sneak on to Sarah’s boat to drop off the tanks and scuba gear first though, and the tension between them is still evident. Sarah threatens to tell her father that he has poached the scuba gear, which could lead to losing his job.

But then it’s back to the adventure-themed story — John B and JJ head to Lana’s place and hear her screaming and sobbing. There’s a man demanding to know where the compass is. It’s the same men that chased after John B and co with guns. When the men leave, John B and JJ ask Lana about the men and the compass. Lana urges them to not tell anyone about the compass.

John B then thinks they should go into his father’s office. He looks into the history of owners with the compass and all of them died suspiciously. As they are in the office, the men from the boat come over and try and breach the office door — John B manages to hide and evade danger.

There’s a lot of running around as you can tell.

John B’s friends believe that he’s using the compass to get over his “sad feelings” about his father but John B insists his father is missing, not dead. John B and Kiara enter a lighthouse to speak to a man about the Royal Merchant, a lost boat. The man starts giving them both history lessons and theories to where the boat will be.

John B shows the man at the lighthouse the compass and the man freaks out, alerting the police so they have to flee.

It seems incredibly easy to alert the police in this series.

With John B feeling low about the situation, Kiara is still skeptical about the compass and gives John B a hug. He suddenly kisses Kiara by surprise and he starts panicking. She claims they can’t continue due to the no “Pogue-on-Pogue macking” rule — I find this to be a ludicrous rule. If they cannot have sexual relations with anyone who is Pogue, because they are Pogue, but then they do not mingle anyone who is a Kook, then who are they supposed to have sex with?

John B is then arrested, so he sneakily gives Kiara the compass. He then tells the police officer he doesn’t have the compass and then he’s bailed out by Kiara’s father. Suddenly, the police are interested in the compass.

And then it gets worse for John B — Mr. Cameron asks John B if he stole the gear of the boat and then he’s suddenly fired. John B gets angry with Sarah, believing she grassed on him — “I know exactly who I thought you were Sarah Cameron”. Oh, using her entire name — hard man.

Anyway, there’s more chasing in Outer Banks season 1, episode 2, “The Lucky Compass”. The men who have been chasing John B for an entire episode now chase him and this time catch him. But then the police turn up to save the day.

John B narrates from here and says maybe his friends are right, maybe he should let it go and leave the past behind. But he doesn’t, after finding more about his family history, he picks up his friends. Initially, Kiara does not want to come but he persuades her, claiming they are best friends and apologizes for the kiss. She kisses him on the cheek and he declares that he’s back in the friend zone. Don’t declare it, mate, ever.

Outer Banks season 1, episode 2, “The Lucky Compass” ends with John B telling his friends that he was wrong about the lighthouse but he was right about his father trying to tell him something. He thought Redfield was a place the whole time, but it is a person — and he blurts out his great, great grandmother’s name, Olivia Redfield. They check out some tomb where she was buried. Kiara offers to go inside and when she enters, she finds something and says “oh my god”.

What did you think of Outer Banks Season 1 Episodes 1 and 2? Comment below.


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