Outer Banks Stars Madison Bailey And Rudy Pankow Open Up About Seeing JJ And Kiara’s Relationship Flourish

This story contains spoilers for Season 3 of Outer Banks. If you want to catch up on OBX you can stream all three seasons with a Netflix subscription

Since Season 1 of Outer Banks fans have been pining after JJ and Kiara, hoping that the two Pogues would realize their feelings for each other and get together. Finally, after years of waiting, we got to see JJ and Kiara become Jiara, officially in Season 3 of OBX. Now, Madison Bailey and Rudy Pankow are opening up about seeing their characters’ relationship flourish, and how thrilled they are seeing the popular ship set sail. 

Starting in Season 1 fans had been wanting to see JJ and Kiara get together due to the actor’s electric chemistry. However, Madison Bailey’s character ended up with Pope at first, and when they broke up in Season 2, it felt like it was finally time for Jiara. Thankfully, Season 3 brought Kiara and JJ together, and Madison Bailey told CinemaBlend just how excited she is to see the two on screen:

I was really excited to explore their chemistry. I think trying to figure out their commonalities. I think they're, I've always seen these characters as being kind of similar in their free-spirited nature, so I think I was most excited to see like, how much fun I think that they could have together. I think they're gonna be wild together.

Wild indeed. While Kiara has stayed in the treasure hunt for John B. and Pope in the first two seasons, this time around her relationship with JJ was front and center, showing off those commonalities Bailey mentioned. Throughout Season 3 Kiara ends up in a few precarious situations, and Rudy Pankow’s character is always there to save her. While talking to TV Line, Bailey explained that the Pogues’ time on the stranded island provided clarity for her character regarding her feelings about JJ. As the season progresses it’s clear that the two have deep feelings for each other, however, they don’t act on them until the very end. 

Pankow explained that he’s excited for fans to finally see JJ and Kiara’s slow burn of a story unfold, saying:

I think what I'm most excited for is just for fans to watch that. I think they've been wanting that, like yourself, been wanting that for a minute and now here it comes. It’s gonna happen. Some fans want it, some fans don't want to, but those that have do, we’re excited to see what you guys think.

As Pankow noted, I’m also a massive fan of Outer Banks, and as a fan, I’ve been waiting for this moment between JJ and Kiara for ages. So, to finally see them acknowledge their feelings for each other, and start their relationship was very fulfilling. And by the end of OBX, it really felt like we had got what we’d been waiting so long for. Their sweet relationship gives the show a level of intimacy that provides a nice juxtaposition to the big action that is going on most of the time. With every time John B. almost dies, it’s important to have another heartfelt wholesome moment, and this season we got a couple of scenes exactly like that from JJ and Kiara as their friendship evolved into a relationship. 

Luckily we’ll get to see more of JJ, Kiara and the rest of the Pogues now that the 2023 TV schedule hit has been renewed for Season 4. Hopefully, we’ll get to see Jiara’s relationship flourish further, because not only do the fans want it, the actors are also excited about the couple’s potential on Outer Banks

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.