I Counted The Number Of Times John B. Almost Dies In Outer Banks So You Don't Have To
If you've watched OBX, I'm sure you've wondered this.
Major Spoilers for ALL of Outer Banks, including Season 3 ahead.
I think it’s time we address the death-defying elephant in the room when it comes to Outer Banks. Said elephant goes by the name of John B. and if you’ve been paying attention to OBX like I have since Season 1, you will have likely noticed that our main character finds himself staring death in the face in what feels like every episode. So, to see if this feeling was correct, and considering Season 3 of Outer Banks is finally here, I rewatched all of OBX, and counted the number of times our boy John B. almost dies, so you don’t have to.
With that said, let’s break down John B.’s 27 near-death moments, and reflect on all the ways our favorite Pogue keeps finding himself on the verge of death.
John B. Almost Dies The Most Times In Season 1 Of Outer Banks
From the jump, it is made clear that our main character is reckless, fearless and injury prone. In the first frames of the pilot, we see John B. standing on a roof, right on the edge, and Pope telling him he has a one in three chance of survival. This precarious balancing act really sets the tone for an action-packed episode, that led to a little less than half of John B.’s near-death moments in Season 1.
Throughout Episode 1 John B. finds himself in many reckless, but not necessarily deadly situations. He surfs during a hurricane and gets in a fight with Sarah’s boyfriend Topper, which scares everyone, and leaves Chase Stokes’ character with a black eye. However, the first near-death moment comes when he gets chased by men with guns. The chase involved the four Pogues driving a boat away from two men who were shooting at them.
The show’s second episode featured John B. being chased by thugs which led to him being almost hit by a truck, climbing an eclectic fence, and getting shocked by said fence. In this case, luckily the cops showed up right on time.
Episodes 3 and 4 involve lots of other characters getting beat up, however, John B. goes mostly unscathed. Episode 3 involves Pope getting jumped, JJ almost getting shot and the two sinking a boat. Then, in Episode 4 the show's protagonist runs away from the cops, steals and crashes a bike, and Sarah yells at him, and I quote: “Did you just yeet over that chain?” It might have been dangerous, but by no means deadly.
Now, Episode 5 is probably one of the biggest near-death moments for John B. At the end of the episode, Topper pushes him off the Hawks Nest (which is a very tall watch tower), and it was, as my phone notes say, a “hella big fall.” Somehow he only ended up with a concussion and a broken wrist.
There’s not much to report on our very specific front for Episode 6, however, this does mark the moment when the crew finds the gold. Although, there is one dangerous moment when a blind woman tries to shoot all the Pogues since they broke into her house.
Episode 7 sees Ward, Sarah’s dad trying to kill John B. with a fish hook. This moment continues into Episode 8 where we get the full sequence of John B. trying to escape death via jet ski. In the same episode, he also drives his van next to an airplane and drifts in front of it, causing another near-death moment.
Episodes 9 and 10 see the end of our first treasure hunt and two near-death moments. In the penultimate installment, a church gets set on fire that John B. is believed to be in, however, he escapes and Topper is there in his place. Then in our finale, we get a real hail mary when John B. and Sarah drive a stolen boat into a major storm. The boat ends up capsizing, and the two lovebirds are floating on it Titanic style, like Jack and Rose. They are almost immediately saved, however, they could have easily not survived, and that’s where Season 1 ends.
Total After Season 1: 11
John B. Almost Dies A Little Less In Season 2 Of OBX
The ante is for sure upped, and the crew sets out on another treasure hunt for a massive gold cross in Season 2. However, the number of times John B. almost dies is down from Season 1, because this time around no one in the OBX cast is safe.
We kick things off, right where we left off – John B. and Sarah are saved by a passing boat, but quickly turn into hostages. The boat’s captain Terrance holds the Pogues at knifepoint, and from then on our favorite OBX couple is running for their lives.
After getting off the boat, they are soon found by Sarah’s murderous father and her brother Rafe. Episode 2 involves Rafe pointing a gun at John B., and then he literally shoots his sister. Sarah nearly dies, for real, and the two find a doctor who helps her heal, which is handled in Episode 3.
Episodes 4 and 5 proved to be especially dangerous episodes for our boy, as he and Sarah make their way to Charleston. While they are in the city, they realize their fellow Pogues are also there in a near-fatal way, as JJ, Pope and Kiara almost hit them with their truck. And the action doesn't stop there, oh no, this episode ends with the crew getting chased through a swamp by cops with guns, and John B. gets arrested. Then in Episode 5, he gets put in prison, and an inmate tries to choke him to death.
After two rough episodes, the next two are relatively calm for John B. Notably, this is when Ward fakes his death, so there’s that.
Episode 8 proves Rudy Pankow's description of the show, as the actor behind JJ called OBX an “off the rails” treasure hunt in a story for EW, and it's also my personal favorite near-death moment. In this episode John B. gets attacked by an alligator, yep, you read that correctly. The guy nearly drowns while his pals try to save him, and then later in the episode, JJ reminds him that “you were almost dinner for a frickin gator, bro.”
The final two episodes, like Season 1, are a doozy. However, Episode 9 features more near-death moments from other characters, rather than John B. Although, he does almost bite the dust when Pope crashes Kiara’s dad’s truck with everyone in it. Speaking of Pope, he’s the character who almost ends up not surviving the episode due to an allergy attack after being around wasps while in a rafter.
Episode 10, brought lots of dangerous moments for our crew. They find themselves on a massive ship trying to get the treasure while Ward, who is not actually dead, tries to kill them. Specifically, the Cameron patriarch beats John B. up when he tries to save Sarah, and it’s very intense. Then all the Pogues end up going overboard in various ways, and our two lovebirds use a dinghy to save them. Once all six of the kids are in the lifeboat they get away, in a relatively safe manner.
The season ends with the crew stranded on an island. While they clearly survive, since the show was renewed for a third season, we don’t know how long they’re going to be stuck there, therefore it counts.
Total After Season 2: 9
Season 3 Of Outer Banks Brought A Lot Of Action, But Not As Many Near John B. Deaths
Season 3 of Outer Banks is interesting in comparison to the other two installments because while the adventure is undeniably bigger, John B. doesn’t almost die as many times. Don’t get me wrong, our boy almost bites the dust on multiple occasions throughout the season, however, it’s just not as many times as we’ve grown to expect.
We started the season off with our merry band of Pogues stranded on the deserted island discussed in Season 2. It’s clear that they are thriving on that island, and therefore it does not count toward our tally, however, when a mysterious plane shows up, that’s when the danger begins.
Since the crew had no way off the island they got on this random man’s plane in the hopes that he'll help. However, he turns out to be a bad guy, and crash-lands the aircraft in the water near Barbados. The Pogues are then separated, and Kiara is taken to Singh, this season’s big bad, while the rest of the group tries to find her.
In Episode 2, they find Kie, however, the crew ends up in a standoff situation with Singh’s henchmen. This culminates in all of them plummeting down an elevator shaft, and of course, John B. falls down it while getting shot at. Following their escape from Barbados, the crew gets back to the OBX, and Episodes 3 through 5 are fairly uneventful for John B. However, Episode 5 does involve the train heist, where JJ flies over an overpass on a motorcycle, which has nothing to do with our boy, but it is worth mentioning.
The action is back in Episode 6 as John B. and his dad, Big John, hunt down clues to find El Dorado. While on the hunt, they are found by Singh’s guys, and the father-son-duo gets poison darts shot at them. This didn’t impact our main protagonist, however, after that, John B. is taken by Singh, who holds a gun to his head and almost poisons him.
Following Singh getting to Charleston things really heat up, literally and figuratively. In Episode 7 John B. and JJ get attacked by a man with a machete, and then their boat gets shot at. Then in Episode, 8 Topper burns down John B.’s house with everyone in it, showing that while he had evolved in Season 3, the Kook will always go back to his old ways.
The penultimate episode brings no near-death moments, however, we go out with a bang (pun intended) in Episode 10. As the Pogues and their foes make their way to the lost city of gold, the race becomes one of life and death. John B., Big John and Sarah find the treasure first, however after they emerge from the cave they are attacked by Singh and co. That battle ends with a big dynamite explosion that sends everyone flying, including John B. Following that scary moment, the kids are attacked, and John B. gets another gun pointed at his head. Ward ends up saving them all by taking the shots, and falling his death. This final standoff also results in Big John’s death. So, while we lost two dads at the end of Season 3, John B. is still kicking and ready to go on another treasure hunt.
Total After Season 3: 7
Grand Total: 27 – This means John B. almost dies on average .9 times per episode.
What can I say, John B. somehow always finds himself in trouble and approaches death’s door. However, he hasn’t bit the bullet yet, and with Season 4 officially on the way, I'm sure our lead Pogue and his crew will find themselves in more precarious situations.
If you are interested in watching these moments I mentioned for yourself, you can watch all three seasons of Outer Banks with a Netflix subscription. Also, be sure to check out the 2023 TV schedule to see what other adventures are coming to the small screen while we wait for Season 4.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.