ET sat down with the cast to talk all things love, betrayal and hope in season 3.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Outer Banks season 3. Do not proceed if you haven't watched!
Netflix's hit series, Outer Banks, is back with season 3 and a whirlwind adventure as the Pogues chase clues toward a city of gold and navigate their romances and friendships along the way.
Stars Chase Stokes (John B.), Madelyn Cline (Sarah Cameron), Rudy Pankow (JJ), Madison Bailey (Kiara), Jonathan Daviss (Pope), Carlacia Grant (Cleo) and Austin North (Topper) all return for a season of love, hardship and sunsets in Outer Banks, North Carolina.
Ahead of season 3's release, ET's Cassie DiLaura sat down with the show's stars to discuss Outer Banks filming, the explosive plot and -- of course -- all the drama-filled romances that make the Netflix series a can't-miss for viewers.
Read on to see which couples fans are rooting for during season 3 and how the actors feel about their on-screen relationships.
John B. and Sarah Cameron
The third installment of Outer Banks sees the show's lead characters, John B and Sarah Cameron, test the boundaries and the trust within their relationship.
When the couple was stranded on "Poguelandia" island, their relationship came easy. However, when John B. is reunited with his father, he begins to hide things from Sarah. The space in their relationship -- both physical and emotional -- leads Sarah to lean on her ex-boyfriend, Topper.
After cheating, heated fights and a return to trust, season 3 ends with Sarah and John B. coming back together, despite all they had gone through.
So how do Stokes and Cline feel about their characters' emotional journey this season?
"I'll say this, cheating is never warranted," Stokes began, referencing Sarah's moment of weakness with Topper. But he admits, "John B. does her dirty too," when he lies to Sarah about the journey he had been on with his father. "The whole conversation at the chateau, and the way he goes about it... I'm not warranting it but -- two wrongs don't make a right."
Stokes puts it simply -- John B. and Sarah "need to get their sh** together."
For her part, Cline reveals that she was "nervous" about season 3's storyline because she felt that cheating on John B. "wasn't inherently in Sarah's nature."
"Ultimately, she was so lost and so confused by what was going on. John B.'s been Sarah's home, and when she gets kicked out of that home, figuratively, where does she go?"
Cline admits that Sarah is young and the situation is complicated, saying going back to Topper when she felt lost was a very "human thing to do."
When asked if Sarah and John B. are "endgame" by the season 3 finale, Cline says that she thinks they are. "I think that's kinda been clear since day one, in my opinion."
"Fairy-tale relationships are wonderful and everyone dreams of that, but they're also still real relationships that deal with real problems," she adds. "It's all about how you make it through it."
JJ and Kiara
JJ and Kiara's will-they, won't-they relationship was a major plot point throughout season 3. Kiara -- who was previously in a "situationship" with fellow Pogue, Pope, begins to develop feelings for JJ.
However, JJ has a lot of reservations about admitting to his feelings for Kiara. From a hard conversation with Pope to stealing Kiara's father's wallet, JJ spends much of season 3 trying to avoid his budding feelings for Kiara.
Their relationship hits a climax when Kiara's parents send her away to a wilderness boot camp and it is JJ who comes to her rescue. In the middle of a dorm room filled with campers, JJ finally apologizes to Kiara and the couple shares a passionate kiss.
When asked about the evolution of JJ and Kiara's relationship, Pankow boils it down to finding "hope."
"There's a little hope for what they're trying to find," Pankow explained. "I think JJ's really confused this season and he doesn't know where he's going in life and the character that's there for him this season is Kiara."
Pope and Cleo
Watching Pope and Cleo's relationship progress throughout season 3 was heartwarming to viewers. As Pope was reeling from the rejection he felt from Kiara and JJ's budding romance, he began to build a bond with Cleo that would be stronger than he's ever felt.
Cleo returns to the Outer Banks with the rest of the Pogues and stays at Pope's family's house. She even starts working for the family business. Pope's parents, though skeptical at first, support Pope and Cleo's friendship and seem to see their romance blooming before they do.
When Pope steals his father's gun and is on a vengeance mission against Rafe, Cleo finds him and talks him down from the metaphorical ledge. Cleo believes in Pope's dedication to unearthing his ancestor's clues and the hunt for treasure, but she also encouraged him to continue his education. While the pair has not officially bridged the gap from friendship to relationship, the writing is on the wall for romance between the two.
Daviss discussed his character's romantic arc throughout the season, saying, "All the best relationships start with really, really good friendships. They are definitely building that friendship now and I think you start to see a little bit of the sparks."
"They definitely have a lot of similarities -- in their past relationships and what they've wanted. She's opening up to him and I don't think she normally does that with a lot of people. You can definitely see some sparks flying."
Grant explains how her character, Cleo, finds a home in Pope, both physically and emotionally. "I think Pope gives her a home, with Cleo being an orphan and not growing up with a family," she said. "I think that him and the Haywards really give her a family and something to hold onto."
"He is her family and he shows her love in a way that she didn't experience -- that makes her vulnerable," Grant adds. "He brings out a softness in her that no one else can."
Outer Banks season 3 is now available for streaming on Netflix.