‘Outer Banks’ Stars Chase Stokes and Madelyn Cline Break Down That Cheating Plot: “I Was Really, Really Nervous”
From the first episode, Foreign Banks he is as obsessed with romance as he is with treasure. That’s why what happens between John B (Chase Stokes) and Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline) is so shocking. After battling evil fathers, sailing boats in storms and surviving a desert island, Season 3 pushes this couple to the absolute limit. Spoiler ahead.
“I was really, really nervous,” Klein told Decider.
In Foreign Banks season three, John B and Sarah Cameron’s fortunes turn upside down. After reuniting with his father, John B is the one who feels stable at OBX, while Sarah – estranged from her father and family – is left without a home or even a stable support system. But instead of helping her, John B immediately devotes all his attention to Big John (Charles Halford). Pushed to the edge, with nowhere to go, and abandoned by the boy she sacrificed everything to be with, Sarah does the unthinkable: she cheats on John B with her ex-boyfriend Kook, Topper (Austin North).
“I said, ‘If we do this, Sarah must have reason to be confused.’ And so I talked to the writers and we came up with like a story that felt like it made sense for someone who doesn’t really have a home anymore, she feels like she’s on the fritz with her friends,” Cline said. “Her family is kind of crazy, and she’s really trying to understand what it’s like to feel lost. And then when you lose the one thing you can hold on to, explore how that feels.”
Klein wasn’t the only one dedicated to making this betrayal feel authentic. North tried to keep Topper’s perspective in mind while playing these scenes. Before Topper sees Sarah in Season 3, he’s not even sure if she’s still alive.
“I think she wants to be safe and happy at the end of the day. I don’t think he was really trying too hard to win her over or get her back,” North said. “But after all the feelings from the high school years, the romance is back. So Topper really goes through an emotional rollercoaster in Season 3, for sure.”
As shocking as this subplot is, it ultimately made sense to the man behind the wronged party, Chase Stokes.
“I was like. This is intense. But I also got it, based on the way he treats her in the last episode — that was just a terrible thing for him to do,” Stokes said. “I’m not discrediting her choice [even] a little bit. Topper gives her a safe place to go and treats her in a way that John B didn’t treat her. And sometimes you get caught up in these situations where you find something new and fresh and exciting, and it makes sense. It is also comfortable. The girl literally went through hell and came back in the last 20 episodes. Her dad tried to kill her and kill me, and she’s coming back to the world and trying to find a safe place. He goes to JJ’s [Rudy Pankow] home, goes to Kiara [Madison Bailey] home, and nothing is available. So he finds that one thing that’s comfortable, and mistakes are made.
“That’s the journey of being a teenager, sometimes,” Stokes added.
Eventually, John B forgives Sarah. During a heartfelt scene in the tower she admits that he wasn’t there for her and that she understands why she did what she did. “I love transparency because that’s what you need in relationships. You have to be honest and transparent with everyone’s highs and lows so they both know what they’re getting into,” Stokes said. “Part of being human and the human experience is accepting people for their flaws and being with them through their victories. So I think they knew what they were getting into and they both made mistakes. But it’s about forgiveness and accepting forgiveness when it comes.”
“I think that story challenged the three of us to really dig deep,” Cline said. “I’m really proud.”