Season two of Outer Banks came out this week, and it definitely lived up to the hype. The new season was packed with lots of near-death experiences, people coming back from the dead, and new developments in the search for the Royal Merchant gold, but there was one thing I could not stop thinking about: JJ (Rudy Pankow) and Kiara (Madison Bailey). Together. Sure, some of the season focused on Kiara and Pope’s (Jonathan Daviss) minifling, but it was obvious it wouldn’t last. And I couldn’t help but wonder whether the reason they didn’t work out is because maybe Kiara and JJ are the ones meant to end up together.
JJ and Kiara, aka Kie, have undeniable chemistry throughout both seasons. And after watching this season — all in one day, I might add — I am convinced that these two will be more than friends in the future. Let’s take a look at some major JJ and Kie love foreshadowing moments:
1. When JJ Grills Kie About Her Relationship With Pope
During the first episode of season two, JJ and Kiara are together in the car. While Pope is running around outside trying to bug Gavin’s car, JJ questions Kiara. He says, “How’s it been going, you know, with Pope and all?” Kie, brushing it off, doesn’t give in. JJ though, keeps going. “Ranking wise . . . Yeah, I was just kinda curious. Is John B better?” Clearly, JJ wants to know how Kie is feeling about the guys in her life, and clearly Kie doesn’t want to give any answers. Perhaps Kie is reluctant to divulge any information in case she and JJ get together.
2. When Kie Kisses Pope Goodnight and JJ Looks Upset
During episode three, JJ, Kiara, and Pope are lying under the stars about to get some sleep. Kiara leans over and kisses Pope on the cheek. But it’s important to note that before she kisses him, she glances over at JJ. Was it to see if he was asleep, or was it to make sure he wouldn’t see the kiss? We might never know.
Despite Kie checking on JJ, he does see the kiss. The expression on his face betrays a hint of sadness, and he pulls his hat down over his eyes and turns away. It seems like JJ might be wishing that it were him on the receiving end of Kie’s kiss.
3. When Kie Supports JJ With His Dad
Any Outer Banks fan knows that JJ and his dad don’t exactly have the best relationship. But in episode eight when JJ’s dad asks for help to flee the area, JJ says yes. At first, Kiara resists the idea of helping him, but after JJ implores her to listen to him, she decides to help. Later, when JJ runs into the store for supplies and leaves Kiara and his dad in the car together Kiara tells him, “You’re a terrible father, did you know that?” She continues, “Do you have any idea how special your son is? Like, even a clue?” By standing up for JJ to his father and making it clear how worthy and important she thinks he is, Kie shows that JJ really holds a special place in her heart.
After JJ’s dad sails away, JJ is clearly upset to see him go. He puts his arm over Kie’s shoulder, and the two of them walk off the dock together. This quiet moment shows how the two of them can lean on each other and be there even in the tough times.
4. When JJ Looks at Kie During His Speech
In episode eight, when all the Pogues begin bickering with one another, JJ yells at them to shut up. He’s lost his father, and he can’t deal with the thought of his friend group fracturing. “I know for a fact all I got is you guys, OK?” he says to the group. Although JJ is technically talking to all of them, he looks directly at Kie when he says “You’re it.” Seems a bit intentional, if you ask me.
5. When JJ and Kie Make Plans Together For When They Get Rich
During the season two finale, while John B (Chase Stokes) is searching for Sarah (Madelyn Cline) and Pope is trying to find the cross, JJ and Kie stay together in the container. To pass the time, JJ starts planning what he will do when he becomes rich. He dreams aloud of a long surf trip and describes it to Kie in detail. Kiara, smiling, replies, “Sounds perfect. Got room for one more?” Smiling and laughing, only to realize she’s serious, he replies “You got your passport?” Even though they’re trapped and dripping in sweat, the two genuinely seem to escape their misery for the moment, and they look so happy together. The moment, though fleeting, feels romantic and sweet. Unfortunately, the conversation is quickly interrupted by John B and Pope climbing back into the container. Why couldn’t they have come back 15 seconds later?
6. When JJ Saves Kie . . .
When trying to take over the ship, the Pogue plan backfires. The crew shows up, and JJ and Kie end up going head-to-head with a man onboard. At one point, JJ is knocked over, and Kie is turned around. JJ sees that the enemy is about to take a swing at Kiara and yells “Kie!” while jumping on the man’s back with no hesitation.
7. . . . And Then Kie saves JJ
In his efforts to help Kie, JJ gets knocked off the boat completely. With a swift kick, Kie wins the fight and immediately jumps overboard to help JJ, who is unconscious in the water. Barely able to stay afloat, she holds onto JJ while treading water and yelling “J, stay with me. J, please. Please!” with sheer terror in her voice. In this moment, it’s obvious that Kie is genuinely afraid that she’s going to lose him.
Luckily, John B and the rest of the Pogues get there in time to help them both onto the boat. Without letting go of him, Kiara continues begging JJ to wake up, and finally he does. Once he is done sputtering up water and catching his breath, his gaze finds Kie’s arm on his shoulder, and he looks up at her. There is a moment of knowing silence. (Not at home, though, because I was screaming!) Kie breaks the silence by saying “hi,” and he replies casually “‘Sup?” They all laugh. Kie hits him playfully and brings him in for a hug. I’m convinced that this is the moment Kie and JJ realize they are in love.
Bonus: IRL Evidence
Although their characters have given us subtle hints, both actors have remained vague about the potential for a future relationship between Kie and JJ.
In an interview with US Weekly, Bailey said, “Kiara could still end up with anybody at this point.” She continued, “I think if there are scenes that really bring them together, then why not? But I don’t think you’ve seen enough scenes of just the two of them yet.”
Additionally, showrunner Josh Pate told Entertainment Weekly that a JJ and Kie relationship is a possibility. Pate said, “We wanted to explore the Ki-Pope relationship but obviously, we’re aware of how the fans feel about JJ and Ki. We wanted to tease that for the third season. We didn’t want to do it immediately, but we definitely want to do it just because that took us by surprise, like the audience’s reaction to JJ and Kiara and rooting for that romance. So we were immediately open to it, because it seems like an interesting idea to explore, but we kind of left it for season three.”
Looks like we will just have to wait until the third season to find out if these two will end up doing some Pogue-on-Pogue macking . . . if there is a season three, of course. Fingers crossed!