‘Outer Banks’: Madison Bailey, Rudy Pankow Give Hope to Kiara and JJ Shippers

The Pogue love triangle continues. Fans of Outer Banks characters Kiara and JJ will likely be thrilled to hear that their actors, Madison Bailey and Rudy Pankow, could possibly see the teens together in the future. In even better news, showrunners Jonas Pate, Josh Pate, and Shannon Burke have not completely ruled out the couple, either.

Will Kiara and JJ find romance in future episodes of Outer Banks? Here’s what the cast and crew said.

[Spoiler alert: The following story contains minor spoilers for Outer Banks Season 2.]

Rudy Pankow as JJ, Madison Bailey as Kiara, and Jonathan Daviss as Pope in Outer Banks Season 2
‘Outer Banks’ stars Rudy Pankow, Madison Bailey, and Jonathan Daviss | Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

Many ‘Outer Banks’ fans wanted to see Kiara and JJ get together

Since the beginning of Outer Banks Season 1, many fans have pushed for Kiara and JJ to explore a romance. The characters have never kissed, but many viewers were quick to point out the chemistry between Kiara and JJ. As JJ endured abuse from his father throughout the first season, Kiara made it clear that she cared deeply for his safety and happiness.

However, Kiara and JJ never pursued any romance. She kissed Pope (Jonathan Daviss) at the end of season 1, which led to Kiara and Pope trying out a relationship in season 2. Kiara and JJ shippers have not seen their wish come true just yet.

Madison Bailey and Rudy Pankow say their characters could end up together in the future

Bailey and Pankow are not entirely opposed to the idea of their characters getting together. In fact, after season 2, the prospect of “Jiara” seems even greater. The actors spoke with Us Weekly about Kiara and JJ in a July 2021 interview.

Bailey said she thinks the chances are still good for Kiara to end up with “anybody” in future Outer Banks seasons. However, she can’t definitively speak on the idea of Kiara and JJ until the characters have more moments together.

“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,” she said.

Meanwhile, Pankow thinks JJ might not be thinking of a relationship right now, but he does worry about the other Pogues leaving him out as they pair off. Other than that, JJ probably has his mind on his dad and the treasure hunt.

“I think he might be feeling a little left out, like, ‘What’s going on here?’ I think what’s happening in season 2 is JJ is really focused on the safety of things and also restitution,” Pankow said. “So yeah, like I think there’s a lot of other factors that are going on with JJ.”

Will JJ ever have room for Kiara in his mind? Maybe someday, Pankow said.

“I think there will be a time a place to have that talk, but it’s just not yet, because there are so many other things that he’s dealing with,” he added.

‘Outer Banks’ showrunners teased Kiara and JJ chemistry in season 2

Outer Banks Season 2 drove many Kiara and JJ fans crazy by upping the ante on their chemistry without providing any follow-through. As it turns out, no one imagined that chemistry; the showrunners intentionally set things up for a potential season 3 romance, as Josh Pate revealed to Entertainment Weekly.

“Teen romance and teen soap are a big part of the show. 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,” he said.

However, the showrunners wanted to give Pope and Kiara their moment in Outer Banks Season 2, rather than skirting by their kiss. They let Pope and Kiara explore, so now there’s room for Kiara and JJ in the future.

“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,” Pate continued. “So we were immediately open to it because it seems like an interesting idea to explore, but we kind of left it for season 3.”

RELATED: ‘Outer Banks’: Rudy Pankow Improvised JJ’s Emotional Speech in Season 1