‘Outer Banks’ Theory: Whose Skeleton Might Have Been on the Island Since Big John Rutledge Is Alive

Big John Rutledge (Charles Halford) is a driving force of John B.’s (Chase Stokes) narrative in Outer Banks. He’s presumed dead in season 1 of the Netflix series. But the cliffhanger ending of season 2 has us rethinking everything we knew about the patriarch. If Big John is truly alive, whose skeleton did Scoot Grubbs (David Ury) find in season 1? We have some thoughts.

Charles Halford as Big John Rutledge in 'Outer Banks' Season 2
Charles Halford | Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

‘Outer Banks’ Season 2 ends with Big John Rutledge alive in Barbados

In the first season of Outer Banks, John B. and the Pogues are under the impression his father is dead. By the end of the season, John B. discovers Sarah Cameron’s (Madelyn Cline) dad Ward (Charles Esten) “killed” Big John. 

But at the end of season 2, Outer Banks reveals Big John isn’t dead. Carla Limbrey (Elizabeth Mitchell) finds him alive in Barbados after months of searching for the mythical shroud rumored to be in the Cross of Santo Domingo.

Big John claims to know where the shroud is and promises to help Limbrey find it. But only if she agrees to help John B. 

Did Scooter Grubbs find Uncle T.’s skeleton in ‘Outer Banks’ Season 1? 

In the first season of Outer Banks, Scooter is found dead after a storm on the island. Later, his wife Lana (CC Castillo) tells John B. how Scooter presumably found Big John’s body — a skeleton at that point — alongside the compass that contained a hint about the $400 million in gold

But since Big John’s alive at the end of Outer Banks Season 2, whose skeleton did Scooter find on the island? In the pilot episode of Outer Banks, John B. is living in his uncle’s house. We only see a glimpse of John B.’s guardian in a photo, but we think he might be the body Scooter found on the beach.

Without his knowing, John B.’s uncle could have been helping Big John with the $400 million in gold. After all, that’s a hefty amount of money to have to move on your own. 

A photograph of John B.'s Uncle T. from Netflix's 'Outer Banks'
Uncle T. | Netflix

Some Outer Banks fans on Reddit think the skeleton is Big John and his brother is a twin. “I’m wondering if Big John and Uncle T. could’ve been twins,” said a Redditor who’s convinced Big John Rutledge is dead. “I know the secret twin is kind of a lame plot twist but that would explain why Scooter and Sheriff Peterkin (Adina Porter) found a body, but he’s still alive in the Bahamas in season 2.” 

The plot holes surrounding Big John Rutlegde in ‘Outer Banks’ 

There’s a lot of speculation surrounding Big John’s story and the skeleton in Outer Banks because of a few plot holes. For instance, Sheriff Peterkin never found a body on the island — only a pair of glasses. 

Additionally, Scooter never made it home to tell his wife the tale of what he saw on the island. So, how could she know about the body or the compass? 

The role Big John (or his potential twin brother) will play in Outer Banks Season 3 remains to be seen. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for updates on the upcoming season of the Netflix series. In the meantime, fans can watch seasons 1 and 2 on the streaming platform. 

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