‘Outer Banks’: Fans Are Divided Over That Ward Cameron Twist in Season 2
Outer Banks Season 2 followed fugitives John B. (played by Chase Stokes) and Sarah Cameron (played by Madelyn Cline) as they continued their hunt for the Royal Merchant’s $400 million gold treasure. The story may have remained the same since season 1, but season 2 featured twice as much action and double the plot twists, making for a gripping adventure from start to finish.
Many Outer Banks fans agree that season 2 had plenty of mind-blowing moments, but there’s one plot twist that has become a topic of debate. Here’s what fans have said about the Ward Cameron twist, plus thoughts from Ward’s actor, Charles Esten.
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains major spoilers for Outer Banks Season 2.]
Ward Cameron faked his own death in ‘Outer Banks’ Season 2
Ward Cameron, Sarah’s father and one of Kildare County’s wealthiest residents, began his downward spiral in season 1. Viewers learned that Ward worked with John B.’s father, Big John Routledge (Charles Halford), to locate the missing Royal Merchant and its gold, but he accidentally killed Big John during an argument on a boat and then covered up the crime.
From there, Ward’s actions became a snowball effect of dark decisions. He tried to kill John B. to keep him from exposing the murder, he let Sherriff Peterkin die to protect his son Rafe, and he framed John B. for Peterkin’s murder so Ward could escape with the gold.
Ward’s decisions only worsened in season 2. He talked his way out of being charged with Big John’s murder. He killed his pilot, Gavin (Adam Vernier), fearing Gavin would tell the police the truth about Peterkin’s death.
Finally, when he could no longer control the situation, Ward caused an explosion on his boat and “died” in Outer Banks Season 2 Episode 6. In a final video, he took the blame for Peterkin’s death, as well as Gavin’s.
Sarah and her friends believed Ward to be dead. However, in a shocking twist, he later appeared alive and well and admitted to Sarah that he dove into the water before his boat exploded. He faked his death to further protect his family.
‘Outer Banks’ fans have debated whether Ward Cameron should have ‘stayed dead’
Some fans enjoyed the Ward Cameron twist, while others thought the character death should have stuck. On Reddit, one fan said it “felt unnecessary” to bring Ward back.
“He had just gotten caught, and he has way too much pride to go to jail, so killing himself at that point seems very realistic for him. I also feel like they exhausted his character at that point because we knew all of him [sic] motives, and it’s not like he’s getting a redemption arc. I just wished they had let him be dead so that we could focus on Rafe as the ultimate villain,” the post read.
In contrast, the thread’s replies revealed that some fans felt Ward’s death seemed “out of character” for him.
“I actually thought him blowing himself up seemed kind of out of character. Interesting that we had a different view on it, although I can see your point about him having too much pride to sit in jail…The whole scene felt really off for me, and I was shocked he took that way out rather than fighting to his last breath to get himself and Rafe out of it,” one user added. “I wouldn’t have been too bothered if he stayed dead, but I do think Rafe still needs him.”
Other fans thought Ward’s death should have arrived during John B.’s final battle with him in the finale. However, some users said John B. spared him to show that he’s better than Ward.
“Even though Sarah gave him the nod, I think that John B leaving him was the perfect opportunity to show his empathetic side,” one person added.
Charles Esten said he wanted the plot twist to be ‘epic and operatic’
Esten has his own opinion about the twist. In an interview with TVLine, the Nashville alum said he wanted the boat explosion to “feel fitting” for Ward:
I wanted it to be epic and operatic and fitting for the character. And the other thing they did so well was, they had already brought in another bad guy. Audiences are so savvy now. If they didn’t bring in another villain, [audiences] know, you can’t kill the only villain.
He added that Outer Banks‘ new character, Limbrey (Elizabeth Mitchell), acted as a villain to potentially replace Ward and make his death believable.
“But once they had [Limbrey] and they could then go well, ‘He’s kind of expendable.’ But then it was so operatic that you go, ‘Well, I think he might be dead,’ Esten said.
Outer Banks Season 2 is now available on Netflix.