Is Topper Getting a Redemption Arc Away from the Kooks in 'Outer Banks' Season 2?

Topper Thornton (Austin North), the ex-boyfriend of Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline), was a villainous character in 'Outer Banks' Season 1. Will that change?

Shannon Raphael - Author

Jul. 27 2021, Published 1:51 p.m. ET

Topper Thornton on 'Outer Banks'
Source: Netflix

SPOILERS for the Season 1 finale of Outer Banks are ahead.

More than a year after the first season of Outer Banks debuted on Netflix, the adventure drama is finally returning for a sophomore edition. When Season 1 left off, Pogue king John B (Chase Stokes) and his Kook girlfriend, Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline) narrowly escaped drowning after the Phantom boat capsized during a tropical storm. The two escaped their hometown, in part, because John B was accused of murdering Sheriff Peterkin (Adina Porter).

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Though the two are rescued by a passing cargo ship, their loved ones back home are convinced that they are dead.

The Season 2 trailer reveals that JJ (Rudy Pankow), Pope (Jonathan Daviss), and Kiara "Kie" (Madison Bailey) are still coming to grips with what happened to their friends, while Sarah's ex-boyfriend, Topper Thornton (Austin North) may be shifting his loyalties to the Pogues.

Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline) and Topper Thornton (Austin North) in 'Outer Banks' Season 1
Source: Netflix
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The arrogant and privileged character proved to one of the villainous figures in Season 1, though his actions were completely overshadowed by Ward (Charles Esten) and Rafe Cameron (Drew Starkey).

A teaser clip for the second season has some fans thinking that Topper will be redeemed, and that he'll exhibit some sympathy to the Pogue cause. If the sneak peek video is any indication of Topper's storyline for Outer Banks, then he may just be the next Steve Harrington from Stranger Things.

Topper Thornton appears to be more sympathetic to the Pogues in 'Outer Banks' Season 2.

Ahead of the Outer Banks Season 2 release, Netflix shared a set of teaser clips to give fans a better idea of what to expect from the new slate of episodes. In one entitled, "Fired," JJ serves a group of Kooks at the restaurant he's working at.

"John B is going to hell for what he did to Sheriff Peterkin," a girl at Topper's table says as JJ is pouring water for the group.

"Guys, they're still investigating," Topper responds.

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When JJ gets upset at Topper's friends, Sarah's ex tells him to "walk away" because "it's not the time." After Topper attempts to diffuse the situation, JJ and Kelce (Deion Smith) get into a physical altercation. Topper, once again reiterates that it's a bad time, and puts himself in the middle to try to separate the two.

Because Topper had been vehemently opposed to the Pogues in Season 1, viewers were surprised by his apparent sympathy for the group in the video.

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Many believe that the character will have an expanded role in the new season, and that he may have become disillusioned with the Kooks after seeing more of his close friend Rafe's antics. After all, he did help Sarah and her new beau out in the Season 1 finale by wearing John B's red sweatshirt to distract the police.

"Topper becoming friends with JJ is on my Outer Banks wish list," one fan tweeted.

"Is it bad that I want [a] Topper redemption arc in OBX S2?" a different Twitter user posted.

Another pointed out the similarities between Topper's potential storyline and what happened to Steve Harrington on Stranger Things. Viewers detested Steve when he dated Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) in Season 1 of the sci-fi original, but he became a beloved character once the next season premiered.

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"Topper from OBX gives off major Steve-Harrington-redemption-arc-vibes," a user wrote.

Will Topper continue his streak of good behavior and distance himself from the Kooks in favor of the outcasts? Viewers will have to tune in to Season 2 to find out.

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What else has Austin North starred in?

Before Austin took on the complex Netflix character, he made his acting debut in an episode of the Disney comedy Kickin' It in 2011. He appeared in one episode each of General Hospital, A.N.T. Farm, Jessie, and See Dad Run.

His breakout role arrived in 2014, when he played Logan Watson alongside Cruel Summer actress Olivia Holt in both seasons of I Didn't Do It.

Austin had a recurring part in the Hulu original, All Night, as well.

As for his life outside of the cult favorite TV series, the actor is set to celebrate his 25th birthday on the Outer Banks Season 2 premiere date.

Season 2 of Outer Banks will be available to stream on Netflix beginning on July 30 at 3 a.m. ET.

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