- Outer Banks -The 'C.H.U.D.' References In 'Outer Banks' Could Be A Clue About How The Series Will End
Mark my words, Outer Banks is going to go full C.H.U.D. before the series ends... minus the mutant cannibals (probably). Over the course of two seasons, J.J. has managed to randomly mention the 1984 horror movie twice in two vastly different situations. Now it could be that C.H.U.D. is just his favorite movie, and like anyone who loves an obscure bit of pop culture he likes to talk about it incessantly. But I suspect these references are more than just a character quirk.
Just in case you're not as obsessed with C.H.U.D. as J.J. is, the movie's title stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. The story takes place in New York City, where the homeless population is disappearing, but the official authorities are completely uninterested in investigating. This leads a photographer named George and a reverend named A.J. (which is pretty darn close to J.J.) to investigate on their own.
Eventually they discover a government conspiracy which involves the dumping of nuclear waste in the city's abandoned underground tunnels. This in turn leads some of the homeless population to turn into the titular cannibals, while others become their victims. In the end, the movie isn't about monsters, it's about inequality, and which lives are deemed valuable by society.
With this in mind, it's easy to see why J.J. loves the movie and how it became a touchstone for the Outer Banks creators. At the heart of the show is the struggle between the Kooks and the Pogues, but the real issue is no one seems to care what happens to the Pogues as long as the Kooks aren't inconvenienced. The wealthy residents of the community turn a blind eye when their neighbors are left without electricity for weeks, or when teenagers are beaten without provocation. But hey, if a rich kid's boat sinks it's time for action, right?
The Pogues' struggle for justice is at the heart of Outer Banks, but due to their social economic status and their age, no one takes them seriously. They're left every bit as helpless and ignored as the homeless people who disappear without a trace in C.H.U.D., but it might not always be that way. By the end of the movie, George and A.J. find irrefutable proof of a government lackey's mishandling of the toxic waste. This prompts the movie's bad guy, Wilson, to try and run them over to stop the story from coming out, but A.J. fatally shoots him before Wilson can kill them both.
Currently, the Pogues have lost every battle with Ward that they've waged. They've lost the gold, the cross, and Ward has escaped justice. But if C.H.U.D. has any lesson to offer, it's that the little guy will end up on the top by the end. So far, J.J. has referenced the movie twice: first in the Season 1 episode "Parcel 9" as John B descends down into a well in search of the gold, and again in Season 2's "Homecoming" when he and Kiara watch as Pope is led away by Carla and Renfield.
In both instances, he has stuck to talking about the general premise of the movie, but I suspect the film's ending could offer up a clue about how Outer Banks will ultimately end. Before this is all over, the Pogues have to reclaim the treasures they've lost — the gold, which John B's father devoted his entire life to finding, and the cross, which rightfully belongs to Pope's family — and Ward has to pay for what he's done.
Now, the show made it clear in Season 2 that John B isn't going to be the one to kill Ward, but the ending of C.H.U.D. points toward J.J. doing what John B couldn't. Since the very first episode of the show, J.J. has been waving around the gun he took from the safe full of money in the pilot, but he's managed to completely subvert the law of Chekhov's Gun so far. Every time it looks like he's about to use the gun, someone stops him.
But if Ward goes after his friends, J.J. is unlikely to hesitate. And much like A.J. in C.H.U.D., I believe he'll ultimately be the one who ends Ward's reign of terror, but only when there's no other option but for him to pull the trigger. And if the grand finale of the entire series also involves an open manhole and an exploding truck, then just remember Outer Banks has been promising to go full C.H.U.D. right from the start.