Chase Stokes Says “Outer Banks” Season 4 Will See John B and Sarah 'Evaluate Everything' (Exclusive)

Stokes tells PEOPLE that the Pogues will be reckoning with their past "trauma" when the hit Netflix series returns

<p>Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix</p> Chase Stokes and Madelyn Cline in Outer Banks season 3

Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

Chase Stokes and Madelyn Cline in Outer Banks season 3

Get ready for more treasure hunts and drama, Outer Banks fans, because Chase Stokes teases the upcoming fourth season is going above and beyond.

While promoting the launch of Zenni Optical’s EyeQLenz — an all-in-one solution offering protection against harmful infrared exposure, UV and blue light seamlessly shifting between indoors and outdoors — the actor and retailer’s new brand ambassador spoke with PEOPLE exclusively about the upcoming season of his hit Netflix series.

After recently spending six weeks overseas filming, Stokes, 31, teases that the cast has been in “the thick of it” getting the new episodes together, noting that the upcoming season is “one of [his] favorite seasons yet."

<p>Zenni Optical</p> Chase Stokes wearing EyeQLenz sunglasses

Zenni Optical

Chase Stokes wearing EyeQLenz sunglasses

Following the dramatic conclusion of season 3, which showed the Pogues finally discovering the hidden treasure at El Dorado before getting enlisted to go on another adventure revolving around Edward Teach, Stokes teases season 4 will go back to basics in a way.

“The writers talked about how there was a real want for a lot of the authenticity and the characters in season 1. So I will say that they do a good job this season of that,” he says. Of course, being Outer Banks, he adds that there will be plenty of treasure hunts and “YA drama” along the way.

As for the shocking deaths of both John B (Stokes) and Sarah Cameron’s (Madelyn Cline) fathers at the end of season 3, the actor teases that the onscreen couple will continue to deal with the ramifications of those traumatic events.

“Anytime you experience loss, it hits in spaces and in places that you don't anticipate,” he says. “Being in the situation that John B and Sarah are in, it really will force them to evaluate everything. Where they are, what their purpose is, what their intentions are, and what was the actual value of it? Was it worth it, in hindsight? If they could go back and change things, would they? Or do they feel okay with it?”

<p>Netflix</p> The cast of Outer Banks in season 3


The cast of Outer Banks in season 3

Stokes adds that the Pogues will be dealing with self-doubt after the many obstacles they've faced. “It's been a huge, huge shift in lifestyle in a very, very short period of time if you look at the actual timeline of the show,” he notes. “And I think when you go through that level of trauma, for sure, it'll make you start asking those deeper questions.”

Meanwhile, Stokes has experienced some big life changes of his own since stepping into the role of John B. When asked what’s the biggest lesson he’s learned in the spotlight, Stokes notes that it’s really made him appreciate his close family and friends and the value of privacy.

<p>Zenni Optical</p> Chase Stokes wearing EyeQLenz sunglasses

Zenni Optical

Chase Stokes wearing EyeQLenz sunglasses

“There's so much unknown when you jump into a TV series or in a film. How the world consumes it is entirely out of your control,” he prefaces. “There was a lot of tripping and falling and learning on the fly.”

“It's really made me appreciate the smaller things because you don't really realize what you have until it's gone,” he adds. “Things like privacy or friendships or the way that people look at you. I have a lot of friends from times past who don't look at me as Chase anymore. They look at me as John B. So I've really clung to close friends in the show and family members and my relationship and people who view me in that way. A lot of positives. And sometimes with positives come negatives.”

As Stokes and his Outer Banks costars have branched out with other roles in recent years, including Cline, 26, in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and Drew Starkey in the upcoming Luca Guadagnino film Queer with Daniel Craig, Stokes notes that the entire cast has been super “supportive” of “each other's individual careers.”

<p>Paras Griffin/Getty </p> Drew Starkey and Chase Stokes at a basketball game

Paras Griffin/Getty

Drew Starkey and Chase Stokes at a basketball game

In fact, he reveals he and Starkey, who plays Rafe on the series, grew up auditioning against each other for roles. “There would be times where we would see each other before Outer Banks and I'd like, ‘Oh, that's the dude that got that role over me.’ Or he would see me in a room and he'd be like, ‘Oh dang, he booked that role that I really like,’” he explained. “So Drew and I have a very, very particularly strong bond in that space to where I'm super proud of him and just this role [in Queer]. He's so insanely talented.”

Speaking on Starkey’s upcoming film with Craig, he adds, “I'm very excited for the world to see Drew in a new space because I think a lot of people just see him as a psychopath. I've seen him and put him on tape for things in the past. I am constantly enamored by his talent. So it's really cool to see one of your dear, dear friends have an opportunity to work with somebody like Daniel Craig and Luca Guadagnino.”

As for when fans can expect new episodes of Outer Banks, Stokes teases that while the cast is “getting close” to the “finish line,” even he doesn’t know the official release date.

“They won't tell us anything,” he says, referring to Netflix. “God's honest truth. They're like, ‘You guys might tell the world, so we're going to keep to ourselves.’”

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The first three seasons of Outer Banks are now streaming on Netflix.

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