Cardinal lands in “Catherine’s” arms

If you thought last week’s episode was hectic, the season finale of Cardinal includes just as much important detail. I will do my best to try and cover it all.

Tonight’s episode—written by Aubrey Nealon and directed by Daniel Grou—opens in the aftermath of Eric’s (Brendan Fletcher) death from last week. With any lead as to Keith’s (Robert Naylor) whereabouts dying with Eric, Keith’s family is preparing for the worst possible news: that he is dead and Cardinal (Billy Campbell) is undergoing an internal department debriefing since their assailant died in police pursuit.

Meanwhile, Delorme (Karine Vanasse) is busy tracing the ties between Tammy Lindstrom’s (Fiona Highet) frequent stays at the motel and Cardinal, and the paperwork reveals the connection. Lise tearfully puts John on notice: she is filing her report listing Cardinal as allegedly guilty of corruption in connection with the botched Corbett case from four years ago. Cardinal denies nothing, stating: “You do what you have to do,” but asks she hold off so that he may first speak with Dorothy Pine (Gail Maurice). Delorme agrees to wait until that afternoon, but still something does not add up. Lise meets with Tammy to get her end of the story and Tammy lets slip that she knows about Cardinal’s wife, Catherine (Deborah Hay). Now why would a cop discuss his wife whilst acting undercover?

Back at Gran’s house, Gran (Amanda Smith) is watching the local news where she learns of Eric’s involvement in the local murders. As there is no love lost between Edie (Allie MacDonald) and Gran, Edie takes care of that loose end.

Cardinal himself is also troubled by a loose end … the last remaining piece of the puzzle: the meds. John stops in to visit with Sergeant Dyson (Kristen Thomson) and spots the inventory list from Eric’s van. Included is an empty shopping bag from a local pharmacy. Curious, Cardinal heads to the mall and drops in at Southridge Pharmacy, inquiring if any pharmaceuticals have gone missing. He instructs the pharmacist (Jeff Clark) to recount the triazolam, and sure enough five tablets are missing. The pharmacist names his employee Edie Soames as the culprit.

Edie, it seems, cannot catch a break. She discovers Keith is missing from the trunk of her car. This precipitates a visit to Cardinal’s home. However that goes wrong too. Instead of Cardinal, she is received by Kelly (Alana Bale). Feigning depression, Edie talks her way into Cardinal’s home and then holds Kelly her prisoner until Cardinal arrives.

Cardinal, armed with probable cause, searches Gran’s house. He locates Gran’s body and calls in to headquarters for a full investigative team. Exiting the property, he hears a clanging from the garage and investigates to find KEITH! Keith is still alive and Cardinal rushes him to the hospital.

This leaves one major loose end in the Wendigo Island case: Edie Soames. Dyson orders Cardinal home, where he finds Edie holding his daughter at gunpoint. His own service revolver in the custody of the department, he must somehow save his daughter. Edie shoots Cardinal twice and threatens to take Kelly in retaliation for losing Eric. But Delorme, needing to speak to Cardinal once more before filing her report, shows up in time to take Edie out.

We cut to the hospital room where Cardinal is recovering and Delorme questions him about Catherine’s involvement with the Corbett case. Turns out, Catherine, suffering a psychotic event, attempted to contact her husband, but inadvertently tipped off Corbett’s man and blew Cardinal’s cover. Cardinal has been taking the fall ever since to protect his wife. When confronted with the truth, John admits his guilt for not being there for his wife when she needed him. Delorme then reports to Musgrave (David Richmond-Peck) and clears Cardinal’s name. Both cases are closed with neat little bows.

The final loose end? Josh “Mr. Geology” (Alden Adair) and Lise. Josh made one more attempt to resuscitate his relationship with Lise, but to no avail. Alas, thank goodness, Lise returns home after the case on Cardinal is closed to find he has moved out.

So that is it folks! Talk about a roller coaster. But, no worries Cardinal fans, we close out this inaugural season with the news that CTV has renewed Cardinal for TWO more seasons! This is fabulous news! Grou has done a magnificent job with this production. Live tweeting last week, I said, “This is not amazing TV ‘for Canada’, this is amazing TV.” I will hold to that. To think that in six episodes Grou and Nealon were able to pull off so many storylines so seamlessly and beautifully filmed is fantastic. The attention to detail, the consistency between takes, and the chemistry between all of the cast members was superb! Particularly the chemistry between Campbell and Vanasse; initially a tenuous partnership, the bond was truly established tonight!  I also have to give a shout out to music composer Todor Kobokov, whose work was so critical for setting the mood for this series! I cannot wait to see what all of you bring in Season 2!

What have you thought of Season 1 of Cardinal? Comment below!

Carolyn Potts
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Carolyn Potts

Teacher. Writer. Mom. Masters' Candidate, Faculty of Education, Western University. Studying Pop Culture Media as a Decolonizer of Education Policy and Practice. I also volunteer as a Girl Guide leader in my spare time.
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9 thoughts on “Cardinal lands in “Catherine’s” arms”

  1. What is with the woods? Cardinal is anyways shown out there or looking out there.
    Great show. My wife and I looked forward to Wednesday night every week. Can’t wait for season 2.

    1. Hi Ryan!

      From what I understand, birch trees represent new beginnings; starting over. So I suppose this works here, the concept of hope. Despite Cardinal’s position as a police officer, he was always hopeful to find Keith alive, he is hopeful his wife will recover etc..

      Also, birch trees are fairly common in the Sudbury area, so cinematically, was a good convenient way to convey Cardinal’s multiple layers.

      As for season 2, me too! I just ordered the rest of the books in the series to read over the summer. I will need my Cardinal fix!

      -c

  2. Just finished the finale – it was a great series! And to hear the news that 2 further seasons are on the way is fantastic news! Bring it on!

  3. Loved this show! Had me on the edge of my seat every episode. I’m looking forward to the next season and in the meantime, I will be reading the book!

  4. Just finished binge-watching the whole series (watcher from the UK!) Thought this was pretty tastefully done, had me on the edge of my seat at times. Really like how they presented each character, will be interesting to see how the next seasons go.

    1. Hi Mark,

      This was a bit murky. Catherine suffers from Bi-Polar Disorder and at the time when Cardinal was working undercover she was having an episode. In her delusional state she grabbed the burner phone that only had the contact number for Delroy Moss, a known “associate” of Tammy Linstrom. Catherine called that number trying to reach Cardinal, and in effect blowing his cover. Moss told Tammy, and she had been extorting cash from Cardinal ever since. I thought this was a bit weak myself, why would John leave a burner phone laying about when he was actively undercover? However, that was the explanation given in the show.

      Thanks for the question,

      -c

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this show and was estatic to hear about the renewal. Acting, score, direction, everything was bang on. Mind you having brought in a “name” american actor who likely would speak up if production was not high quality, I was not surprised.

    This show has a serious budget at 1.8MM per episode, and it shows in the quality of the production. If they maintain it in the next season this show can only go up.

    It was a short season, but tight, and a real pleasure to watch.

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