Tag Archives: Brendan Fletcher

Will Cardinal reach “Keith” on time?

The penultimate episode of Cardinal—written by Russ Cochrane, produced by Jessica Daniel and directed by Daniel Grou—opens with Keith (Robert Naylor), naked and struggling against his restraints as he creeps along the basement floor. Before I go any further, I have to applaud Naylor who has been filmed naked throughout the majority of the series. Carefully angled shots have been the norm but still, for an actor as young as he is and having to spend a good deal of time either naked or near naked while shooting and to reveal that vulnerability while shooting is amazing.

This has got to be the best episode thus far. It is chock full of action, but also delivers a great deal of information. AND we still have another episode to go! We still need to find Keith and Edie (Allie Macdonald) needs to get what is coming to her for stabbing Keith. I guess we have to wait and see how that turns out next week. As for this week, here is the rundown.

Josh “Mr Geology” (Alden Adair) confronts Lise (Karine Vanesse) about the birth control he confronted Cardinal (Billy Campbell) with last week.  Lise admits she had no excuse other than she felt pressured due to her transfer. She also admits her guilt and reassures Josh she is still committed to their relationship (WHY, brain is screaming WHY????). Meanwhile, Delorme reports to Musgrave (David Richmond-Peck). It seems Cardinal is exchanging the poker chips for clean money and is not laundering the bills. Delorme believes it is a dead end, but Musgrave thinks this is the proof he needs to convict Cardinal. Musgrave suspects Cardinal is paying someone that he does not wish to be connected to.

And it turns out, Musgrave is right. Cardinal is paying Tammy Lindstrom (Fiona Highet) off. She is extorting money from Cardinal because she knows he somehow tipped off Corbett. But with Delorme’s ongoing investigation of him, Cardinal hands her over his last payment and tells Lindstrom if she walks out of there with that cash, she is never coming back for more. We can read the utter exhaustion on Cardinal. Billy Campbell does carry the weight of the world! We still do not know how John is connected to the Corbett case, but Commanda (Glen Gould) has clued in something is amiss and even he is questioning Cardinal’s integrity as an officer.

Meanwhile, a hunter discovers the body of Woody (Gord Rand) out in the woods. And, just as I suspected last week, the police also find Keith’s missing finger. Now Cardinal and his team know Woody’s death is somehow connected to the serial killer despite the lack of torture on Woody’s body. Their perp is getting sloppy.

Delorme and Cardinal call on Woody’s wife (Trenna Keating) to inform her of  Woody’s untimely demise and they learn he researched Ovation guitars online; the same brand of guitar Keith owns. This necessitates a quick trip to the music store at the same mall Woody was casing before targeting Eric (Brendan Fletcher) and Edie. While questioning the store owner, they spot the same charm bracelet found by Katie Pine’s body on Wendigo Island. Cardinal knows Eric Fraser is his man.

Cue the suspense. From here on out it is a whirlwind of action. Campbell is finally given the green light to let loose and Delorme and Cardinal have heated words. He believes Lise is half-assing her way through Homicide and at home with Josh.

In the meantime, Catherine Cardinal (Deborah Hay) goes missing and Kelly (Alana Bale) and Detective Fox (Eric Hicks) head out in search of her. They locate her by the waterfront. Now, other than tossing in a bit more angst for the audience, I am not sure what this scene really accomplishes to further the plotlines but I love the quiet moments Bale and Hay share here. They captured that moment when a mother realizes her baby has grown up. It was another fabulous use of quiet, and the use of winter itself as a character in the show.

And then there is this amazing, extended take that lasted just under five minutes (yes, I timed it). The scene is shot in a style duplicating that of a storytelling transition piece in role-playing and first-person shooter games. Cardinal and Delorme spot Eric’s van near the doors of an abandoned school. The take begins with Cardinal opening the exterior school door, and the two begin their search of the building. Moving from room to room, up and down staircases, through darkened hallways until Delorme takes a shot to her vest. Cardinal continues the pursuit, retracing his pathway back through the school on Eric’s tail. Gunfire is exchanged several times throughout and, finally, Cardinal emerges from the school to jump into the back of Eric’s fan, still in pursuit. The take ends after four minutes and 55 seconds with both Eric and Cardinal in the moving van. Ultimately, the van crashes and Eric takes his own life rather than submitting to the law. I am sure all of my friends are sick to death of me raving about this one take. The choreography and blocking for that scene alone … I cannot imagine how much time and I would love to know how many takes it took. Absolutely brilliant!

In the closing minutes of this action-packed instalment, Delorme gathers a change of clothes from Cardinal’s home, giving her the opportunity to search Cardinal’s home for more evidence against him and Edie arrives at the school to see Eric placed into a body bag. She returns to Gran’s house, whereupon Keith begs for his life but to no avail. Edie stabs him and shuts the trunk. Roll the credits!

One word: WOW! This is the new benchmark for Canadian television!

We are down to one episode! Will Cardinal and Delorme find Keith on time? What will this new lead on Musgrave’s case deliver on Cardinal? How, or will, Cardinal and Delorme figure out that Edie was working with Eric?

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

The season finale episode of Cardinal airs next Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.


Cardinal: Poor “Woody”

Before I dig into this episode of Cardinal, I have to ask one question: WHAT THE HELL is up with Delorme (Karine Vanasse)? Seriously!! Who deliberately burns the upholstery in their car with a lit cigarette, even if you do want to vandalize a relationship? Talk about passive aggressive!

OK, I have that off my chest.

We are on Episode 4; halfway through the series and once again our opening shot harkens back to the very first scene of the series. This time, however, the scene is set at night. It is Woody (Gord Rand), our cocksure career thief sitting in the the very same parking lot as John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) did in the first scene of the series. Woody is selecting his next victim based upon their purchases. And who does he spy, but “White Trash Johnny,” a.k.a. Eric (Brendan Fletcher). He follows Eric and Edie (Allie MacDonald) so he can case the neighbourhood and pick the proper time to strike. Now, correct me if I am wrong but earlier in the series, Gran’s (Amanda Smith) house was set in a little subdivision with lots of other houses nearby. Now it appears  her house is isolated amongst the birch trees. I HATE inconsistencies like this!

Anyhow, after much nagging by his wife, Woody agrees to seek respectable employment driving a snow plow for his brother-in-law. But there is a catch, he must give up his wayward habits. However, *Spoiler Alert* if you watched the entire episode, you know Woody never got the chance. Poor Woody.

Meanwhile, Delorme is still set on investigating Cardinal and seeks assistance from Commanda (Glen Gould). Commanda pays a visit to Francis (Lawrence Bayne) to discuss his connection to the poker chips and the money laundering. Francis supplies some of the bills he received from  Cardinal and Commanda, in turn, hands them over to Delorme. She runs the bills and discovers they are fresh from the bank. A dead end.

On the official investigation side of things, Cardinal and Delorme catch a lead. Keith London (Robert Naylor) arrived in Algonquin Bay via the bus depot and they trace his steps to the local bar. The bartender (James Byron) remembers seeing him because Keith got sick after just two beers. Cardinal once again pieces it together and decides it is time to canvass all hospitals, doctor offices, pharmacies and veterinarian clinics; anyone who could potentially carry the meds that made the cocktail in Curry’s toxicology report.

This is where we depart a bit from the novel. It appears writer Aubrey Nealon tucked in a bit extra for the cat and mouse game between Eric and Edie and Cardinal and Delorme. Here, Keith’s parents pay a visit to the department for an interview with Cardinal and Delorme. Sergeant Dyson (Kristen Thomas) arranges a press conference to appeal to the public for further information leading to the whereabouts of Keith London. Cardinal takes a massive  risk and encourages Keith’s mother to speak at the press conference, hoping the killer will get off on the knowledge that he gets to toy with the family of his victim which, in turn, buys the investigators more time.

In the meantime, Eric forces Keith to watch Curry’s snuff film and  Edie worries Keith now knows their secret. Eric suggests that tonight is the night: Edie can leave the little girl behind and once she kills Keith, she can be whoever she wants to be, no one will hurt her ever again. Eric then tosses Keith’s severed finger out into the woods. I have to ask … WHY would you do this? Will his hubris prove a fatal flaw? At any rate, Eric and Edie do happen to catch Cardinal’s news conference and it seems his little trick worked. Edie admits to Keith that he should be happy “because you were going to die tonight.”

On the home-front, Josh (Alden Adair) pays a visit to John; he apparently needs to talk. Knowing Lise was smoking again “Mr. Geology” did some digging around and instead discovered Delorme’s birth control pills hidden in the car. In spite of his initial suspicions that Lise and John are having an affair, he realizes that is not the case. But, in his drunken state he also lets it slip that Delorme’s transfer from Financial is just temporary.

The episode closes with Woody breaking into Gran’s (Amanda Smith) house. He heads to the basement where he makes the grisly discovery. Sadly, he did not arrive soon enough and Edie and Eric catch him in the process of trying to untie Keith. Woody meets his demise at the hands of Eric. I guess he should have listened to his wife.

Remaining questions: Who is in the white Ford SUV following Cardinal? My guess it is Musgrave (David Richmond-Peck), but I honestly don’t know for sure. And, can we officially ditch Josh? After all, he was not in the original text to start with. What is the point of him other than filler to promote the Delorme/Cardinal tension?

This was another strong episode, nicely pieced together despite the many intertwined storylines. The pace is consistent and is slowly mounting as the suspense level grows. Fletcher is entirely convincing as our psychopathic serial killer; I really don’t want to meet him anytime soon after watching this. I know many of you have serious crushes on Billy Campbell, but I am finding myself bored with his character now. I understand this guy has a lot going on in his head but for God’s sake man, emote just a little bit so we know you are human. I just don’t feel Campbell’s full talents were tapped into during this episode. Karine Vanasse on the other hand is fantastic. She is completely believable as a woman with many faces. Brava!

Let me know what you think so far in the comments below.

Cardinal airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.


Cardinal’s serial killers “Edie and Eric”

Last week, Kelly Cardinal (Alanna Bale) suggested her father, John (Billy Campbell) take up running again. This is the scene we open this week’s episode of Cardinal with: him running. The chase has begun. Cardinal knows the killer will strike again and he feels he is in a race against time. Since the show is holding true to the book, there is likely a good deal of back and forth from here until the end. This was the issue I had with Forty Words for Sorrow. We know very early who the villains are and it is now just a race to the finish. As a novel, this format failed miserably for me. However, on screen, this formula works well, building suspense when we as the viewer know something the protagonist(s) doesn’t. As it stands right now, we have three principle storylines and two subplots, so I will attack each one separately instead of bouncing all over the place.

First, we have the story of Edie (Allie MacDonald) and Eric (Brendan Fletcher), who have selected their latest victim, Keith London (Robert Naylor). He is strapped, naked, to a chair, frequently drugged, and routinely degraded.

We also learn a good deal of backstory about Edie. She is emotionally hampered by her physical appearance and, left to care for an ailing grandmother, she is so entirely desperate for attention that the warped attentions of Eric act as a panacea for her woes. Eric has effectively seduced Edie, and in so doing has created his own little twisted minion, one that is eager to prove her devotion. Even though Eric is ultimately in control of Edie, knowing exactly which buttons he needs to push, Eric goes to the trouble of informing Keith he is deferring to Edie. She is in control and Eric is just there to nudge her along. Edie does so in her own time. With the removal of Keith’s finger, Edie demonstrates that she is not just a “dumb animal” and she made Keith bleed.

The scenes between Fletcher and Naylor were exquisitely performed. The fear is palpable. And can I just say “OW”? That duct tape over Naylor’s mouth HAD to hurt! The chemistry here is really terrific! Even the predatory sexual tension in this relationship despite the degradation is terrifyingly seductive.

I do have a question however, and I had the same one while reading  Forty Words. If pharmaceuticals and the knowledge of them is so easy for Edie to procure from the pharmacy where she works, why did Edie never self-medicate her eczema? Why, when she has felt so insecure and angry with respect to her outward physical appearance did she not use her position to remedy herself? What happened that made Edie so incapable of acting on behalf of herself, but so willing to act in exchange for the gratification she seeks from Eric?

Next, we have Delorme (Karine Vanesse) investigating Cardinal on behalf of Corporal Musgrave (David Richmond-Peck). We learn in this episode that Musgrave and Cardinal both worked Corbett’s crime ring raid in Toronto together. According to Musgrave, the raid “went bad” and he lays the blame squarely on Cardinal. Corbett and his crew were tipped off and instead of locating the drugs there was just “a half pound of C4 rigged to a wire there” waiting for them. As a result of the “tip off,” another officer was killed in the explosion. Musgrave is convinced Cardinal warned Corbet and his gang of the raid. I think Delorme’s spidey sense was tingling. She knows something is amiss. Delorme points out to Musgrave that he has no cause. The case was closed, Cardinal was cleared and therefore Musgrave has no reason to investigate Cardinal. So why is he pushing so hard to nail Cardinal? You know that line from Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much methinks”? Sub in Musgrave for Queen Gertrude here.

The last of the three story-lines revolves around Cardinal and Delorme’s investigation into the serial murders. The department catches a break on a possible new victim after the Major Crimes Dept. from Toronto Police called. The parents of Keith London notified Toronto Police that their son did not arrive as scheduled.  Police know Keith passed through Algonquin Bay, but their trace of Keith’s phone revealed the signal died further east. Cardinal deduces the killer places the cellphones of his victims on the trains as they pass through town. Eventually, the phone goes dead, but long after leaving Algonquin Bay. However, these trains all lead back to Algonquin Bay. Meanwhile, the encrypted texts from Todd Curry’s laptop come back from forensics and Cardinal and Delorme run down the lead. Turns out Curry was lured to town by a man pretending to be a woman, but this was not their killer.

Finally our subplots: John and Catherine (Deborah Hay), and Lise and “Mr Geology” Josh (Alden Aldair). John visits his wife in the hospital again, but this time it is work related. As an artist, with knowledge of the mechanics involved in photography, John questions Catherine about the process of image processing. Despite her condition, Catherine realizes Cardinal is “working” and her resentment is palpable. Anyone else notice these two never appear in a shot together? In fact, they are positioned in opposition to each other and Catherine’s body is even turned away from her husband … indicative of the gulf that exists between them.

Also, it seems Lise is keeping a few secrets of her own. She is hiding the fact she is smoking again AND, she taking birth control behind Josh’s back. Yet it is as though she wants Josh to catch her, smoking in their car, leaving her pills in the glove compartment. Why does she want him to discover her secrets? IS she looking for an out from the relationship?

Questions remaining: What is Corporal Commanda (Glen Gould) doing investigating the hit and run of a horse? And why did Francis (Lawrence Bayne) hit a horse and leave it to die at the side of the road in the first place?

What are your thoughts on this episode? Let me know in the comments below.

Cardinal airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.


Cardinal… meet “Delorme”

Last week, Cardinal‘s cold open introduced viewers to the focus of the series, the murder of Katie Pine, and the lead character John Cardinal (Billy Campbell). Our first glimpse of Cardinal was a slow zoom to a head shot as he sat in his car conducting surveillance. We learned his back story, watched how he approaches a case. We also learned he has some secrets yet be uncovered and we are left to wonder whether or not he is a “dirty cop”.

This week, Cardinal starts with the same initial slow zoom establishing shot but this time its gaze is upon  Lisa Delorme (Karine Vanasse). To recap some key points about Delorme from last week: she has been transferred to Homicide from the Financial Crimes Unit under the direction of Corporal Musgrave, RCMP (David Richmond Peck) to investigate her new partner John Cardinal. At the close of the premiere, Delorme was ordered by Sergeant Dyson (Kristen Thomas) to meet with Musgrave instead of attending with the rest of the department to the Curry crime scene. But we need to ask, why did the RCMP choose her? And why would she agree to such a transfer? What secrets does she keep hidden? This week we peel back some of Lise Delorme’s layers.

We begin the morning after Cardinal’s discovery of a second victim in an abandoned home. Delorme is just arriving at the crime scene and Sergeant Dyson reminds her, her priority is the murder investigation and the department, and not whatever Musgrave has her working on. It’s decided Cardinal and Delorme are heading on a road trip to Delorme’s first autopsy. Her partner/boyfriend/husband Josh (Alden Adair)–I am not too sure what exactly this pair really are–is clearly not pleased with the arrangement (do I detect some insecurities here?). We also learn Lise and Josh have been trying to conceive a child, but without success.

Confined to a car for several hours, Delorme uses the opportunity to try and get to know her partner a bit better. However she soon realizes this process is a double-edged sword; the more she knows about Cardinal, the more she respects him. The same proves true for John when Delorme shares her thoughts on the timeline for Katie Pine’s death; the killer held Katie captive for a week before he murdered her. Delorme continues the search for intel on Cardinal. Why two phones? One is designated for his daughter, Kelly (Alanna Bale), who is away at school in Toronto. This way she can always reach him. Watching Vanasse and Campbell watch each other is fascinating. These two are doing a dance, constantly readjusting their positions, reevaluating each other as they circle each other and this case. Director Podz is using pregnant pauses to his advantage as he dishes out this story to the audience.

(Did any of you catch Delorme’s rule of thumb for men? “If I ask a guy five questions before he asks one back, then he’s a douche.” Interesting theory!)

We arrive in Toronto and witness Delorme’s first autopsy. This one proves grislier than most (Blunt certainly has the imagination for gory murders!) and elicits “tabarnac!” (one of several throughout the episode) from Lise. Several wounds, multiple fractures, a few screwdrivers thrust through the skull and all wrapped up nicely with audio tape. The tape is a trail. Not only is our killer escalating, he tied this murder to the Katie Pine case.

Back in Algonquin Bay, Josh decides to drop in at the department to surprise Lise. Cue the testosterone. There was definitely a bit of a turf war there on the part of Josh.

Meanwhile Ronny, the fisherman who found Katie Pine’s body, now feels it is necessary to watch over Dorothy Pine (Gail Maurice). OPP Detective Commanda (Glen Gould) has a chat and gifts Ronny with some soil from the fairgrounds where Katie was last seen alive. Ronny has already seen one side of Katie, now he must see the other side of her, the side that lived.

Lise, needing to blow off steam because “Whinging Josh,” let it slip to her family they are trying to have a baby,  goes for a late night drive and happens upon Cardinal on his way to the casino. She makes the call to Musgrave but he orders her to back off (WHY?). She follows Cardinal, despite her orders, and makes the discovery Cardinal is cashing in old chips for cash. The next day Cardinal recognizes Delorme’s car from the casino and lets her know, subtly, he is aware she is investigating him.

The last scene introduces Eric (Brendan Fletcher of The Revenant), Edie (Allie MacDonald of Young Drunk Punk) and  Keith (Robert Naylor of 19-2), who I think we can safely assume is their next victim. For those who have not read Forty Words for Sorrow, we don’t have one killer but rather two. They picked out this victim from the bus depot and followed him to the local bar. Edie laced Keith’s beer and they make the decision; Keith is next.

A couple of lingering questions: why is Cardinal going to the trouble of freezing the raccoon until he can bury it? What is up with Lise and “Whinging Josh”? Is anyone else sensing  Lise and Josh are not meant to be? I have a feeling the Lise-Josh-John triangle may heat up. And what is up with Musgrave? His “displeasure” with Delorme disobeying orders was just a tad over the top and not at all professional!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cardinal airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.




Link: Revenant actor hospitalized after gun scene goes seriously wrong on Sudbury set of CTV miniseries

From Ben Leeson of Postmedia Network:

Revenant actor hospitalized after gun scene goes seriously wrong on Sudbury set of CTV miniseries
An actor was hospitalized after an incident involving a firearm on a TV set in Sudbury this past weekend, an Ontario Ministry of Labour spokeswoman has confirmed.

The actor, reportedly 34-year-old Brendan Fletcher from Comox Valley, B.C., was hurt while filming Cardinal, a CTV crime drama, during a scene where he was to take a discharge from a firearm into his mouth, according to a report received by the ministry, which is investigating the incident. Continue reading.