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.