Cardinal‘s sophomore season is almost complete, we don’t know how we got from amnesia to ritual sacrifice and drug overdose, but here we are and we’re wrapping up shortly. Join me as we roll into the penultimate episode of season 2: Cardinal S2:E05 Northwind recap.
Last time we ended with Detective John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) concernedly comforting his wife Catherine (Deborah Hay) off the ledge of a building. She has a mental illness under treatment, but it feels much more tenuous to Cardinal, who had misinterpreted some signs she was about to have devolve into mania.
She was not happy to see him begging her to come away from the edge, she’s fine!
We open with Cardinal having a dream about being out on a ledge himself.
Not far away, a birdwatcher finds the body of Toof (Brock Morgan), the latest victim of Northwind, a drug dealing gang with ties to the occult.
Detective Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) drives into the crime scene to meet the rest of the team and Forensics. Detective Ash Kular (Zack Smadu) fills her in and brings her to Cardinal, who is supervising the collection of tire tracks and other sundry bits of evidence.
Forensic tech Abby Harris (Kathryn Alexandre) has found something interesting; when Leon (Daniel Petronijevic) shot then beat Toof to death he had a maggot casing tucked in the tread of his boots. This will undoubtedly connect at least one other case.
Delorme is interested in Toof because a friend of hers and a youth at risk had just bought heroin from a guy with a funny tooth right before she overdosed.
This could possibly tie Toof’s death with the Northwind gang taking over biker gang drug turf, Delorme will be running down that connection. They don’t know if the bikers from the Northern Raiders killed Toof but it would make more sense than Toof’s own middle manager taking him out for being too chatty.
I have a difficult time taking Northwind seriously, here’s the lineup:
- Ray (Bruce Ramsay), the shaman and leader who uses afro-caribbean occult practices to gain an edge in the drug trade
- Leon, the muscle who Ray stabbed in the hand (why would you do that to your strongman?), shot Terri Tait (Alex Paxton-Beesley) in the head and beat Toof to death after shooting him in the head twice with the same defective bullets
- Toof – harmless stoner with a goofy tooth
- Kevin (Jonathan Keltz), the hapless brother of Terri with a re-surging drug problem, an education unsuited for his current line of work as a drug dealer and an unfortunate habit of asking uncomfortable questions
THESE are the new kids in town, ready to roll in to take over the entire drug trade from an established biker gang? One’s dead already, one’s cutting off people’s junk, one’s using heroin and the other is a one-handed thug. I ask you.
Well, they do have some fairly important help in the form of Ontario Police Department Detective Alan Clegg (Kevin Hanchard from Orphan Black!!). He was more than happy to usher in some confusion for the Northern Raiders but is unhappy that nobody storyboarded the genital mutilation for him first.
Alan thinks he can turn down money and walk away from Ray and Northwind, but Ray lets him know if he leaves: he dies. Up to him!
Alan haltingly tells Ray all he needs to know, except thankfully he hasn’t been told where Terri has been stashed so she’s safe for now.
Ray thinks Terri would be an extra powerful spirit to have in his arsenal, what with her escaping death when Leon shot her on Ray’s orders.
(It’s because the bullets are terrible.)
Cardinal and Delorme’s boss is Sergeant Noelle Dyson (Kristen Thomson) who has a sick child? And received some bad news? At any rate, she’s not firing on all cylinders when Delorme tells her the identity of Toof.
Toof’s mom (Nora McLellan) is launching into a speech about the evils of marijuana when Cardinal interrupts to inform her, kindly, of her son’s death. She is stunned into silence, Cardinal and Delorme manage to get a little more information out of her before she falls to pieces.
So. Do you know who Kevin is? He’s in the Northwind gang, and is the brother of Terri Tait, the redhead who was shot in the head for an unknown reason at the very beginning of the series. He still doesn’t know that Leon shot Terri, Leon said he took her to the bus station. Kevin’s been calling Terri’s cell for days, now he’s given up and called where she works in Vancouver which tells him almost everything he needs to know.
Terri’s been staying at a safehouse/women’s shelter under lock and key and CCTV. Those places are usually hidden.
*Tangent: I was once taken to a hidden woman’s shelter, you can imagine my surprise at finding out it was the place where I first, erm, became a woman.
The cops don’t really know what’s going on with the dead and mutilated biker drug dealers showing up parted out across the city, but OPD Detective Jerry Commanda (Glen Gould) has a lead nobody else does: he thinks the bikers are targeting the indigenous community specifically and he wants to know why.
He asks Scott Lasalle (Kris Holden-Ried) why they’re shaking up the rez but Lasalle can see next steps and it doesn’t involve hiding his biker leader arse in the protective custody of the police. He declines to assist Jerry.
Dr. Chin (Patrick Kwok-Choon) is able to connect Toof with the murder scene of Dave Elhurst (David O’Malley) using fly DNA and okay!
Back at OPD headquarters Jerry, Alan, Delorme and Cardinal workshop what they know about the killers so far. Alan pretends not to know from Northwind, but Jerry’s heard the name. He’s a big deal on the Moose Bay reserve. Could it be a native partnership?
Alan takes a moment to apologize to Delorme for her friend and mentee Rachel Wells (Nicolette Pearse) dying, he should have pulled her out when she first asked. Or not put her into that dangerous situation.
Aside from all of this, Cardinal’s arch-nemesis from the RCMP is still doggedly pursuing him for the death of a police officer a few years previous. Malcolm Musgrave (David Richmond-Peck) believes Cardinal is on the take, he used Delorme to investigate her partner last season but he didn’t like what she came up with. He was contacted by a source named Tammy Lidstrom (Fiona Highet) who has offered information on Cardinal to get her prints removed from a kilo of coke in the evidence room.
Ahhhhhh Tammy grabs her evidence and runs, leaving behind…Cardinal. We saw him heading into a woman’s house late one night, that was a friend of his who works as an evidence clerk. She saw Malcolm steal the evidence Tammy just skittered with, everything is on tape. It’s clear almost immediately that what Cardinal wants is for Delorme’s training at the National Intelligence Service to go ahead, Malcolm had previously torpedoed her chances because he’s a total prick.
Jerry skips over to the Moose Bay reserve to talk to Chief Northwind (Billy Merasty – a bit of a legend in Canada), who is reluctant to talk at first.
Jerry pleads the case of Rachel Wells, children are dying because of this guy. Chief Northwind spills; Ray is using the surname Northwind, but he’s not one of them. He showed up and demanded that the Chief vouch for him. It wasn’t until he started mutilating animals on the reserve that the Chief capitulated.
So who is Ray really? Is he even indigenous? I didn’t even think he was initially.
Tammy goes to Cardinal’s house to leave something for him and instead finds herself having tea with Catherine, who is unnerved that Tammy knows her name. Tammy doesn’t know about Catherine’s mental health issues so she talks openly about Catherine’s accidental destruction of Cardinal’s cover and the subsequent death of a police officer.
She doesn’t notice that every bit of truth is falling on Catherine like blows.
Catherine holds it together until she’s dropped Tammy off in town.
The police find Leon pretty quickly, they put out a BOLO but he won’t be in that distinctive black truck as Ray ordered him to park it. Now we know how Kevin ended up with the much more hardcore Leon; they were in jail at the same time for dealing drugs.
Delorme got into the NIS training program, thanks Cardinal!
Actually, Delorme is an excellent detective, thanks Cardinal for taking away the handicap she had because she was protecting you protecting your wife!
Leon heads to town, Kevin takes the opportunity to sneak out in the black truck.
Delorme smokes outside (it used to be hidden! Yay for the right to kill yourself doing something stupid because it’s your CHOICE), stopping Cardinal when she sees him: did he do something to Musgrave? He doesn’t want to tell her because not only does Cardinal give great dad, he also has a wicket thick paternal streak.
He does, though, he doesn’t want her life to be hard because of his life. Catherine drives by while they’re talking outside.
So. Kevin is racing to find his sister in a truck stolen from a madman who likes to cut people’s heads off, there’s plenty of time to stop by the side of the road to smoke some drugs, right?
Kevin makes bad choices that somehow don’t come home to roost, it’s what defines him.
He inhales something untoward in broad daylight with the window rolled down then hits the road, nodding the whole way. He goes into a nice and peaceful rollover into the grassy ditch.
Terri identifies Leon in a photo lineup for Delorme and Cardinal. Kevin wakes up injured in the truck, but mostly dismayed that his drugs are gone. He walks back in the direction of Ray’s cottage instead of town.
Somehow, Leon has the address of where Terri is staying, then meets Kevin walking, covered in blood. Oh he was just out for a hike! Sure! He fell off a rock and this has nothing to do with his next urgent request for drugs. Even Leon’s not that stupid. The rock Kevin pretended he fell off is not that stupid.
Alan Clegg is getting the eff oot of town, booking a ticket to Mexico when Jerry Commanda walks in with his information about Ray Northwind. He thinks Ray is claiming indigenous status so he can deal with the Iron River rez across the border in Michigan. They’re maybe flying drugs over the border by Lake Huron.
Cardinal and Catherine haven’t seen each other since Toronto, they have the fight that was delayed by the audience of her students. He doesn’t back down this time, the signs were there and he was worried. She thanks him for trying to protect her but asks where the freedom is, for both of them?
They make up later in bed, she reminds him that this is one of the good times, even if it doesn’t feel like it. There are so few, can’t they just enjoy it? Not now, because his phone is buzzing as the police crawl all over the truck Kevin crashed into the ditch.
The truck already has yielded one important piece of information: Ray’s real surname Bedford. While Cardinal waits for confirmation of his address and particulars, they bicker over Cardinal interfering in her being shut out of the NIS.
The thing about Cardinal is that he always is sure he’s doing the right thing, even if that means making someone else’s decisions for them.
Kevin breaks into Ray’s secret shed of grunts in desperate need of drugs, he finds more than expected inside. Ray has large iron pots full of pointed sticks, blood and body parts, just as Kevin turns to run Ray enters and stabs him. “Rules, Kevin. Rules” he gently rebukes as Kevin sinks to the floor.
Someone has set a fire at the safehouse where Terri is staying, I’m betting it rhymes with Smeon. Leon grabs Terri outside the home and we’re out!
Until next time, everyone, cheers.