This is it! The last episode of the second season of Cardinal, are you ready to find out how they will (surely gruesomely) wrap this sucker up? Me too! Rolling into Cardinal S2:E06 El Brujo recap after the break.
We left things in the middle of a major move, gang member muscle Leon (Daniel Petronijevic) has just snatched redheaded Terri Tait (Alex Paxton-Beesley) from not-very-protective custody, she doesn’t know that Northwind gang leader Ray Bedford (Bruce Ramsay) has already killed her brother Kevin (Jonathan Keltz).
It’s very complicated.
Lead detective John Cardinal (Billy Campbell who has aged like fine wine) is on the scene of her abduction with partner Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse). They review CCTV footage of the fire with house lead Piper (Natalia Payne), there’s Leon wandering around with flammable materials.
Cardinal wonders how Leon could have known Terri was at this secure location, only the other women knew, and their team.
Ontario Police Detective Alan Clegg (Kevin Hanchard from Orphan Black!!) knew and is in Ray’s pocket, I’m sure Cardinal will make that connection shortly. Alan didn’t know, but he is close friend with disgruntled detective McLeod (James Downing), who is part of the team. Sergeant Noelle Dyson (Kristen Thomsen) isn’t letting anyone out of their team meeting until they figure it out. Detective Ash Kular (Zack Smadu) and Constable Derek Fox (Eric Hicks) stare at their fingers.
Oh. My bad. That’s what I get for assuming. Kevin isn’t dead yet, he’s just been in a recent truck roll-over, stabbed, and hanging by his hands to get ready for ritual sacrifice on the date of the new moon: tomorrow. Ray is much more interested in killing Kevin’s sister Terri at that time, he had Leon shoot her before and she survived. The spirit world knows not of defective bullets, so he thinks Terri would be a powerful spirit for him to control in the afterlife by mutilating her body. Maybe Kevin is backup, controlling spirits takes a lot of fresh blood in iron pots full of body parts and sharpened sticks. Do NOT try this at home.
I’ll tell you who else likes iron pots full of blood, body parts and sharpened sticks: flies and they’re what led detectives to connect a bunch of recent attacks/murders in the area. Ray stirs his pots and remonstrates with Kevin for not making better choices.
He only had three rules, Kevin.
Ray watched his mother fight her addiction, it tore her apart. Ray’s mutated that into the idea that he needs to tear Kevin apart.
I guess I misunderstood how that team meeting went down, everyone is out free and clear in the police station to continue investigating and not enduring some kind of torturous mole-hunt involving never-ending rounds of Two Truths And A Lie. Detective McLeod’s found a previous murder with Ray’s signature all over it. He also went to elementary school with the victim Aaron Osbourne, what?
Who stays in touch with grade school friends long enough that they’re of the age where you can dismember and mutilate them horribly? Honestly.
Ray has a sealed juvenile record (I just bet) and a former social worker on the way to the police station, perhaps Sandra Mason (Nancy Palk) can shed some light.
Meanwhile, OPD detective Alan Clegg’s gone running to Ray to convince him to let Terri go, Ray’s gotta get out of town! Ray correctly susses that Alan had ulterior motives for accepting bribes from him, but he has no intention of going anywhere.
Alan runs the anti-biker part of the OPD, he was hoping Ray would take out the local biker gang the Northern Raiders, then he could take out Ray and all would be awesome for him. Instead, Ray did indeed take over the drug trade from the bikers but he has no intention of letting go of his pet OPD detective OR going down for anything. He makes a not very subtle threat against Alan’s young daughter then gets down to business. Who’s after him?
Alan waits approximately 4 seconds before giving Ray Cardinal’s name. Ten Canadian Tire dollars says he goes to Cardinal’s house and Cardinal’s wife Catherine (Deborah Hay) pays the price.
Ray’s former social worker does have information about Ray, Sandra also has a permanent scar where he hit her with a fireplace poker. She didn’t report it, but she didn’t forget it or anything about Ray either. Very intelligent, not indigenous as he’s claiming and with a fascination for vivisection. A lot of local animals disappeared before he left for Florida.
As for history with the victim found in the system, Aaron Osbourne went to school with Ray, who bashed him in the face with a shovel for calling his mom a “biker slut.” Ohh. So now we know Ray taking on a biker gang wasn’t motivated solely by financial reasons.
I mentioned Catherine, Cardinal’s wife above, now we meet her talking to her psychiatrist Dr. Fredrick Bell (Stephen Ouimette). This is the second season of Cardinal, in the first we learned that years ago Catherine had inadvertently blown the cover of an undercover police officer while in the manic phase of her illness. She has bipolar disorder, managed with therapy and medication but not always under control. In the first season, Cardinal was being investigated for this breach of cover, someone at the RCMP thought Cardinal was on the take and that’s how the cop was killed. Cardinal’s partner Delorme was investigating him even as they worked together, she’s the one who figured out what really happened.
Catherine just found this all out yesterday, and it’s left her reeling. She had no idea.
See, Cardinal likes to protect everyone and while that’s a super awesome instinct, it can also be viewed as controlling/patriarchal/putting someone on a pedestal, you dig? He’s been helping out Delorme similarly, she’s not happy about it and I kind of love that we’re seeing such things play out. Most shows don’t look into the complexity that is the stew of modern male behaviour. Used to be, you could just do everything and the little lady didn’t need to worry her pretty head about it! But you alone carried the crushing responsibility for knowing what the right thing was all the time, AND doing it, so, complex. Societal roles are no picnic for anyone, although some come with loads more privilege.
Detective Jerry Commanda (Glenn Gould) pops in to see Alan Clegg at the OPD, he talked to the DEA in Michigan about the biker gang/drug distribution, which he was surprised to find that Alan had not. Being that is Alan’s job and all. He’s got his ears up, anyway.
Kevin wakes up when Leon comes into the torture shack with Kevin’s sister Terri, pleading for his life. Leon took a knife in the hand from Ray for a transgression, he’s not willing to listen to any garbage from his ungrateful recruit. He gave you a chance, Kevin!
Some information from Miami, Detective Maria Gonzales (Tara Nicodemo) has been dealing with a slew of similar murders on her turf, committed by someone they called El Brujo, or The Witch. The murders stopped in 2016, presumably when Ray left the area to return to Toronto to murder childhood acquaintance Aaron Osbourne. Maria doesn’t remember the name Ray Bedford, but they did recover DNA at one of the scenes and that can be compared if/when they snag Ray.
Cardinal’s flipping through a sketchbook as he and Delorme talk to the Miami detective; stopping at a pencil sketch of a bird. He’s seen that before. He calls Catherine as she took a picture of a small rotting wooden eagle, she’s in the woods pretending she’s fine, FINE!
She is not fine.
But she is able to calm herself enough to tell him and Delorme where she took the picture, or at least an idea of where. She was lost.
Their phone call ends on an unusual note; she directs him to do what he has to do.
Since it’s OPD territory, Cardinal and Delorme separate to work with Alan and Jerry, they’ll cover more ground that way.
Kevin comes to again to see Terri on the floor, he whimpers when Ray enters, what have they done to her? She’s been drugged, Ray is fixated on how powerful she’ll be on the other side and hangs her up by her hands next to her brother.
You know. Their former associate Toof (Brock Morgan) also took two bullets to the head before Leon beat him to death with a golf club, I think it’s the bullets, Ray.
Alan is having a crisis of conscience, or really: he doesn’t know what to do. He’s been chasing the Northern Raiders and their leader Scott Lasalle (Kris Holden-Ried) for so long that he must have thought anything would be better. Except now he has a homicidal shaman on his heels watching his daughter ride her bike and he doesn’t know how to deal.
Lasalle warily serves Alan alcohol in his empty (and shockingly clean) bar, Alan leaves him the geographical coordinates of Ray’s Northwind gang as a tip.
I guess he figures when he’s in this deep, may as well wash everything clean with a bloodbath?
Terri was suffering from amnesia when we met her, it was brought on by Leon shooting her in the head. She wakes up in the hunting lodge in the present and remembers everything fully, seeing the inside of the torture shack with its pots of bones, blood and sticks and running for her life.
She’s furious and incredulous when she looks over at her brother; how could he just leave her with those guys? Has she ever left him? He tells her: just let me die. She starts working on saving her own bum.
Cardinal has teamed up with Alan to start searching the area where Catherine took the photo of the eagle carving, Alan gets stung by a wasp while they’re driving. He’s allergic, so it’s kind of a big deal but not super allergic so he directs Cardinal to his glovebox, then has to pull over to find his first aid kit.
Alan uses Cardinal looking in the trunk as an opportunity to steal his phone and next places it on the ground next to a tire so it’s destroyed and Cardinal is without a communication device.
Wow, is he delivering Cardinal to Ray? That’s pretty stupid, it’s not like the investigation stops because the suspect murdered a detective, they tend to ramp right up when that shite happens.
Terri manages to wiggle herself free, Kevin doesn’t even help! She has to beg him to help her this one time and they get free just in time for Leon to walk in. Terri stabs him in the face with a sharpened stick, but Leon’s a pretty big guy, that doesn’t slow him down for long.
*watching through fingers vignette*
Leon starts to strangle Terri but Ray stops him before she dies; he needs to wring all their suffering out of them. Terri is hung up again, Kevin is placed on the table with small animal bones distributed across his body.
Ray commiserates with Terri: some people can’t be helped, no matter how much you try.
McLeod finally caves and tells his boss that he talked to Alan about the safehouse, too bad they couldn’t text Cardinal and tell him he’s riding with suspect.
Just at that time, Cardinal spots one of Catherine’s landmarks and reaches for his phone to check. Seeing it’s gone, he looks at Alan, who pulls his gun.
Delorme and Commanda are traveling together, they get the news and try calling Cardinal to no avail. I guess we’re doing this!
Alan brings Cardinal to Ray, our detective pffts at Ray’s mysticism, he’s just another murderer. A murderer who’s done his homework, he asks who will take care of Kelly (Cardinal and Catherone’s daughter), or Catherine if Cardinal dies? Cardinal is creeped the eff oot but rallies to scoff: so he paid for some information. Big deal.
Ray doesn’t like that any more than he liked having his quotes correctly attributed, he shoves Cardinal and directs Alan to kill him. When Alan hesitates, Ray slashes him across the neck and Cardinal rushes Ray from the side.
I’m not sure exaaactly what happens next because: fingers, but after a short skirmish, Cardinal pushes Ray out the window and the Calvary arrives. Alan is bleeding heavily from the neck but is able to warn Cardinal: the bikers are coming.
The police break into teams, Cardinal and Delorme end up in the torture hut finding only Kevin who is somehow: still alive.
Ray has taken Terri, Delorme is waiting when Leon bursts in to grab Kevin. She takes him down but he is very big and she is not.
Cardinal finds Ray and Terri in the dark, shooting at Ray so he lets go of Terri. Ray attacks Cardinal with an oar by the lake, Cardinal loses his gun in the murky water.
*splashy noises*splashy noises* grunting*splashing…quiet. *peek*
Ray tries to drown Cardinal, which wasn’t a great idea because that’s where the gun fell. Cardinal shoots Ray in the shoulder as Delorme runs up and the bikers arrive.
Sergeant Noelle Dyson waits on the road as Lasalle and his whole crew ride up, will she and the small Algonquin Bay police force be able to hold off an enraged biker gang?
She walks unafraid among the motorcycles, shouting “get off your bikes!” and they do! They hand over their cell phones when she asks for those too! We know this is OPD territory, maybe that’s why there was enough manpower to face down Lasalle et al.
So, erm, good job Alan? Hope that neck wound heals?
Cardinal needs to get home, Delorme gives him her car keys and phone. He calls and leaves a message for Catherine: he’s done and he’s heading home.
He gets home to an empty house and a note that Catherine is shooting birds but it’s like super late out. He drives the quiet streets looking for her until he spots the lights.
Catherine has killed herself by jumping off a ledge.
We’re out as Delorme watches a devastated Cardinal stare at his lost wife.
Ah. That’s just awful. That’s a terrible end to a season, even if I can’t honestly say it was unexpected. They practically drew us a map to her suicide, it’s just difficult to see. Cardinal tried to protect her, and save the world too, he was just too late to save her. But then, he always was.
Until next time, which will be for season 3, cheers.