So we’re in some weird, weird shite on Cardinal in our third season which is…about par for the course for Cardinal, yes? We’ve only now added Tom Jackson, are you excited? I AM SO EXCITED. Let’s roll into my Cardinal S3:E03 Jack recap after the break!
Okay, our main guy, Detective John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) has been receiving really horrible, emotionally taxing notes accusing him of being responsible for his wife’s death. He thinks this person was responsible for her death as well. (He’s not wrong if memory serves from the books. Did you know the TV show is based on the “Cardinal” book series from Giles Blunt? This is the “By The Time You Read This” season. Very much recommend the series, but they’re dark.)
He’s been investigating that behind the back of his partner, Detective Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse), who is mostly wrapped up in the double murder of a couple on Island Road. The man and woman were killed by a male teenager who seems…to be working under his mother’s supervision. Here is Sharlene “Mama” Winston (Rya Kihlstedt) introducing herself to homeowner Lloyd Kreeger (Tom Jackson).
The murder of the couple was witnessed by another teenager, Sam Duchene (Devery Jacobs), who was in the supposed-to-be-vacant house having sex with her married lover Randall Wishart (Aaron Ashmore) who’s also much older. The whole “married” bit is why Sam didn’t go to the police, Randall was all ix-nay on the itness-way, Sam! She was finally calling it in as we left off.
Also: Lise is investigating a series of ATM robberies and her and Cardinal’s boss Sergeant Noelle Dyson (Kristen Thomson) is cracking up after the loss of her sister and after witnessing the suicide of a very young man.
We open with Lloyd waking up handcuffed inside a bathtub, huh. I wonder why they didn’t just kill him as they did Henry Sizemore (Gregory “Dominic” Odjig).
Downstairs, Mama is angrily watching the news with (presumably) her son Jack (Alex Ozerov) who killed Roman (Drew Zeran) and Irena Barstow (Marlaina Andre) at the house on Island Road. She’s angry because he killed them before he got weapons from them, it’s set them back and now Northhaven will take longer.
Let me take that back, I hope Jack isn’t her son because there is some inappropriate touching before she whips his back with a leather belt.
Across Algonquin Bay, Kelly Cardinal (Alanna Bale) has come home from Toronto for Thanksgiving, which her dad John completely forgot about. She’s not happy that he’s got her mother’s suicide note and personal effects out with all the cold cases he’s been poring over. He hasn’t told her that he’s investigating Catherine Cardinal’s (Deborah Hay) death as a murder.
Cardinal meets his partner Lise Delorme at work, I think she’s covering for their boss Noelle for now so she’s got a lot of balls in the air. These two have really evolved from season one. It brings me a particular fierce joy when I see Lise smoking, her ex-husband had a rule about that. Cardinal’s not such a fan.
Cardinal and Delorme review what they know about the Island Road double murder, they are pretty sure the eyewitness to the shooting was there to have sex with Randall Wishart, who is a terrible liar for a philandering married man.
Said eyewitness is tired of trying to get Randall on the phone and has come to his realty office, but Randall brushes Sam off and her worries of the killer phoning her and following her home. He…is such a jerk. Such a jerk. He leaves her standing alone outside with nothing but empty promises to help her.
There are two other members to Mama’s gang, Lemur (Nick Serino) and Nikki (Sophia Lauchlin Hirt), the latter of whom was picked up off the street as an underage prostitute. Lemur is in love with her, but Jack wants her to prove that she can be useful.
Mama directs Lemur to not knock over any more ATMs for now, he’s sent outside with Nikki to teach her to forage and fight. Nikki’s not crazy about the idea of hunting, but Mama’s fully invested in her warriors being self-sufficient.
Ah so Mama isn’t the mother of any of the motley crew, it’s an honourary title bestowed by the kids whose life she saved. Lemur is definitely in love with Nikki, she is unsure. Jack may be in love with eyewitness Sam, he’s gotten very attached to her artwork.
Randall is picked up by Cardinal and Delorme, who have a decent amount of evidence showing he was there messing with someone, but not enough that he could be held as a material witness. Delorme appeals to his better side: they don’t care who he sleeps with, but they need to find the woman who was there to help protect her. He declines to assist them.
Luckily for Cardinal and Delorme, Sam’s called-in tip has come to their knowledge. She doesn’t identify herself or Randall, but they don’t have any problem figuring out what it’s about.
Sam identified the killer as a white man, which brought Delorme and Cardinal’s ears up. Why identify the race unless it differentiated from her own? Ahhhh sorry, I missed that Sam is indigenous, which means that you all missed the opportunity to hear my (most likely) misguided opinions on how indigenous people are treated in Canada. Specifically: women. That makes me especially sad that Randall is messing with not just a teenager, but an indigenous one with one millionth of the power he has. It’s difficult to quantify that numerically, so let’s do a quick head count of how many white realtor/wealthy former NHL players would switch places with a female indigenous teenager living on a reserve. We could also do an average lifespan comparison, but you all know where that would shake out.
Delorme and Cardinal head to the local art gallery to see if there’s a connection between Randall, the indigenous art at his office, and any indigenous women kicking about and hit a lucky break. Cardinal is angry when he has condolences aggressively pushed upon him by gallery owner Marla Truscott (Erin Noble).
Lloyd has been shouting from his echo-y bathtub so Mama has to go in and quiet him down. It seems Lloyd is quite a bigwig in his fancy cabin, but she’s not interested in his money.
Which is…what?? Tell us, Mama!
While Cardinal is supposed to be working the Island Road case, he’s out hassling people he put in jail instead, insisting that Neil Codwallader (Milton Barnes) print off the offensive card notes on every printer in his office. He was unnecessarily intimidating this ex-con and that’s shitty of Cardinal.
This looks really shocking given the situation in the United States with the police and people of colour. And it’s not like Canada doesn’t have a similar problem with systemic racism.
Since Cardinal’s busy harassing a dude who’s already paid his debt to society, it’s left to Detective McLeod (James Downing) to investigate the indigenous cook who served fusion cuisine to Randall Wishart at the local art gallery.
Sam has zero poker face, nada. Even McLeod can see she clearly at least knows of Randall and his wife Laura Carnwright (Genelle Williams).
Okay, decision time for me. Mama has given Lloyd a cup of tea but is fingering some large fishing lures and I cannot watch someone be tortured with a fishhook. Someone very dear to me was injured in a lifechanging way with one and nope: not watching. Not even listening because I have an amazing imagination that can be a help and a hindrance. So I skipped ahead and I’ll just have to figure it out!
Jack confronts Sam in the dark as she walks home, she saw nothing, she knows nothing! She leads him right to her home, where she finds a crossbow and shoots him in the…something. Again: didn’t watch. It sounded squishy.
Detective Ash Kular (Zack Smadu) is waiting in the rain by the ATM that keeps getting robbed when Delorme pulls up, another man is there too, crying alone in his car. He’s the father of the kid who was mugged there last time, he was shot in the head and hasn’t regained consciousness.
Delorme approaches the man, who is now standing closer, watching the ATM closely. He’s armed with a knife and is fixated only on the negative aspects of his son’s condition, so Ash pegging him as a vigilante isn’t far off the mark.
I messed up where the dad Marcus Glover (Michael Cram) was standing, etc, but you get the point. Delorme offers to drive him home.
Oh. And I messed up in saying that Sergeant Noelle Dyson is off on stress leave, she’s in the office and wants to know what the Sam Hill Cardinal is doing harassing Neil Codwallader. AND investigating his wife’s death that has been officially ruled a suicide AND not telling his partner.
Dyson pulls Delorme in, they need to get this under control because if he continues to go off the rails, every case he’s handled could be in jeopardy.
Cardinal interrupts by walking back in to say they found the girl who called in AND the murderer.
OH. But it’s not Jack! Sam was being chased by Randall’s stupid friend Troy Campbell (Josh Cruddas), trying to intimidate her into not speaking to the police. Troy is all done covering for his buddy and he wants Sam locked up for assault.
*I don’t think I’ve mentioned Lise Delorme’s cultural background before, but she’s French Canadian and every once in awhile she swears under her breath and it takes me back to my childhood and all my French Canadian friends. This time it was “tabernac” hissed quietly at Troy and it was glorious.
Sam’s mother Wendy Duchene (Jennifer Podemski) is surprised to hear they won’t be charging her daughter for the crossbow incident.
Lise takes Sam aside to explain who she shot and why he was there trying to intimidate her as Cardinal arrests Randall at a big fancy event in front of his wife.
See, all he had to do was give them Sam’s name instead of concocting this harebrained scheme and maybe he could have continued to quietly cheat on his partner for years to come.
Jack’s poring through Sam’s phone to watch videos of her is interrupted by a family meeting around a campfire. Mama tells them why she chose the three of her “kiddos”, they’ve seen the worst of people and come out the other side.
*Like, no offense, but I think Jack might need some kind of actual treatment.
It sounds like Mama is an OG doomsday prepper, she plans to ride out the upcoming certain nuclear war in a bunker fashioned out of a haunted mine, that’s why they need the weapons from Roman and Irena so badly.
What’s stronger than anything? Family. What will they kill for? Die for? Family. We’re out.