Things are wrapping up in the last episode of Cardinal season 3, will we find out the truth about Catherine’s death and what the Sam Hill is going on with the “family” from hell? Let’s find out after the break in my recap of Cardinal S3:E06 Helen.
As far as Catherine Cardinal’s (Deborah Hay) death is concerned, her husband Detective John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) has directed his focus at Catherine’s psychiatrist, one Dr. Fredrick Bell (Stephen Ouimette) who has been connected to nine separate suicides in Algonquin Bay over the last 2 years. Dr. Bell had Catherine write a suicide note, something that would absolutely not be normal procedure. John doesn’t have any concrete evidence of wrongdoing yet, but he has the scent in his nose.
Our other storyline is the ragtag family led by Sharlene ‘Mama’ Winston (Rya Kihlstedt) toward an apocalyptic end of times battle against all of humanity (I…think). Her main enforcer is Jack (Alex Ozerov) and teenaged Nikki (Sophia Lauchlin Hirt) is along for the ride. We lost another ‘brother’ named Lemur along the way.
Cardinal and Detective Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) have been looking into Mama’s past, it seems her identity might be less confusing than previously thought. She is likely Amy Scriber, long presumed dead along with her parents who went missing on Island Road years before. We first met this gang when Jack killed a couple of arms dealers in an empty house on Island Road then sunk them in their boat in the middle of the lake. Cardinal and Delorme are guessing that’s what happened to Amy Scriber’s parents too.
Detective Gerry Commanda (Glenn Gould) of the OPP leads the team of divers using sonar on Black Lake in an effort to find the long-missing elder Scribers. This is an unwelcome sight for Mama, who has been hiding her family at Lloyd Kreeger (Tom Jackson)’s house on Black Lake. They’ve been holding him captive until they can get him to fly them up north with all their weapons.
Mama isn’t one to run from a challenge.
Delorme has been researching Dr. Bell for Cardinal, she finds out that he has been moving around quite a bit, from Toronto to cities of decreasing size. He had been sued several times by families of patients who had committed suicide, but proving psychiatric malpractice is difficult. They can’t open another investigation based on what Cardinal and Delorme have found yet, either.
A surprise is waiting for Cardinal at the station, Dr. Bell’s wife Helen Bell (Susan Coyne) has stopped by with videotapes of Catherine’s sessions with Dr. Bell.
Cardinal watches in aching sorrow as he learns of his wife’s thoughts before her death, she had just found out that she was accidentally responsible for the death of a police officer and that Cardinal had been paying someone off to suppress that information. He didn’t know she knew any of that, his grief is palpable until Catherine explains what her plan is for photography that very night.
Cardinal shows the video to Delorme, there’s more where Catherine indirectly threatens Dr. Bell and says she doesn’t want to see him any more. Delorme still isn’t sure this is showing what Cardinal wants to see, that Catherine didn’t kill herself.
Cardinal and Delorme take another of Dr. Bell’s patient videos to their boss Sergeant Noelle Dyson (Kristen Thomson) who witnessed the suicide of the patient in the video: Perry Dorn (Munro Chambers). In the video Dr. Bell is heard taunting Perry into following through on committing suicide, Noelle keeps flashing back to trying to save Perry’s life in the laundromat. The coercion is clear, but everyone in the room knows how difficult it would be to prosecute Dr. Bell for inciting suicide since he never uses direct commands.
Delorme carefully introduces the information that Dr. Bell knew where Catherine was on the night of her death. Noelle knows this will have to be handled with kid gloves so Cardinal will be kept out of any questioning of the doctor. She throws him one bone; she’s reopening the investigation into Catherine’s death.
John stares at a picture of Catherine on her last day alive, first with sadness then with dawning comprehension. Catherine always carried TWO cameras. The digital camera was not returned to him.
Out on Black Lake, the police have found something buried deep and Mama is locking down Lloyd’s house. She’s ordered guns by every window, unaware that no police officer out there has any idea they’re looking for them specifically. Lloyd has been working on building a rapport with the youngest member of the gang; Nikki will have trouble killing him even if ordered to by her adoptive mother.
Let me take that back, the police and everyone are very much looking for Mama and her gang, they just don’t know they’re in plain sight watching them. The Scribers are recovered in their boat, proving the prevailing theory.
Dr. Bell is having angry words with his wife (which is a refreshing departure from the book) when the police arrive to take him in for questioning. Noelle works through her own issues with Perry Dorn’s ex-girlfriend Margaret (Jessica Rose) who has also been blaming herself for Perry’s death.
Constable Derek Fox (Eric Hicks) and Detective McLeod (James Downing) sort through electronic waste found at the scene of Catherine’s death, they find a memory card of a type often used in digital cameras.
Mama has come up with another cockamamie plan; they’re going to take a cop hostage. For whatever reason, this means Nikki must now hit Lloyd with a gun hard enough to draw blood. Erm. How is that connected?
I’m not watching anyone hit national treasure Tom Jackson, thanks.
Mama and her gang get the drop on Delorme and Cardinal, this will be extra dangerous since Mama had previously ordered Jack to kill Delorme because she thinks Delorme killed former ‘brother’ Lemur. (Actually Jack killed Lemur but Mama’s pretending she doesn’t know that. She knows what she has in Jack.)
Mama confirms Delorme’s identity then shoots her in the thigh. Ooh that’s not good, you can bleed out from that in no time.
(I have my TV doctorate)
Gerry Commanda and another officer approach the residence, spotting the suspect vehicle but unable to call it in before Gerry’s backup is shot by Mama.
Now the game is fully afoot, we’ve got three heavily armed and trained murderers (okay, one is a teenage runaway) with two hostages about to take on the best that northern Ontario has to offer.
Mama sends Jack after Gerry, that was not a rational call. Why send him out from behind cover where he could be easily taken out? I have to wonder if she’s divesting herself of him.
Nikki did hit Lloyd in his beautiful nose again. I respect and appreciate that they didn’t show that.
Gerry gets the drop on Jack in the woods, I hope he had time to call in the location but I’m guessing not.
Lloyd advises Mama that not everyone can fit on the plane full of weapons, so she orders Nikki to choose one of the hostages to shoot. Everyone starts talking to Nikki at once, will she be able to do as she’s told?
Nikki can’t make that choice, she throws away her gun so Mama shoots her. Now there’s room for everyone on the plane, which…does not include Jack. Hm.
Gerry and Jack’s standoff continues in the woods, Gerry has Jack in position for handcuffing when a bear trap snaps onto his foot and the table turns. Back at the house it goes the same way with Lloyd sneaking up on Mama and clocking her with a stick so Delorme can jump on her. Cardinal has to shoot Mama when she refuses to yield, just as Gerry shoots Jack from the ground.
Lloyd is surprisingly protective of Nikki, who managed to survive a bullet to the chest.
Back to Dr. Bell, whom Noelle is interviewing. Cardinal is watching the interview when McLeod draws him aside insistently. The SD card they found at the scene was from Catherine’s camera, on it is a picture of Dr. Bell on the roof where Catherine fell from.
Noelle gets a text during the interview and leaves, to be replaced by John Cardinal, who was supposed to be far away, right? He even sends Constable Fox packing, none of this is police procedure. Cardinal wordlessly presents Dr. Bell with a picture of himself on the roof that fateful night.
Dr. Bell tries psychological manipulation on Cardinal, calling him the most dangerous thing in the world: a broken man with power. Cardinal does not respond to the bait and Noelle walks in to arrest Dr. Bell for Catherine’s murder.
Helen gets home to a letter from a correctional facility starting with “by the time you read this” which…what? Dr. Bell sent a suicide note from a correctional facility he hasn’t yet entered? There must have been a time slip in there.
Catherine’s posthumous photography show is John saying goodbye to the wife he adored. It’s nice to see John looking at Catherine without searching her countenance for answers. Delorme shows up on crutches as Noelle leaves to care for her niece whom she inherited when her mom, Noelle’s sister, died from cancer.
Noelle asks Delorme if she’d mind covering for her as she takes some much-needed stress leave, she didn’t deal with the death of her sister and the suicide of young Perry Dorn right in front of her blew everything wide open.
John and Catherine’s daughter Kelly Cardinal (Alanna Bale) is at the show, of course, as is Sam Duchene (Devery Jacobs) who started all of this for season 3. A nice moment between Kelly and her dad.
John packs up and sends away all of Catherine’s things, communing in the woods with her memory before finally being able to let her rest.
Delorme shows up after dark to work on a case in her cast as the snow falls thick outside in the northern Ontario night. We’re out on Cardinal for another season, thanks for reading along. Cheers. An audible recap or audiocap will be up shortly.