Cardinal Series Finale Preview: “John & Lise”

Cardinal Series Finale Preview: “John & Lise”

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Four years ago, when we met John Cardinal, we were invited into the world of a man haunted by the living and the dead. When we met Lise Delorme, she was a by-the-book inspector who accepted a stint in North Bay on a career trajectory that required it — and she was also secretly assigned to investigate him. They weren’t a good fit as partners, but they grew to figure out a balance. And part of that eventually became a dance of, “Will they, won’t they, should they?”

Now, as we head into the final episode, the first two questions have been answered, but the third remains.

“John & Lise,” airing Monday night on CTV, answers it in perfectly Cardinal-esque fashion while also finally running down all the leads and finally getting the whole truth from Sheila. From there, they follow Scott into the wintry woods that begat his descent into vengeance-driven madness. Unexpectedly in custody of both Taj and his daughter, Scott has had his playbook altered and we see very clearly that it knocks him off kilter a bit.

It also buys some time for Cardinal and Delorme — joined by their entire department and Commanda (who has a truly badass moment) — to catch up. Once again, Shawn Doyle’s portrayal of Scott as someone also wounded and sympathetic is disorienting because it splits our focus, or mine, anyway. While Rebecca has certainly not earned this fate, Taj kind of had it coming.

And so as we’re nervous about the safety of our detectives tearing off into the snow on the heels of a man with literally nothing left to lose, we’re also in some strange way hoping Scott will have a moment to stop what he’s doing and perhaps survive all this. The resolution of the case happens early enough in the episode that we see the aftermath, and the paths laid out for what’s next.


There are choices made, and an acceptance of the limits of expectations and change. It’s a very fitting, and for me, satisfying conclusion. It’s authentic to who these characters have been and are now. My mantra about finales is always, “Am I OK with where we leave them?” The answer here is, “Yes.”


“John & Lise” was written by Sarah Dodd and directed by Nathan Morlando.

Cardinal airs one last time Monday night at 10 pm ET on CTV. You can catch all of the previous episodes now on Crave and unlocked on All our coverage, including cast interviews, is here. Check the show’s official Twitter feed for info on a cast and crew live Tweet during the episode. Thank you for sharing the four-season journey with us at The Televixen.

Here are a couple of sneak peeks of the finale. And tonight on CTV at 7 pm ET, catch a finale special featuring behind-the-scenes interviews.

Photos and video courtesy of Bell Media

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