On the next new Cardinal, John still wrestles with the official determination that Catherine’s death was a suicide just as the identities of the murdered couple are revealed.
Noelle gets pulled into a random, terrible situation, and Sam pleads with Wishert to help her as she becomes increasingly concerned about her safety. We also pick up with the murderer, and discover he’s not alone.
The episode was written by Noelle Carbone and directed by Daniel “Podz” Grou, who directs all of the season, and directed all of Season 1. I recently chatted with Grou about the new season and coming home to a series he helped launch.
When Grou was initially approached to direct in Season 1, he turned a one-off offer into a full-season job after deep diving into what the show would be. “I didn’t know anything about it. They sent me the bible and [the scripts for] four episodes and that’s when I connected the first time,” he recalls.
“They were wanting to find a director who was willing to go to Sudbury in the dead of winter. I was offered to do the pilot first. I said, ‘I really like the project and the writing and if I’m doing it, I’m doing all six [episodes],’ and they said, ‘Great! We hoped that’s what you’d say.’”
Grou recognizes that landscapes have informed not just the look, but also the overall tone of each season.
With Season 3, he leaned into what fall means thematically for the characters. “The first season was all about a guy alone in white, a white landscape. This season is about fall and the colors of fall. Fall presents winter, so it’s like we were going into winter,” he explains.
“We were trying to keep that kind of melancholy and put it into the visual design. It was sort of like ‘winter in the fall’ as a mood. We tried to plan it so you feel the season moving forward, going into winter. That’s where the characters were going in their mind, in the scripts. We’re trying to use the environment to give a feeling of what they’re going through in their psychological world.”
“In Season 3 [Cardinal] is dealing with the grief of losing Catherine. That permeates the whole season, and how it affects his relationship to Delorme, his work, and his mind. That’s what we’re exploring. Going from fall to winter was essential.”
Grou says returning after a gap year – Jeff Renfroe directed Season 2 – was great because he could see the evolution of the story. “That’s what you’re looking for in a serialized drama. You’re seeing how these characters have grown or lost or shrunk and how they deal with what’s happened,” he says.
“Season 1 was about Cardinal’s relationship with Catherine and especially his relationship with caring for her. Now that she’s gone, what does that hole in his life represent? [In Season 1], he’s this guy who’s dealing with evil, but he’s caring for someone, so there’s that balance.”
“When you take that away, he’s only dealing with evil. How do you cope with that? The greatest draw [in returning] was seeing how all the characters, and actors deal with all this stuff that’s going on … their demons and their loss.”
“It was a psychologically intense season, but at the same time, there’s always a note of hope in there somewhere. That connects with people. People go through loss or through these things.”
“I think it’s nice, essential, even, to explore that in our fiction because we’re showing you are not alone in this. You’ll get over it. You can move forward from there. You can use the experience to grow or not. That’s your choice. But there’s a possibility that you may.”
Photos Courtesy of CTV