Cardinal’s Billy Campbell On the Detective’s Struggles in Season 3

Bell Media
Bell Media

When viewers last left Detective John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) he had just received some of the worst news of his life. He just discovered that his wife, Catherine (Deborah Hay) had committed suicide and unfortunately for him, he’s still deep in dealing with the aftermath of that when the CTV drama returns for Season 3 on Thursday at 9 p.m. Cardinal: By the Time You Read This will pick up after the events of the Season 2 finale, as Cardinal and his partner, Lise Delorme (Vanasse), return to Algonquin Bay to investigate a double murder.

While investigating the crime, Cardinal will also begin questioning whether or not Catherine actually committed suicide once he starts to receive taunting greeting cards blaming him for her death. Campbell recently shared his thoughts with The TV Junkies on the upcoming season of the drama, which has already been renewed for Season 4 and begins shooting another six-pack of episodes this month in Toronto and North Bay, Ontario. He previewed for us what Cardinal is feeling, how he’s dealing with Catherine’s death and where things go this season.


The TV Junkies: We’re picking things up here in Season 3 immediately following the events of the Season 2 finale. What does that mean for John and how is he dealing with the apparent suicide of his wife?

Billy Campbell: Not well, of course. So he throws himself back into his work. He’s basically the walking dead for a while, until he gets a sniff of something that might have to do with Catherine’s death.

TTVJ: Along with dealing with Catherine’s death, John is getting sent these anonymous notes that are taunting him. Can you preview what those are about and what he’ll do about those?

BC: Well, certainly there are plenty of people who would like to make Cardinal suffer. Folks he’s put away, maybe. This is his theory, at least, as well as Delorme’s. We’ll see if it holds up!

TTVJ: Will we see the death of John’s wife affect his relationship with his daughter at all?

BC: It’s affected all his relationships, as something like that must do. But yes, the closeness he had with Catherine has been amputated. He’ll be feeling all kinds of things and needing someone to lean on, while not wanting to burden Kelly. An impossible situation.

Bell Media
Bell Media

TTVJ: What’s John’s partnership with Delorme look like this season? Is it affected by the loss of his wife?

BC: You’d think with the one major obstacle (Catherine) to their being together gone, it’d be smooth sailing for Cardinal and Delorme, eh? But that wouldn’t be our show, would it?

TTVJ: John and Det. Dyson really seem to share a common bond this season, as they are dealing with the loss of someone very close. Will he and Noelle be able to connect and what was it like getting to explore their dynamic a little more?

BC: It’s terrific. Kristin is such a good actor, in a great part, and she’s such a joy to be around, that it’s been huge fun on every conceivable level. Dyson and Cardinal are both going through the ringer. I think it resonates.

TTVJ: What’s it like getting to work with some of the new actors added to the cast this season like Aaron Ashmore?

BC: Good fun. Aaron’s a great guy, wicked sense of humor. Wish we’d had more scenes together.

TTVJ: Is there anything else you wanted to add about this season that I may have missed?

BC: Yes, Daniel “Podz” Grou was back in the saddle as director, and he’s one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with. You’re in for a treat!


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Cardinal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.