Cardinal’s Karine Vanasse on Why Delorme is Still Questioning Cardinal in Season 2

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Bell Media

It became quite clear during the first season of CTV’s Cardinal that Detectives John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) and Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) shared a special connection. The pair grew to trust one another and now in Season 2, airing Thursdays at 9 p.m., their partnership is in an even better state, thanks to Delorme protecting Cardinal from investigations into his past dealings. The two are also channeling all their energies into a new case involving a mysterious young woman (Alex Paxton-Beesley) with a gunshot wound to the head. Summer in Algonquin Bay, and a turn in the investigation, quickly proves that the blackflies aren’t the only ones out for blood.

In addition to the case, Delorme is also keeping busy and working out at the local boxing gym. There she starts forming a relationship with a young woman named Rachel (Nicolette Pearse), while still being pressured to dig up dirt on John. To learn more about Delorme’s Season 2 journey, The TV Junkies recently spoke with Vanasse. The Québec native gave us insight into where Delorme’s head is at this year, as well as why she’s still questioning Cardinal and their partnership at times.


The TV Junkies: Where is Lise at in Season 2 and how is her journey different this year?

Karine Vanasse: As we saw in Season 1, she loves her job and she loves to focus on her work. In regards to her journey in Season 2 and as far as Cardinal goes, there’s a level of trust that exists now. At the same time, he keeps a certain distance with her. For her, finding her place next to him is a little hard at first, and it is a little confusing for her to understand.

She’s also being asked to mentor a young girl, Rachel, while boxing, and it’s a little unnatural. As we saw in Season 1, she’s not that maternal, but it surprises her how affected she is by the idea that Rachel may be in danger. There’s an instinct that rises that’s new for Delorme to feel and that’s interesting. When she saw in Season 1 how affected Cardinal was by the case, that wasn’t really something she could understand. So she’s realizing that although you try to be professional at times, you’re also human and affected by this stuff.

TTVJ: Hearing about the relationship that is going to be explored between Lise and Rachel was one I was excited about for sure.

KV: It’s a storyline that’s not developed that much but is one that for sure makes an impact.

TTVJ: The show seems to be really adept at conveying a lot without always using a ton of dialogue.

KV: I love that! I actually love that the viewers are making those connections themselves. When fans talk to us about Delorme and Cardinal you get the feeling that they know who these characters are. They really understand them even though they may seem like they aren’t sharing a lot, if you look closely and pay attention they are saying a lot.

TTVJ: We saw Delorme choose to protect Cardinal and his wife at the end of last season. How will that affect her in Season 2, and will she still be dealing with Musgrave (David Richmond-Peck) wanting her to find dirt on John?

KV: Actually, the way Musgrave comes back is by pressuring her to tell why she’s all the sudden on Cardinal’s side. She won’t budge from that position, but he knows how to manipulate her so he says things like ‘he’ll never leave his wife for you.’ When he says that she has a reaction and doesn’t understand why he’d say that, but at the same time she starts questioning herself. Why is she protecting him and moved by this guy?

Bell Media
Bell Media

TTVJ: When I spoke to Billy, he mentioned that deep down he believes they are attracted to one another. Do you think that as well?

KV: I agree. Sometimes you have feelings that seem quite obvious to the people around you, but they aren’t known to yourself. It can take awhile sometimes to realize and allow yourself to see what’s really happening.

TTVJ: In the premiere, Sergeant Dyson (Kristen Thomson) has decided to submit Delorme’s name for NIS training. What would getting that position mean to Lise, and is it something she wants?

KV: She has this feeling that Cardinal is keeping this weird distance between them so it makes sense for Lise to go after the next job. Since Season 1 we’ve seen that she has ambitions and she is driven, but at the same time she’s found a really good partner that she can relate to. He does his job in the way she wishes she’ll do it in the future. There’s things that really satisfy her in their collaboration, but at the same time there’s all this mystery surrounding them. ‘Is he sharing all the information he has? Is he being fully open and honest?’ She feels like she has to pull some truth and emotion out of him that can be confusing to her. So that leads her to ask for the promotion.

TTVJ: We see Lise at the boxing gym a lot in Season 2. Had you ever boxed before and was that something you had to do a lot of training for?

KV: Oh yea, I had never boxed before. I trained and I quite enjoyed it. I only did it for the show! It made sense for Delorme. She’s in good shape and boxing made sense because I can’t really picture Delorme doing yoga. [laughs]

TTVJ: What was it like getting new faces and characters in Season 2, such as Rachel and Red, and working with those actresses?

KV: It was great working with them, but it was also great to see their scenes in the final edit. There are so many scenes I didn’t see because I wasn’t part of them when they were shot. So it’s great to be on a show when you’re surprised by the final result. They bring a lot to this new season. It was a great mix of new and more well known actors. I feel like they all have something interesting to play which makes a difference.


What do you think of Cardinal so far this season? Add your thoughts below!

Cardinal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CTV. Season 1 is available on Crave TV and Hulu.