Citadel follows two spies who lose their memories when a mission goes wrong. Years later, they are pulled back into the world they left behind. The first two episodes of the show are now streaming on Prime Video.
Episode 1 recap: The Human Enigma
On a train in the Italian Alps, Nadia Sinh, a spy for an organization called Citadel, and her partner, Mason Kane, try to stop a man named Gregor Yovanovitch, who is carrying a case full of uranium.
Just when they think they have the upper hand, Gregor reveals that his people fed false information to Citadel to lure them out. Gregor shows Nadia a mark on his wrist; he works for an organization called Manticore, which is killing Citadel spies around the world.
In the ensuing struggle, Nadia gets shot, and Gregor blows up the train compartment in an attempt to kill both Nadia and Mason. Sometime later, Mason wakes up in a hospital in Italy with no memories of his life.
He is told that he is Kyle Conroy and that a ring and a passport were found on his person. The American consulate does not find anyone related to him or any of his records, so he has no way of knowing anything about his life.
Eight years later, he is living in Eugene and has a wife named Abby as well as a daughter. He sees a therapist because he keeps having visions of a woman. The therapist advises him to run his DNA through the national database.
The last time he did that, it did not work, but this time, when he runs his DNA through the database, he is found by a fellow Citadel spy, Bernard Orlick, who is a tech genius. He is the one who guided him and Nadia on the train eight years ago.
Meanwhile, the CIA finds a case, known as the Citadel X Case, and the UK Ambassador, Dahlia Archer, threatens the secretary of state, who used to work for Manticore, to tell her where it is being kept. She then sends two brothers, Davik and Anders Sijle, to retrieve that case.
Bernard kidnaps Mason and his family. He tells Mason about his past and how Manticore destroyed Citadel. Someone double-crossed them and gave Manticore information about Citadel spies. Bernard thought he was the only one who survived the attacks on Citadel spies.
While Citadel was founded by a group of spies and friends for the safety and security of all men, Manticore was founded by eight of the wealthiest families from around the world to manipulate world events and amass wealth and power.
The Sijle brothers then get the case and try to crack it open. Bernard convinces Mason to help him steal the case from them, as it contains the codes of all the nuclear weapons in the world.
Bernard believes that Nadia is probably dead, as he did not find her after her mayday call. However, unbeknownst to him, Nadia survived the train crash.
Episode 2 recap: Spies Appear in Night Time
Eight years ago, after the train crash, Nadia contacted Bernard to tell him that Citadel has been compromised, but he tells her that he has initiated backstop. She goes looking for help, and a man finds her.
He treats her bullet wound but handcuffs her to keep her in his house. When she gains consciousness, she manages to fight and kill him. She barely gets the time to write down a message for herself on her arm before her memories are wiped clean because of the backstop.
After losing her memories, Nadia believes that she is Charlotte Vernon, a fake identity that was created by Bernard for that particular mission. She had written “Go to Valencia Asha” on her arm, and that is all that she has.
Back in the present, Mason leaves his family with Bernard’s ex-wife, Joe, but promises to return to them as soon as they get the case. He successfully steals the case with Bernard’s help, only to realize that Bernard tricked him.
Now, Manticore knows that he is alive, and they will be targeting him, so he cannot return to his family. Bernard also tells Mason that Citadel used to erase the memories of their spies if they could not be traced, but the memories are uploaded on the Citadel server via a chip placed in the spies’ temporal lobes.
Mason can get his memories back by injecting himself with a liquid stored in a vial. The vial is in the case and has Mason’s name on it. Additionally, there are other such vials with the names of different agents.
Dahlia, who is the broker for families that run Manticore, sends Davik to bring the case as well as Mason to her. Davik chases after Bernard and Mason, and he shoots Bernard while he is driving.
Bernard crashes the car, and Mason’s one and only vial gets broken. Mason manages to escape the scene with the case, which is the only device capable of tracking any Citadel agent who is alive.
With the case’s help, Mason ends up finding a Citadel spy in Valencia, who is none other than Nadia. Mason meets Nadia, who does not remember him at all but has seen him in her dreams, and tries to convince her that she used to be a spy just like him.
He gives her the vial that will help her get her memories back, but they get attacked by Davik. Initially, they cannot defend themselves against Davik, and Mason gets shot. However, when Nadia injects herself and gets her memories back, she is able to overpower him easily.
Dahlia finds out that Nadia is also alive, something that they did not discover even when they looked through Bernard’s tech eight years ago. She now plans to torture Bernard, who is still alive, to learn Citadel’s secrets.
- The show starts on an intriguing note. The audience expects the two spies to easily complete their mission, but instead, they fail because they are betrayed. This was quite unexpected and made the story interesting.
- However, the plot is not so intriguing after that. Even with two fictional organizations, it fails to create a story that would get the audience completely invested. In the end, it seems like the same old good guys versus the bad guys story.
- The action scenes in these episodes are exciting enough. In the second episode especially, the urgency felt by the characters certainly helps make the scenes more exciting.
- Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas look great together on-screen. The dynamic between two spies, one who regains their memories and one who does not, seems promising for now.
Citadel season 1 episodes 1 and 2
Newton Thomas Sigel
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