Amazon's Citadel Premiere: Grade the Russo Brothers' Action Spy Drama04/29/2023
Richard Madden is on a train, and things are not going well. No, this isn’t Bodyguard, but the start of Prime Video’s new action-packed spy drama Citadel, also starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Quantico).
Bodyguard and Game of Thrones vet Madden plays Mason Kane, while Jonas is Nadia Sinh, both of whom are spies for the secret international organization Citadel. They run into each other on a luxury train, where Nadia is in the middle of a mission that she thought was a solo one. As the two banter in different foreign languages, there’s an undercurrent of tension. Whatever romantic relationship they used to have is on the rocks.
“We were a team,” Nadia corrects Mason, while he suggests she has a habit of “just leaving.”
But back to the mission: It goes bad for the pair. Mason takes out one baddie in a bathroom brawl as Nadia tries to seduce her target Gregor. She gets a surprise when Gregor reveals that they fed false info to lure her here. He shows her footage of Citadel teams around the world being taken out. “The truth is everywhere,” he says ominously.
“We were set up,” Nadia tells Mason. Then both of them confess to lying to the other. They don’t have time to get into what that means, because Gregor announces that Manticore will always find them, before blowing up the train.
Mason wakes up in an Italian hospital with no memory of who he is or what happened. The doctor hands him the belongings they found in his pocket: a passport for an American man named Kyle and a wedding band. Eight years later, “Kyle” is living a normal life in Eugene, Oregon, with his wife (NOS4A2‘s Ashleigh Cummings) and daughter. He still occasionally has flashes of Nadia, but he doesn’t know who she is. Maybe they were married? His therapist suggests Kyle try swabbing his DNA and running it through the national databases again to see if he has any relatives.
Kyle’s search doesn’t result in any family members, but it does lead Citadel’s tech expert Bernard (Feud‘s Stanley Tucci) to Mason. Bernard is as equally adept at guns as he is at computers, so he easily kidnaps Kyle and his family. Despite his violent methods, Bernard just wants to tell Kyle who he really is by showing him video of Mason. Bernard also gives him a history lesson about Citadel, which was created to be loyal to all men rather than one country, and the unknown agent who doubled-crossed the organization by giving up a list of all agent names.
Manticore, meanwhile, was founded by the world’s eight wealthiest families to manipulate world events and amass wealth and power. Their intermediary Dahlia (The Crown‘s Lesley Manville) is after the holy grail: When Citadel fell eight years ago, it buried its secrets, including all of the world’s nuclear codes, in an x-case. Bernard wants to send Mason after the two Manticore lackeys who have stolen the x-case. In exchange, Bernard will help Mason remember who is, including his partner Nadia, whom Bernard believes is dead. Unbeknownst to him, Nadia actually woke up on the shore after that train explosion, and Episode 2 delves into what she’s been up to the last eight years, but we’re going to cap this recap at Episode 1.
What did you think of Citadel? Grade it below, then hit the comments!
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