‘Citadel’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 1 “The Human Enigma”


The first episode of the highly anticipated spy thriller Citadel has arrived! Amazon is serving up an action-packed Friday with Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas in the starring roles. Citadel follows Mason Kane and Nadia Sinh, two agents as they realize their lives are not what they seem. After the fall of a global spy network, something more sinister is rising in its place. With their memories wiped, the question remains, can Mason and Nadia regain what they need to survive?

Italian Alps

The episode opens with a mind-bending upside-down shot that clues viewers into what kind of twists and turns this series has in store. A beautiful woman in a red dress walks down the aisle on a train and as she sits, we see it is Priyanka Chopra Jones’s Nadia Sinh. We soon discover she is on a mission when she swipes a man’s wallet. Through her earpiece, we hear who she is working with and get our first view of Stanley Tucci’s character Bernard Orlick. Bernard and Nadia discuss how she needs to neutralize the uranium the mystery man carries when the clicking of a lighter can be heard. Enter the charming Richard Madden as Mason Kane, he asks in Italian if anyone is sitting in the seat next to Nadia. The two share a heated conversation with enough tension to assume they are not on friendly terms. With the language spanning from Spanish to German and Mandarin, it is quickly shown how skilled these two spies are.

Their conversation quickly turns from their past partnership and relationship to the task at hand when the mystery man rises to leave the train car. Mason moves to follow, but Nadia’s kiss saves their cover from being blown. Nadia makes the move to follow with Mason as a backup. Encountering some backup for the mystery man, Mason engages in a fight in the train’s bathroom. Nadia continues with the mission and we learn the mystery man’s name is Gregor Yovanovich, played by Lev Gorn. Their conversation begins flirty but soon turns more sinister as Nadia reveals who she works for. We hear the name Citadel for the first time as Gregor questions its true existence.

The first shock of the series comes when Gregor drops his facade and explains the uranium was all a ploy to get Nadia there so he could deliver a message. While this exchange is happening Mason is still fighting for his life, finally prevailing. Gregor reveals his true colors while showing Nadia videos of all the Citadel agents being assassinated all over the world. Showing a brand on his wrist and stating that the truth is everywhere, the train car erupts into violence and death as it is proven the whole train works for Gregor. When things look bleak for Nadia, Mason comes in and the tide turns as the two escape in a bloody rain of bullets. With the words, “Manticore will always find you,” Gregor pulls the pin on a bomb-throwing the train off the tracks.

Bellagio, Italy

We find Mason connected to medical equipment but also strapped to a bed. When the doctor enters and begins asking Mason questions it is discovered he is suffering from retrograde amnesia. This amnesia causes him to not remember the events of the train or even his own name. Things take a strange turn as the doctor tells him his name is Kyle Conroy, presenting him with his passport.

8 Years Later

This time jump finds Mason, aka Kyle, with a house and family in Oregon. News of terrorist attacks on television causes Mason to have flashbacks of the train accident. With the mission of trying to figure out who he was before his memory loss, Mason takes his therapist’s advice and does a DNA test. While he is searching for answers it seems so are the governments of the world. When Citadel fell it took all of its secrets with it, well apparently the CIA has found this treasure trove, and the governments of the world do not like that. Ambassador Archer of the British government will do whatever it takes to get this information, blackmailing, threats, or sending hitmen to do the job.

We catch up with Bernard after the time jump to find him executing Manticore agents trying to find out why Archer wants the Citadel information, called X case, so badly. The answer is a terrifying one, nuclear codes. Interrupting his interrogation is an alert of a DNA match from Mason searching for his past. A peaceful night at home for Mason’s family is thrown into chaos when Bernard shows up and kidnaps them all.


The CIA black site is infiltrated by heavily armored men finding Citadel’s X case. Ambassador Archer seems cool and in control while finding out Manticore has the case and is working on the heavily encrypted lock. Back at Bernard’s, we are introduced to his ex-wife Joe, and her wife Sandra. Mason and his wife are filled in on everything that has happened and how Bernard is doing all of this to keep them safe. Mason learns about the history of Citadel and how they have shaped world events for the better. Manticore has risen after the destruction of Citadel and is run by eight rich families that are slowly corrupting the world. Bernard gives Mason a mission to stop the agents carrying the X case before they get to New York and he will help him retrieve all his memories.

The episode ends with a surprise jump back to the train crash. We see fire and destruction covering a body of water. Suddenly Nadia bursts from the water alive!

The first two episodes of Citadel are now available to stream on Prime Video. New episodes will be released every Friday.

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