TL;DR – Not a bad episode, but it is worrying when you can already see some handwaving happening.
Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this series.
Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.
Citadel Review –
There are many things a good story can do. One of the main functions is that you become so caught up in the narrative that you don’t see many of the contrivances that the filmmakers have to use to get us from start to finish. That suspension of disbelief is critical, especially as you move away from reality. However, if your narrative slips, so then does that shield.
So to set the scene, we saw in The Human Enigma the almost complete destruction of the Citadel spy agency in a targeted massacre worldwide. One of those places was a train driving through the Italian Alps. The Train exploded, and we found out what happened to Mason (Richard Madden) last week. This week we open with Nadia (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) dragging herself out of the lake and trying to warn everyone, but Bernard (Stanley Tucci) implements a backstop protocol instead. She escapes but collapses from her wounds, wakes up with the bullet out of her leg, and is handcuffed to a bed. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
The high watermark of the episode is, without a doubt, the opening with Nadia. It is also the most confronting sequence of the show so far, as she fights off a would-be rapist while unarmed and unarmoured. It is gritty, bloody, ugly, and deeply uncomfortable to watch. Priyanka Chopra Jonas physicality and the stunt team’s choreography are also a good synergy. Additionally, I am glad someone in one of these shows finally called out deepfakes and photoshops because that photo on the phone could have easily been photoshopped. Also, I am not sure why Stanley Tucci = Jazz, but also it felt right that Stanley Tucci = Jazz.
However, we are only the second episode in, and already you can start to see the scaffolding needed to keep everything from falling off the rails. The first significant contrivance is the backstop protocol. The backstop is not a dealbreaker; you can see why they might do it if you turn your head and squint. But it feels like a profoundly impractical solution to the scenario where your agents might be captured but might not be. Also, look, I am not a biologist, but I am not sure memories can be added back in via the bloodstream instantly.
While the backstop is just an odd hmmm, it is, unfortunately, the least of the narrative’s problems. The lead tech-guy didn’t think the case could have a locator on it? How did Mason get out of that top secret building by himself with both Silje Brothers (Roland Møller), security, and the alarm blaring? Then once the super-secret world-dominating evil spy agency knew that Mason was alive, how did he fly coach to Spain? Also, even before the ‘coming soon montage’ at the end, you already knew that give one had their memories and the other didn’t, that the core tension will be which one betrayed them all.
In the end, do we recommend Citadel: Spies Appear In Night Time? Um? Look, it is not a bad episode, and I have watched a lot worse in my time. It is just that I don’t think it is a good sign as we advance that we are already starting to peer behind the curtain to see what the wizard looks like.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you seen Citadel yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Citadel
Directed by – Newton Thomas Sigel
Written by –Bryan Oh & David Weil
Created by – Josh Appelbaum, Bryan Oh & David Weil
Production/Distribution Companies – AGBO, Midnight Radio, PKM, Picrow, Super Epic, Amazon Studios & Amazon Prime
Starring – Richard Madden, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Ashleigh Cummings, Roland Møller, Osy Ikhile, Caoilinn Springall, Lesley Manville & Stanley Tucci with Moira Kelly and Ivo Nandi, Alison Halstead & Leo Ashizawa
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