TL;DR – We, unfortunately, continue to flounder with narrative choices that make you go, ‘Wait, what?’.
Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this series.
Citadel Review –
We must ask some questions as we continue down this world of spies, betrayal, and baffling narrative choices. Because in between all the debris that is the narrative, there are hints of a good show. But the wreckage is starting to pile up.
So to set the scene, after discovering that Manticore has taken captive Carter Spence (Osy Ikhile). Nadia (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) and Mason (Richard Madden) head out to a black site in Morocco to try and rescue him. This, of course, does not go to plan because Carter is a broken man and possibly already compromised, but he might also know who brought Citadel down from within. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
Before we start unpacking this episode’s narrative choices, I did want to look at those moments that did work. To begin with, Nadia, Mason, and Celeste (Ashleigh Cummings) have some excellent banter which was a delight to watch in its briefness. This is added to by the opening assault on the black site, which might have been one of the more decisive action scenes in the show so far. They get their action right, with the gunplay and closer knife work having the weight it needs. Also, at least the henchmen call out for the alarm when under attack. But, oddly, they go out of their way twice to ensure that Mason does not kill any of the female guards when Nadia does not seem too limited in this way.
However, this episode cannot escape the narrative hole they have written themselves into. There is a lot of coincidence that an audience can put aside to keep the narrative flowing. However, there comes a point when even the suspension of disbelief starts to break down. That Mason’s civilian wife was also a tier-one agent that was backstopped, and they just happened to find each other. When you are amid a spy outing, the second your audience goes, “Wait, what?’ you have a significant problem on your hands.
Structurally, the main bulk of this episode is taken up with the flashback to the undercover mission in Amsterdam and how it all falls apart. I am sorry, I did not care once about any development. Instead of taking me for a ride, the narrative become bogged down and practically floundered. Part of that is because they desire to obfuscate who the real mole is. They cast everyone with the suspicious tar brush. This makes every character unlikable and loses any hooks that the audience can latch on to.
In the end, do we recommend Citadel: Tell Her Everything? No, unfortunately, we don’t. Honestly, I am starting to feel really bad for all involved here because there are plans for a big multifaceted world, with entries from India, Italy, and more. That sounds like an excellent idea that can only happen in the modern streaming era. However, the plan is built on a cracked foundation that is becoming more precarious the further we get into it.
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.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Citadel
Directed by – Newton Thomas Sigel & Jessica Yu
Written by – Josh Appelbaum, 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 and Nikki Amuka-Bird, Mo Chara & Mike Capozzola
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