Halfway into Citadel, we have not yet arrived at the series' halfway point.
Last Updated: 07.29 AM, May 05, 2023
As Kyle (Richard Madden) and Nadia (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) arrive at a decommissioned safehouse, fragments of their shared history begin to emerge. They soon learn that a former ally who could be instrumental in defeating Manticore is being held in a Moroccan prison. They need to get in touch with a local crime boss to help rescue him. However, as long-buried secrets are revealed, they cannot complete their mission.
In the pilot episode, The Human Enigma, top spies Mason Kane (Richard Madden) and Nadia Sinh (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) of the autonomous intelligence agency Citadel have a disastrous run-in with the new criminal gang Manticore. At this point, eight years later, Kyle Conroy (Madden), once known as Mason Kane, leads a secluded life. Until an old coworker of his enlists his aid to thwart the plans of a now-powerful Manticore to establish a new global order.
In the second episode, Spies Appear in Night Time, to prevent Manticore from obtaining the Citadel X Case, Kyle and Bernard (Stanley Tucci) travel to New York City to steal it. As the story progresses, Kyle discovers that a person from his past is still alive and is willing to do anything to track them down.
The third episode is titled Infinite Shadows, which serves as a metaphor for the several identities of Mason and Nadia as spies. The episodes start with Dahlia Archer (Lesley Manville) pleasingly torturing Bernard after capturing him in a car chase. On the other hand, Kyle and Nadia head to a safe house, where she helps him tend to his injuries. This takes them back to when they first met for the first time when sparks flew along with explosives.
In no time, both are seen kicking off an intimate relationship and then asking if they can trust each other. Well, even I have the same question: can I trust this show after a dull episode? The 43-minute-long episode has three blocks with prolonged sequences where little information is given but too much is spoken. Even when Tucci comes on screen with his sarcastic tones, your eyes and ears might be alert, but your brain is stuck then and there trying to figure out what in the name of Citadel is happening here.
There's no fun in knowing how both eras were before their memories got wiped off, and getting them back is helping to take the storyline forward. After watching the third episode, I have come to the realisation that the first two episodes, although not so great, turned out to be quite deceptive, so to speak. Why do you ask? Well, the expectations had to be lowered knowing that nothing but empty vessels were being dropped in the name of the expensive show.
Even when it comes to performances, the first impression that Priyanka created in the first two episodes fails to continue its streak in the third one. There are just fewer of her sequences, and even Richard's in the third episode, to even make an impact. It's a Stanley Tucci show, but the actor deserves better than the predictable dialogues, like, "Why don't you f*** off!"
Moreover, ending the episode on a cliffhanger to create an intriguing plot might have shock value, just like how the lead characters have trust issues with each other.
We are halfway through Citadel but have still not reached half of the destination of the series.