Citadel – The Human Enigma review S1 E1

Regardless how the rest of the season plays out, Citadel won’t be accused of a slow start with the kind of relentless action and charismatic characters it quickly builds plenty of goodwill.

Its opening act plays out like the prelude of a Bond film. The only thing that’s missing is insert your pop star of choice belting out some operatic theme song as the credits begin.

Richard Madden (The Bodyguard) is channeling his best James Bond as Mason Kane, a suave, multilingual superspy with a knack for brawling over fancy gadgets.

As good as Mason is at the spy game, his friendly rival/ex-partner Nadia Singh (Priyanka Chopra Jonas, The Matrix Resurrections), is just as skilled with all the femme fatale energy as any Bond Babe.

citadel the human enigma review - nadia singh

They both work for Citadel, the watchdog for the world’s spy agencies. Only they’re not bound by national interests — they’re focused on protecting the world. Naturally that brings an opposite response force called Manticore, a global organization whose members are concerned about their own interests and profits. Eliminating Citadel would go a long way towards Manticore ensuring their plans and shady dealings go unchallenged.

Mason and Nadia’s handler, Bernard Orlick (a fun Stanley Tucci, What If…?) has them all prepped for what should be a routine mission — track down an arms dealer transporting uranium aboard a train.


Madden already has his action bonafide from Game of Thrones, but Chopra Jonas more than holds her own thanks to her tenure on Quantico.

Director Newton Thomas Sigel (The Big Empty) stages an exhilarating shootout with active, but not disorienting, camera pans and creative perspectives. This is an opening sequence that certainly makes an impression and suggests blockbuster level action through Citadel’s run.

The layup mission goes sideways — literally — as the train gets derailed after an impressive action sequence. A mole within Citadel, as is the norm with most spy agencies, ratted the organization out leading to a worldwide Order 66 of most operatives. Mason and Nadia survive, but there’s a catch.

citadel the human enigma review - nadia and mason

In the aftermath of the derailment, Mason awakens with amnesia and no recollection of his past. That’s a heck of a premise. James Bond losing his memory would make him incredibly vulnerable especially once his enemies learned of his impairment.

Following the explosive opening act, screenwriters David Wiel and Lauren Wilkinson wisely ease up on the action fast forwarding to eight years later.

Mason is living a quaint life with his wife, Abby (Ashleigh Cummings), and their daughter, Hendrix (Caoilinn Springall), but he’s starting to have flashes of the life he doesn’t remember.

citadel the human enigma review - lesley manville

His timing couldn’t be worse as Manticore has finally tracked down Citadel’s master files. Upon accessing them, the remnants of Citadel are target number one. The second target? Any nation that gets out of line since Citadel also has the codes to the world’s nuclear devices.

Mason might not know of his past but it’s coming for him one way or another.

citadel the human enigma review - richard madden and stanley tucci

Citadel’s weekly release strategy might not be appealing to binge viewers, but they might welcome the seven days to fully appreciate all of the excitement and spy games at play with this promising series.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Photo Credit: Amazon Studios

Source link