Citadel – Season 1 Episode 1 “The Human Enigma” Recap & Review

The Human Enigma

Citadel Episode 1 begins on a train running through the Italian Alps. A woman in a red dress brushes against a man while walking past him. When she takes her seat, we see she has his wallet. The man’s name is Gregor Yovanovich. The woman is Nadia and she’s a spy, which we learn when she talks to a man named Bernard. Bernard informs her that Gregor is carrying Uranium and plans to sell it.

A man fiddling with a lighter comes up behind Nadia and asks to take a seat next to her. The banter between them, taking place in multiple languages, shows they know each other quite well. Nadia says she was on this job alone but Mason says Grace sent him to make sure things go well.

As Gregor gets up from his seat, Mason rises to follow but Nadia pulls him back down into a kiss — he hadn’t noticed another man, wearing a tan suit, tailing Gregor.

Nadia gets up and follows Gregor. The suited man follows her and Mason turns up behind him. As if on cue, they fight. Meanwhile Nadia follows Gregor to the restaurant and puts on her red lipstick. She returns Gregor’s wallet, pretending she found it fallen on the floor. She invites herself to sit down and has him at gunpoint after a bit of flirting. He recognizes her as Citadel, and she asks him to give her the bag. He says there is no Uranium so instead, they lure Citadel here to send them a message.

Meanwhile, Mason’s fight with the suited man ends as he kicks him out of a broken window.

Gregor shows Nadia a video of a man being beaten and killed. This is then followed by clips of more and more people being killed, presumably being Citadel’s agents. He shows her a mark on his wrist and suddenly the wait staff in the dining car turn on Nadia. She has her gun taken away as Gregor talks about erasing Citadel for good. He’s about to shoot her when Mason enters, offering enough distraction.

In the shoot-out that follows, the pair easily take down all the others, with Nadia getting shot in the process. She tells Mason they’re burning Citadel to the ground. In that moment, Mason and Nadia both admit they’ve lied to each other. They can’t get in touch with Bernard and Gregor, still barely alive, tells them that Manticore will always find them. He pulls out a bomb and the train explodes.

A man lies in water, the red colour of an explosion all around him, before we shift to a hospital in Bellagio, Italy, where Mason wakes up to find his limbs tied to the bed. He screams out for help but to no avail.

A doctor tells him he attacked a surgeon, and he was on a train that exploded but Mason can’t recall. In fact, he can’t even recall his name. The doctor tells him his name is Kyle Conroy, showing him his IDand wedding ring. However, the American consulate can’t find any information on him.

Eight years later in Oregon, Mason or ‘Kyle’ is living a typical domestic life with a wife and daughter. News reports about explosions trigger some vague memories about Nadia.

At therapy, Kyle says he wants to try remembering more about himself for the sake of his daughter. He admits to having visions of a woman on the train with him, so the therapist advises him to try a DNA test to find relatives.

In Virginia, UK Ambassador Dahlia tells the US Secretary of State, that his CIA have found a case with all of Citadel’s most important information. She asks him to hand it over. It’s for the truth, she says, signaling she’s from Manticore. Having received help from them before, he has no choice but to give in.

The scene shifts to Zurich, where a man stands in a room full of people who have been killed. Dahlia calls him and instructs that he, Davik, and his twin brother, retrieve the Citadel X Case in Miami.

In Chicago, Bernard plays a deadly game with three people who are tied to chairs. When the first two don’t tell him what he wants, the third reveals Dahlia’s plan to get the nuclear codes in the Citadel X Case. At that moment, a DNA match for Mason shows up on Bernard’s phone and he shoots the man dead.

Kyle and his wife get hot and heavy in the bedroom but he has flashes of Nadia again. He’s unable to move even when his daughter Hendrix calls for him. The couple coax Hendrix, who had a nightmare, back to sleep.

Unable to sleep himself, Kyle goes to shed and looks at the box of things he had with him on the train. He gets a call from Abby saying someone’s in the house so Kyle runs back but gets ambushed by Bernard. He makes them all get into a car at gunpoint. A gas leaks out that puts them all to sleep.

In Miami, the assassin twins locate the Citadel X Case while elsewhere, during an interview, Ambassador Dahlia passionately defends Britain and her actions. An assistant tells her the Davik brothers have the case and are en-route to decoding it in New York.

Bernard, his ex-wife Joe and her new wife Sandra, untie Kyle and Abby. Bernard tells him he’s got them here for his safety, before Manticore can get them. Bernard reveals Kyle’s real identity as a spy, and he introduces Citadel as an agency of spies loyal to no nation who work for the safety of all people. Until they were betrayed by one of their own who helped Manticore, an organisation made by the wealthiest families in the world, destroy Citadel.

Bernard now needs Mason to help him take back the X Case. He reveals Mason used to work with Nadia, but assumes she’s dead now. He promises to help Mason remember everything if he helps find the case. And as the episode closes out, we flashback to 8 years ago where someone crawl out of the train’s wreckage – it’s Nadia!

The Episode Review

A thrilling first episode, Citadel’s pilot establishes the show as a distinct spy thriller. There’s everything you could want – two charismatic leads, sleek action sequences, appropriately cool spy tech, evil politicians, and a story that jumps from city to city across the whole world.

As far as the story goes, it’s too early to tell but I think we can expect a tale full of twists, turns and conspiracies. Nuance about real world problems is not something I’m expecting, rather this is a show meant for viewers to ride the thrill of spies and actions and world destroying nuclear codes. If they stick to that line of thought this will be a fantastic, audience-pulling series for sure.

Next Episode

Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!

  • Episode Rating

1 thought on “Citadel – Season 1 Episode 1 “The Human Enigma” Recap & Review”

  1. It was OK, not as good as I had hoped as a fan of all 3 lead actors. For me the worst bit was when the guy was pushed from the train – when he hits the ground, he bounces THE WRONG WAY! Someone doesn’t understand physics…

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