Spy Drama Citadel Premieres on Amazon Prime

Jade Baxendale, Editor-in-Chief

On April 28th, 2023, the Amazon show Citadel premiered. However, some Amazon Prime members had the opportunity to see the premiering first two episodes early at a local theater. I attended one of these premieres, and Amazon definitely found a fun strategy to entice viewers.

As someone who had no intention of watching the show, this premiere introduced viewers like me to the show and got people invested through the first two episodes. And at the end of the day the event was not only free, but they gave viewers ten-dollar food vouchers and I was one of the few people who won a raffle and received a drone customized to the show.

I highly recommend that everyone who has a Prime account keep a lookout for these premieres near you because they can be quite fun!

The show itself, while not the most groundbreaking show of our time, is still fun to watch. Citadel is a spy show starring Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, Eternals) as Mason Kane and Priyanka Chopra Jones (Love Again, Quantico) as Nadia Sinh. Additional cast members include Stanley Tucci, Ashleigh Cummings, Lesley Manville, and Roland Moller.

The story follows Mason Cane and Nadia Sinh after the fall of their spy organization named Citadel. Citadel is an international spy organization focused on the avoidance of war and the protection of mankind. What separates them from other spy organizations is that they don’t work for any specific country but rather for the good of the whole world.

However, the story focuses on the main characters after the fall of Citadel at the hands of a rival organization called Manticore. After a mission gone awry, Mason and Nadia have their memories taken away by Citadel using a chip in their heads. The two go on to have separate, average lives without their memories before eventually, their pasts catch up with them and they must work together to protect their loved ones and save the world.

The Citadel drone that premier attendees could win. (photo: Jade Baxendale)

Citadel mixes fast-paced action with many twists and turns, but the problem is that these big moments occur before the actual start of the show. It heavily relies on events from before the series begins for action and backstory, and the show, while based after the fall of Citadel, ultimately becomes focused on how Citadel fell.

While the fall of Citadel is a very interesting storyline, if that was going to be the focus of the show, it seems unnecessary to make the main storyline rooted in flashbacks. Focusing the story in flashbacks takes you out of the story because the show sets the stage as a plotline about our main characters post-Citadel. Therefore, characters in the modern day spend episodes at a time in the same spot because the majority of the episode was a flashback.

On the other hand, the beauty of the flashback-to-modern-day ratio is that every flashback reveals a huge part of the plot that changes the entire meaning of the event at hand. A fight between two characters where one character appears to be morally right could be entirely altered by the contents of the flashback. Completely low-stakes situations become tension-filled moments because of new information we didn’t have before. However, this also plays into the fact that the flashbacks become the plotline of the show because ultimately there would be no show without the flashbacks, and the flashbacks could hold up a plotline on their own.

This show is great for people who enjoy the unpredictability of morally-gray characters shrouded in mystery and constant plot twists that alter everything you think you know or knew. The plot line of the show isn’t new and groundbreaking, but it’s fun nevertheless and I personally cannot wait to see where this series goes.