‘Citadel’ Episode 1 Recap & Ending, Explained: What Is Manticore? Is Nadia Alive?


When we started watching “Citadel,” we were reminded of the time Priyanka Chopra Jonas used to be called “Piggy Chops” by the media, a nickname among many others. We realized soon enough why this memory resurfaced. It is due to the lovable indulgence for cringe that we have when something comes with style. That is what we would say for “Citadel” as a series. There is a magnetism to Priyanka Chopra that cannot be denied, and she carried the entire chemistry between her and Richard Madden in the limited screen time she had in the first episode. Additionally, every frame of Citadel looks just as good, but her dedication cannot make up for the fact that the series itself is very generic. We are going to watch it regardless, but not with high hopes. This is how the first episode goes. 

Spoilers Alert

How Was Citadel Destroyed By Manticore?

On a train passing through the Italian Alps, two spies, Nadia and Mason, have a conversation in multiple languages until the latter hits a roadblock with Spanish. We believe they were once in a relationship, but Nadia left Mason for some reason. They work for Citadel, a spy organization that is currently trying to retrieve a suitcase full of uranium from a certain Gregor Yovanovitch. However, it turns out that they were double-crossed, and this entire setup was planted by Manticore, a rival organization that is out to destroy Citadel, a mission that is nearing a successful completion. The people on board blow up the train, and it looks like Mason is the only survivor, though he has lost his memory. Looking at these events, one may assume that Citadel has ended once and for all. 

What happened to Mason? 

When Mason Kane wakes up in the hospital, he is found with a passport that states that his name is Kyle. However, nobody in the hospital has been able to find his family or any trace of him. That is the case since it is a fake ID, but Mason doesn’t know that since his memory has been erased. 

Eight years later, he has a family with a woman named Abby and a daughter, Hendrix. In Kyle’s own words, he is a family man who coaches Little League. He looks happy, but when he goes to therapy, he expresses the desire to find out who he actually is. He was found with a wedding band all those years ago, and he has always seen Nadia’s face in his visions. But Kyle is heartbroken that in all this time, nobody has ever looked for him. However, now he wants to find out about his past so that he may be more honest with his daughter about himself. On the advice of his doctor, he registers for an online DNA match website that connects people to their families. This proves a turning point as that website shows Bernard Orlick, another Citadel survivor, the whereabouts of Mason and the fact that he is alive. 

What Does Dahlia Archer Want?

Dahlia Archer is an ambassador for the UK, and we can understand that she wants Citadel off the face of the Earth. She tells the Secretary that the CIA has recovered a case that has Citadel’s last information, including their site locations, names of agents, and codes to nuclear weapons across the world. With some blackmail that starts off in the guise of asking a favor, Dahlia gets what she wants. She calls up Davik and Anders Silje, two brothers who do the dirty work for her. She tells them about the case and asks them to retrieve it. The brothers do so accordingly and are now on their way to New York to decode the safe and open it. Dahlia Archer is called the queen of alternative facts by the media, and it was proved when she claimed that Britain has always been an agent of peace. Such willful blindness is adopted by people who are interested in nothing but furthering their personal agendas, which brings us to the conclusion that she must be a member of Manticore. 

‘Citadel’ Episode 1 Ending Explained: What Is Manticore? Is Nadia Alive?

Kyle’s peaceful family life is disturbed when he is kidnapped by Bernard and taken to a secret location. Bernard tells Kyle, aka Mason, everything about his past, along with how he disappeared and why no one looked for him. Mason’s 8 years of abandonment issues were solved in one go by revealing the truth. This is also when we come to know what Manticore or Citadel really is. 

Citadel was started as a spy organization almost a hundred years ago. What sets it apart from the others is that it is loyal to no country or person, and they always look at the greater good of the world as a whole. Manticore, on the other hand, is an organization started by 8 of the wealthiest families across the globe to serve their own personal interests. Citadel was sold out by one of their own spies who went rogue. Since the destruction of Citadel, Manticore has used its power to manipulate world events to suit its own needs. Currently, they are on the hunt for the nuclear codes that will fall into their hands when the Silje brothers reach New York. Bernard needs Mason to stop that from happening. He assures him, with a little display, that his body has retained all of his training as a spy, and he would be able to hold his own in the mission. Bernard promises Mason that as soon as he retrieves the case, he will help him regain his memories and tell him more about Nadia. At the end of Episode 1 of “Citadel,” we see a flashback from 8 years ago, where Nadia is coming out of the water, still alive after the train is blown to bits. 

Final Thoughts

Despite what we said about the cringe and generic nature of the episode, we can sense that there is a hook for the second episode. We don’t know what it is, but it is there. Also, we cannot seem to say it enough, primarily because there is nothing else so far that Citadel looks really good, and half of it is because of Priyanka Chopra. She wasn’t kidding when she said that she was just getting started, despite her extensive experience and portfolio. We are so glad she was given the acknowledgment of equal pay by the makers of the series. She deserves that. As for the storyline, we will have more opinions in the coming episodes. 

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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