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Review of 'Citadel' 1.3-1.6

The Arch Anti-Hero

By Paul LevinsonPublished about a year ago 3 min read

So, I said in my review of The Diplomat that it had elements of James Bond. Citadel, an outright spy thriller, set in the future, of course has elements of Bond, too. And watching the third episode, I was struck by the vibe of Star Wars it conveys, too: Citadel which fell, with just a few disparate agents left, is a lot like the Jedi, and the few of them that remained in the darkest days of the fall and the rise of the Force.

Of course, Star Wars takes place way way in the future, across the galaxy, and Citadel is all in here on Earth. But the Jedi excel in mind tricks, and the surviving Citadel crew exult in that, too.

Bernard as a prisoner put on a good show of that in episode 1.3. He's not just a prisoner, he's a captive on the verge of getting his brain cut into by a ruthless enemy intent on knowing what he knows. And Bernard talks his way out it, or, at least manages to get his prime torturer to do his bidding by promising something very dear to this guy with a beard.

Meanwhile, we're earlier treated to a great Bondian Jedi scene some ten years earlier, when Nadia, a brand new agent, first meets Mason, and rescues him on a crucial mission. Speaking of which, we've yet to understand how and why Citadel fell. Mason is wondering about this, too, including if Nadia was the inside agent which Manticore deployed to deconstruct Citadel. Of course she isn't. And I don't believe that Bernard is some kind of arch double agent, either.

But, if not one or more of these three, who? Possibly Carter, whom Citadel was desperately trying to rescue years ago, but I sort of doubt that, too. All of which is making for a good spy story, indeed.

***

Well, I held off reviewing the final three episodes of the first season of Citadel (on Amazon Prime Video) until I'd seen the sixth and final episode -- which I just did -- because events were moving so fast in these episodes that I realized I wouldn't know what was going on, at least not well enough to write a coherent review, until I'd seen the final episode.

And, yeah, was I right.

[Huge spoilers ahead ... ]

So the big stunning reveal in the final episode of this season tells us how and why the mole in Citadel brought it down. And along with that -- who the mole was. It's none other than Mason Kane, who turns out to be Dahlia's son. Dahlia of course is the head of what we thought was the nefarious organization Manticore that brought Citadel down. The revelation that Kane was the instrument of Citadel's destruction is the equivalent of James Bond being Blofeld's son, and he helped his father bring down MI6.

And before that beyond-shocker, we get a quick series of just slightly less profound reveals. We meet Nadia's daughter, who, unsurprisingly is also Mason's. This is followed almost immediately with Mason/Kyle being reunited with his new family (we found out a few episodes ago that his wife, whom we met in the first episode, is actually another Citadel agent, who also had her memories wiped and replaced, due to Mason's insistence -- and in a supreme irony, or something like that, Mason now deprived of his own memories, winds up loving and marrying her). In a memorable sequences of scenes, we see Mason/Kyle's two families meeting each other for the first time.

And this, as I said, happens right before Mason, his memories restored, discovers that he is the villain he has been searching for and we have been wondering about this whole short season. If I wanted to get literary about all of this, I'd say this makes Mason an arch anti-hero. But I'll confine myself to saying these six episodes were fine fictional spycraft indeed, and good science fiction, as well. I'll be sure to watch and review whatever new Citadel stories become available.

See also Review of Citadel 1.1-1.2

tv review

About the Creator

Paul Levinson

Novels The Silk Code, The Plot To Save Socrates, It's Real Life: An Alternate History of The Beatles; LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; nonfiction The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan, translated into 15 languages. Prof, Fordham Univ.

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Comments (1)

  • Silent Scarlettabout a year ago

    I like your review style!

Paul LevinsonWritten by Paul Levinson

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