On paper, this episode of the spy thriller produced by the Russo Brothers (among others) is titled “Infinite Shadows”, but really, it should have been called “Tumble Dry”. Every few scenes, directors Newton Thomas Sigel and Jessica Yu spin the camera around so that the world looks like it’s on a spin cycle. When everything spins on its axis because Nadia (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) has ripped her shirt off while straddling Mason Kane (Richard Madden), you could argue it makes sense. It’s less explicable in the episode’s opening scene, when this topsy-turvy view of the world is accompanied by sounds of Bernard (Stanley Tucci) grunting in pain because he’s being tortured at a dining table by Manticore’s peeps. Meanwhile, Dahlia (Lesley Manville) is torturing herself by sitting in front of a giant slice of red velvet cake without taking a bite of it.
Elsewhere, Mason Kane shows off his best grunts when Nadia takes him to a Citadel safehouse — the real estate market in Spain really must have crashed if a three-story home in picturesque Cáceres hasn’t found a buyer in eight years. Either that or Citadel’s bankers set up a killer auto-payment system for taxes and utilities — and pulls a bullet out of him. As prep, she gives him a rolled-up kitchen towel and says, “Bite this” before dousing his wound in vodka and pulling out a bullet (with a tweezer?). Because that’s how real men (and women) handle pain. (Feel free to add an empathetic grunt to the chorus.) Mason asks Nadia if the two of them ever had a romantic relationship after he sees her eyeing his wedding ring. “It was brief, it was nothing,” Nadia tells him while stitching up his wounds.
Cut to 10 years ago, “before the fall of Citadel” (which is the new full-form explanation for “BC”). Mason, the cocky star agent, meets Nadia, who has successfully embedded herself in the military in Iran, while on a mission. She saves his life and back in Citadel’s American headquarters in Utah, Nadia and Mason engage in banter. We learn her mother was a Citadel agent, making her a nepo kid among spies, and that Mason doesn’t have a mother. Two weeks after that first meeting, the two of them are a tangle of naked limbs in Paris. “Can I trust you?” he asks her in bed, just as he would 10 years later, outside a Citadel safehouse in Spain. Did he really expect Nadia to say, “Nope. Here to con the mickey out of you”?
Back in the present, Nadia sneaks off to a computer and has a quick chat with an “unknown user”.
“How is the package?” she asks after confirming her identity.
“Waiting for you,” is the reply.
What’s the bet that the “package” is Nadia’s child? Our money is on Mason being the baby daddy.
Meanwhile, in Wyoming, Mason and Bernard’s daughters bond over knives because they’re spy kids (or because they haven’t had time to catch the teaser for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie?). Joe (Moira Kelly), Bernard’s ex-wife, radiating nosy-neighbourhood-aunty energy, asks Abby (Ashleigh Cummings) how she and Kyle (a.k.a Mason) met. Abby says they met at a memory centre where Mason was recovering after the train wreck. Abby also has memory loss because she was in a terrible car accident around the same time. To quote the iconic Jatayu from Satyajit Ray’s Feluda series, sus-fishy-us.
Back to Dahlia torturing Bernard. “Spies can’t be saints,” she tells him. It seems Dahlia was once a Citadel agent until an accident left her with a terribly scarred arm. Also, Carter Spence (Osy Ikhile), creator of X case, has allegedly been tortured into submission by Manticore. Will Bernard do the same now that he’s going to be subjected to the cruelties of one Dr. Carvo, who true to his name, carves people up? We know his methods are rather basic because he carries with him a bloodstained suitcase for his tools. After some groaning, grunting and loss of teeth on Bernard’s part, Dahlia attempts a mic drop. It seems one of the Twins — Anders to be precise (Roland Møller) — has created a device that extracts memories from the brain stem. It’s possible that Dahlia indulged in all this torture just because she likes to hear Bernard grunt or maybe she isn’t entirely confident about a device that looks like someone combined a miniature drill with an electric screwdriver.
Showing a significant error in judgement, she sashays out of the room, leaving Anders to extract Bernard’s memories. Just as Anders is about to use his electric-screwdriver-memory-extractor on Bernard, Bernard drops a bombshell: Brielle, the love of Anders the Twin’s life, is alive and Bernard knows where she is.
Over in Spain, Nadia carefully refers to her former partner as Kyle, making it clear that as far as she’s concerned, he’s a different man from Mason Kane. After some dithering on her part, Kyle/ Mason and Nadia team up to get some information out of a Portuguese crime lord who runs a black site in Morocco. His name is Balduino Basto — yes, he’s exactly as bald as you’d expect a guy named Balduino to be — and Nadia suspects Carter is being held in Balduino’s black site. To find out how she can spring Carter from his prison, Balduino needs to cough up some intel. However, he won’t meet with Nadia because she “may have” killed his brother. Helpfully he and Mason “were tight”. So Mason Kane gets back in action. He’s carrying the lighter that we saw him playing with in the first episode. There’s a transmitter in that lighter which will let Nadia download data from Balduino’s phone.
While they’re waiting for technology to do its thing, Mason attempts chit-chat with Balduino only to learn Nadia is rumoured to have sold out Citadel to Manticore. That’s not the biggest reveal of this episode though. Guess who is Brielle, the love of Anders the Twin’s life? Kyle’s wife, Abby, who also happened to have been a Citadel agent. “If you get me out of here, I’ll tell you everything,” Bernard (sans three teeth) tells Anders. “Because everything you know is a lie.”
Of course, Anders could just use his memory extractor on Bernard to find out everything the Citadel agent knows, but that would be too easy and Citadel still has three more episodes to go. Insert suspenseful music and roll end credits.
New episodes of Citadel drop every Friday on Prime Video.