Citadel Episode 2 Recap: Richard Madden Has No Memories, Priyanka Chopra Jonas Has a Red, Velvet Suit

The web series has the Russo Brothers as executive producers, and stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden. It’s streaming on Amazon Prime Video
Citadel Episode 2 Recap
Citadel Episode 2 Recap

We’re back at the sight of that train wreck in the Italian Alps. While singer Nilla Pizzi croons sensually, an injured and bleeding Nadia (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) drags herself to safety. She's briefly able to get in touch with Bernard only to learn "backstop has been initiated." A panicked Nadia protests. "You can't initiate backstop," she says desperately. Apparently, he can and now she has two hours "to make provisions". 

Unfortunately for Nadia, two hours only gives her enough time to hitch a ride with a gun-toting Italian, fight and kill him. Just as she's trying to catch her breath, something starts beeping. There's a device embedded in her neck, and it's glowing like the indicator on a car. An automated voice (presumably in Nadia's head) informs her that her memories are being deleted. Soon Nadia passes out. When she comes to, it turns out she'd tried to pull a Ghajini (2008) on herself and had scrawled "Go to Valencia Asha" on her own arm. 

Now we know why Mason (Richard Madden) remembers nothing. One moment’s silence for all those who had hoped the retrograde amnesia was for real and cupcakes for the writers of Citadel for having come up with a narrative device that is even less credible than retrograde amnesia. 

Back to the present (a.k.a. eight years later), when Mason and his family are being held hostage by Bernard (Stanley Tucci) in Wyoming. Bernard appears to be conflicted about what to tell Mason about his past, but he betrays none of this when the two men head to New York to retrieve the X case (i.e. briefcase) from Manticore. For a collective of arch-villains, Manticore's security system and processes leaves a lot to be desired. Mason is able to get in and out, with X case and without too much trouble. However, one of the Twins (Roland Møller) spots him. "That's impossible," he mutters. He passes the information of a Mason Kane sighting to Dahlia (Lesley Manville), who is not happy with this development. She wants both the case and Mason. 

Richard Madden as Mason in Citadel
Richard Madden as Mason in Citadel

Even more unhappy is Mason, who realises Bernard lied to him when he'd said Mason can go back to his family after securing the case. Bernard knew fully well that Mason would be seen and this would lead to Manticore hunting him down. If Manticore finds out about his family, they're definitely dead so the only thing for Mason to do is to stick with Bernard and stay far away from Wyoming. The case — in addition to containing all the nuclear codes from around the world — can locate any active Citadel agents and has a vial which contains all of Mason's memories. You see, Citadel agents had a "chip" inserted into their temporal lobe (remember that glowing thing we saw on Nadia?) which stored all their memories in case they were 'backstopped'. Why have we gone medieval and stored memories in a vial instead of using wi-fi to connect devices and servers? Who can tell. 

Just as Mason is about to inject himself with his memories, the Twins show up, guns blazing. Bernard is shot and slumps over the steering wheel. There's a gunfight on a highway and helpfully, someone scrambles out of their car so that Mason (avec case) can make a quick getaway. 

Now Manticore has Bernard (who is obviously not dead. He’s Stanley Tucci!) and Mason doesn't have his memories because the vial broke in the middle of all the preceding drama. (This is why we upload data into clouds, kids. Apparently, no one told Citadel about that tiny technological development.) On the plus side, at least Citadel came up with a super-cool briefcase which informs Mason that it's detected a top-tier agent: Nadia, and she's in Spain. 

Priyanka Chopra Jonas in Citadel
Priyanka Chopra Jonas in Citadel

The only thing for Mason to do is to leave a message with his wife — if she doesn’t end up being a Manticore agent, shame on the Citadel writers — and get on a plane to Valencia. Mason lands in the city in time for the Fallas Festival, which involves bonfires, fireworks and street parties. The GPS on that case is more impressive than your Google Maps because it's guides Mason to the restaurant where Nadia works as a server. Once again, she is wearing red. This time it's a velvet suit and if you think you can pull off this look, please take a long, hard look at the mirror before ordering it on Amazon. It’s a red velvet suit. With shoulder pads that look like the roof of a Thai pagoda. 

To avoid making a scene, our lady in red velvet takes Mason to the kitchen. Thanks to backstop, she has no memories but Mason — self-described "Top spy. Hot stuff" — figures if he throws a knife at her like Bernard did to him, Nadia will be convinced Mason's telling the truth about her being a spy with a mysterious organisation called Citadel. 

She does not catch it. Fortunately, Mason has a backup: The X case has Nadia's memories in a vial. Helpfully for Mason, Nadia has been seeing Mason in her dreams. Are Mason and Nadia’s synchronised dreams part of the backstop program? 

Citadel Episode 2 Recap
Citadel Episode 1 Recap: Priyanka Chopra Jonas in Red Dress, Retrograde Amnesia and Shades of Jason Bourne

Since it's been about three minutes without a fight and Citadel doesn't really trust its audience to stay with the show if there isn't some nifty, choreographed violence at regular intervals, enter Davik (aka, one of the Twins). He shoots Mason in the arm. Then, perhaps because he's read too much on Freud's theory of masculinity and phallic imagery, Davik tucks his gun into the front of his pants and decides to beat Nadia with his bare hands. Fortunately for both Nadia and Mason, she has better luck with vials than Mason. 

With her memory serum tsunami-ing through her veins, Nadia goes ballistic on Davik. Yes, of course she kicks Davik in the crotch. She also takes his gun for good measure after knocking him out (however, she doesn't think of taking the empty memory vial with her, thus leaving incriminating evidence at the scene of a crime). When Mason asks Nadia if she remembers, we get a flipbook-esque montage of the past that ends with Nadia wearing gigantic sunglasses — nothing more subtle than that, amirite? — and saying "Mason can never find out." 

For better or for worse, the more delicious bait for the next episode is the promise of seeing Dahlia and Bernard face-off. Not only is he alive, but there’s the promise of cruel banter between Manville and Tucci. Excite! The episode closes with Dahlia raising a glass of blood-red wine to her lips and saying she’s particularly gifted at turning Citadel agents. 

The first season of Citadel has six episodes. New episodes drop every Friday on Prime Video. 

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