One of the most anticipated series of this year, Citadel has finally concluded its first season. The Russo Brothers series joins a long list of spy thrillers to come out in recent times. Citadel is the second most expensive series ever with its reported budget of more than $300 million only for six episodes. The budget of the Prime Video series helps it in storytelling in a massive way because Citadel is at its best when action sequences take over and the story takes a backseat for a bit.
Today, we are here to talk about Mason Kane, the lead character of this spy series. Played by Richard Madden, the character of Mason Kane is our entry in this very complicated spy universe, and I feel like this character could have been the audience’s favorite just by its story points that have been laid out throughout the series but what Citadel did wrong was not taking its time to completely get us in the mind of Mason Kane. Instead, they rushed through some major plot points with little to nothing background.
Mason Kane starts out as a suave and deadly spy in the first scene of the series, but as the story goes on the character becomes more and more inconsistent. In the first episode, we find out that an organization called Manticore is wiping out Citadel agents in many cities including India and Mexico City, and then a fight ensues leading to a train explosion that leaves Kane and Nadia Sinh (Priyanka Chopra) injured. After waking up Kane realizes that he has no past memories and then settles down in Eugene, Oregon for eight years. Now, he has a wife and a daughter, but when he is called back to action by Bernard Orlick (Stanley Tucci), he finds out that he is a Citadel spy and his memories were wiped clean because they didn’t want any of the information about their secretive agency leaking out.
After he gets back in the field and meets Nadia, who definitely knows more than what she is saying. He soon finds out that it was one of their own who helped Manticore in destroying Citadel and Nadia seemed to be the top suspect because of her shady ties to a known terrorist and her dishonest way of handling a major operation but later we find out that she was hiding something personal that she didn’t want Mason to know. Leaving only one suspect Mason Kane, and this revelation came out in the sixth and final episode of this season.
In the sixth episode, it is revealed that the main antagonist of this season is Kane’s mother and her reason for wanting to destroy Manticore was a botched bombing carried out by Citadel. After she tells Mason about his father and wants to know the secret identities of Citadel agents to put them on trial Mason simply hands over the files and she betrays him and gives all the files to Manticore who kill almost every Citadel agent.
This was a big reveal and if it were handled properly it would have been thrilling to experience. Still, it was very rushed and seemed simply uncharacteristic of Mason Kane to just hand over the files to a mother who had abandoned him for almost all of his life. The Kane we came to know in the last five episodes had trouble trusting anyone but he only had one belief that Citadel was doing good and after finding out that they were behind his father’s death he just gave over the files instead of asking questions or carrying out his own investigation.
We still haven’t talked about Kane’s wife who coincidentally is also a Citadel agent whose memories were wiped clean by Kane himself to protect Nadia, because he thought that Nadia is corrupt. In the last scene of the series, we see Kane getting his memories and realizing all of the horrible things he has done and still there is no moment of cracking the wall that the creators of the series have built around Mason Kane, instead we just get a cryptic look from him. Mason Kane could be a great character if handled properly in the second season which has already been renewed or all of it could really downhill if the creators don’t clearly define him in the next season.
While there is still some time before Citadel Season 2 comes out, the next spy series in the Citadel universe will be coming out next year titled Citadel: Diana.