Citadel Season 1 Finale Recap: Why Did Mason Betray Citadel?

Image Credit: Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

The first season of Prime Video’s spy thriller series, ‘Citadel,’ comes to an end with its sixth episode, where all the secrets are revealed. The stakes had never been higher for Mason and Nadia, with their daughter’s life on the line. This leads them on a mission that requires them to push their boundaries unlike ever before. By the end of the episode, some shocking revelations force us to reconsider everything we thought we knew about the show. Here’s what the ending means for Citadel and its agents. SPOILERS AHEAD

Citadel Episode 6 Recap

Image Credits: Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

Nadia and Mason’s daughter, Asha, has been abducted by Manticore, which means that they have to do whatever is asked of them. Dahlia Archer wants Mason to break into a Russian submarine and get the cores of the nuclear missiles. He is the only person who can do this because years ago when he was sent on the mission to get the password for Citadel, he made a few changes and installed a password of his own. He is the only person who can get access to those nuclear warheads.

A flashback into the past reveals that Mason had been agitated since Nadia went off-grid. Her sudden disappearance, especially after breaking up with him, keeps him on edge, and he tries to get his superiors to tell him where Nadia is. She tells him Nadia is in Berlin, but he doesn’t accept it. The search for the truth leads him down a dangerous path, but before Citadel comes down, Mason discovers that he has a child in Valencia, and Nadia kept it a secret from him.

Citadel Finale Ending: Who is the Mole?

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Eight years ago, when Citadel fell, it was clear that this had been an inside job. A Citadel agent had given the names and identities of all the other agents to Manticore, and this led to a bloodbath where the agents were brutally killed. Only a handful survived, and years later, Mason, who is now Kyle, gets in touch with them while trying to get his memories back. Because he doesn’t remember anything, Mason has to rely on the likes of Bernard and Nadia for his next step. He trusts them, but then there is the question of the mole. He starts to wonder if it could have been one of them, especially Nadia. In the end, however, the truth turns out to be much worse.

A flashback scene reveals the moment that Dahlia Archer got the details of all Citadel agents, their secret identities, where they were operating, and what their missions were. As she passes on this information to Manticore agents, they ask her where she got such intel. This is when she reveals that Mason Kane gave it to her. This confirms that Mason was the mole who brought down the agency he had worked for since a very young age. The fact that he didn’t have his memories kept the mystery going because we follow the story from his point of view. However, the events of the final episode leave no doubt that Mason betrayed Citadel.

Why Did Mason Betray Citadel?

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In a previous episode, Mason tells Nadia how he grew up an orphan from a young age. His father died, following which his mother completely ignored him, to the point that he didn’t meet her until years later. Mason was found by Citadel, who gave him a purpose, and that’s why he felt so loyal to the organization. He had given his entire life to the job and wanted to keep it that way. But then, he fell in love with Nadia, betrayed her by backstopping Celeste, and became desperate to find out where she went when she went AWOL.

A flashback reveals that Mason’s parents were diplomats, and thirty years ago, they were stationed in Serbia, where a bomb blast claimed his father’s life. Then, his mother completely disappeared, and it wasn’t until years later that Mason met her. By then, he was already a Citadel agent, while his mother, Dahlia Archer, was already into American politics and had been working for Manticore.

Mason and Dahlia kept in touch over the years but never mixed business. Because he was her son, Dahlia told him to ask for her help. When Citadel doesn’t tell him where Nadia is, Mason goes to Dahlia, who comes through on her words and tracks Nadia down to Spain. From here, Mason gives Bernard the job to find out where Nadia is and why she went missing.

Image Credits: Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

Before helping him, Dahlia tells Mason that Citadel is not the all-good evil-fighter organization that he has been led to believe. It turns out that the bomb blast in Serbia all those years ago was done by Citadel. They meant to bomb the location of a terrorist cell, but wrong information led them to bomb an area full of diplomats and other people. Dahlia tells Mason that Citadel didn’t want to be held accountable, so they bribed and forced everyone from NATO to the UN to the CIA to cover up the blunder.

Dahlia makes it personal for Mason by telling him that his father died in that bomb blast which took away his chance of a normal family upbringing. She emphasizes that Citadel keeps more secrets than it lets out, and when it can cover up one such bombing, who’s to say they don’t do it all the time? Who knows what else they have been lying about? Dahlia hopes that in avenging his father, Mason will want to redeem himself and destroy Citadel. However, that’s not his turning point.

It is when Bernard shows Mason pictures of Nadia and their newborn daughter that Mason realizes how dangerous it could be for their child. Bernard encourages him to find Nadia and meet their daughter. However, Mason believes Nadia kept it a secret because she thought he didn’t deserve it, so he decides to keep it that way. Nadia went off-grid so that even Citadel wouldn’t know about her daughter. If they did, then Asha would never be safe. Mason knew it too, but unlike Nadia, he didn’t run. He decided to end Citadel once and for all and make the world a better place for their daughter.

Does Mason Get Back His Memories? Does He Remember?

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When Kyle Conroy discovers he is a spy whose memories have been wiped, he tries to get them back and comes close to doing so when he gets the X case. It contains the vials that are supposed to reinstate the lost memories. However, Kyle’s vial is destroyed while he is being chased by the enemy. With Bernard gone and the vial out of the picture, there is no way for Kyle to get his memories back and know who he really was as Mason Kane.

In the final episode, Carter, Mason, and Nadia come back to the Citadel headquarters. Carter finds enough resources to retrieve Mason’s lost vial and create a new one for him. Carter isn’t sure if it’ll work like the original vial, but theoretically, it should. As soon as Kyle is injected with it, we see him getting flashbacks, including the fact that his wife is actually the Citadel agent he backstopped and that he is the mole everyone had been looking for all this while.

He rushes out of the room and gets his bearings for a moment. When Abby finds him, she asks him if he remembers everything, to which he says he doesn’t know. He hugs her, and his expressions dictate that he does remember everything. However, he is ashamed of what he’s done and is not quite ready to accept it and the consequences of his actions. Acknowledging that his memories are back would also force him to face the truth about Abby. He destroyed her life as Mason, but as Kyle, he fell in love with and has a daughter with her.

Telling her about her past would destroy what they had built in the past eight years. He can’t let go of that now. Understandably, he would like to figure out how to best handle the situation before coming to terms with the complex nature of his present and the betrayals of his past. In any case, there is no going back now that Mason remembers everything.

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