Where and When Does Citadel Take Place?

Prime Video’s ‘Citadel’ is a globe-trotting spy-thriller that explores the origins and ends of the eponymous spy agency. The protagonists are Nadia and Mason, the best of the best, who lose their memories after a mission goes wrong. Years later, they reunite to rediscover their past and find out what happened to them and who is responsible for it. Over the course of six episodes, the story delivers many twists and turns, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. If you want to find out more about the story’s setting, where it takes place, and what timeline it follows, we’ve got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD

Citadel Starts in Contemporary Italy with a Mission Gone Wrong

The story of ‘Citadel’ begins in contemporary times, with Nadia and Mason in Italy on a mission. They have to intercept their target on a train, but soon, they discover they have fallen into a trap. It ends with an explosion, the train falling off the rails, and Nadia and Mason barely making it out alive. Both of them lose their memories in the aftermath and, for eight years, live everyday lives, completely unaware of each other and their shared past. That is until Bernard, Citadel’s tech genius, contacts Mason, throwing him back into the world he’d escaped all those years ago.

With almost a decade-long jump, the show shifts to sometime soon. This was intentional on the part of the show’s creators. Anthony Russo, who serves as the executive producer alongside Joe Russo, revealed, “The fact this show is set in the slight future activated things for us in the sense that we could really tune into all the cutting edge stuff that’s out there, even on an experimental level. [We could] think about how do you push that forward? How do we make that even more useful? You think about where it will all be in seven years, for example.”

The time jump also allows Mason and Nadia to build a life outside espionage. In the eight years he doesn’t remember who he is, Mason lives as Kyle, a normal person with a normal family. However, when his past comes calling, he has to find a balance that keeps him in touch with both worlds. It also raises the stakes for him because, this time, he has a family to protect.

Global Settings of Citadel: From Italian Alps to America and Spain

‘Citadel’ takes place in various locations all over the world. The story begins on a train in Italian Alps. Later, Mason, now living as Kyle, settles down in America while Nadia makes a home for herself in Spain. Together, their search for the truth leads them to different countries, where they meet with other Citadel agents whose lives were also thrown into a whirlpool of amnesia after the agency fell. The show also explores the politics of the countries, revealing how deeply embedded Citadel and Manticore are in them and how high the stakes are for Nadia, Mason, and other agents like them.

Apart from providing a great travelogue and a beautiful setting for the story, the intention of sending Mason and Nadia to different locations was to create a thread of ‘Citadel’ that could be revisited in its spin-off. Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon Studios, envisioned the show as a jump-off point to a much bigger universe of stories set in different parts of the world. When she pitched the idea to the Russo brothers, she said, “I want to make a show that has a US flagship and that can splinter off into regional shows made with talent from those regions in those local languages.”

The idea was intriguing to the directors who have made a name for themselves in making top-notch action movies. Talking about the intention behind their involvement in the series, Joe Russo said: “We thought that this was such a novel idea for a narrative and an amazing way to create a really diverse global community of storytellers. To tell a giant mosaic of a narrative together. After our work on other films and spending so much time traveling the globe, this was an idea I think was really exciting to Anthony and I, and ignitable for us, which seemed like an incredible challenge.”

Read More: Is Citadel Based on a True Story?