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Citadel’s Ski Chase Scene Was A Major Missed Opportunity

Warning: Spoilers Below For Citadel Episodes 1-3Citadel staged its best action sequence to date in episode 3, but its placement within the series is a missed opportunity. Amazon’s Citadel is the second most expensive TV series ever produced and is aiming to build an MCU-inspired shared universe for the spy genre. There are multiple spinoffs already in the works, but time will tell how audiences respond to the show’s ambitious plans. That said, in terms of spectacle alone, Citadel season 1 is putting the money onscreen.

The first episode “The Human Enigma” featured an explosive action sequence onboard a train. The fistfights and shootouts also served to set up the world of the show, including introducing the spy agency Citadel and its shadowy rival Manticore. Citadel episode 3 “Infinite Shadows” went full James Bond, however, with Richard Madden’s Mason Kane breaking out of a snowy complex in the Alborz mountains, getting into a shootout with parachuting henchmen before skiing down a mountain being pursued by enemy vehicles. It’s Citadel’s most impressive setpiece yet – making its placement in the show’s run questionable.

Related: Citadel Season 1 Review: Chopra Jonas & Madden Electrify In Exhilarating Spy Series

Citadel’s Ski Chase Was A Perfect Way To Open The Show

Citadel clearly aims to be a blockbuster action movie in miniseries form, and this ski chase would have been the best way to open the show. It feels like a throwback to the Bond movies of yesteryear and is a better representation of the show’s scale. It also works as an alternate introduction to the main characters, showing off Kane’s daredevil antics – such as using the ripped parachute of a downed guard to escape trouble – and his very first meeting with Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ Nadia, where she saves his life following an ambush and they quickly fall for each other.

Why Citadel’s Ski Chase Was Pushed To Episode 3

Richard Madden looking serious in Citadel

Not only would this Citadel setpiece have worked better as the opening but it also appears this was the original plan. A THR report from September 2022 revealed that creative differences between producers the Russo Brothers and original Citadel showrunner Josh Appelbaum led to the latter’s exit, as they had competing visions for the story. Per the report, “One person familiar with the conflict says Appelbaum’s version of the pilot introduced the spies via a spectacular ski and hang-gliding sequence, setting up a spy-vs.-spy situation before flash-forwarding the story five years, with the heroes having no memory of their previous occupation.”

If this is accurate, then Citadel episode 3’s ski chase was always designed to open the series, but once the Russos came in to retool the series, it was pushed back. Extensive reshoots partly account for Citadel’s epic price tag, but just how much was reshot and retooled is unknown. While the train setpiece that opens Citadel works just fine, Appelbaum’s concept for opening with an elaborate chase before cutting to the main characters post-memory loss sounds like a more intriguing hook.

Source: THR

This story originally appeared on Screenrant

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