Marco Polo Recap: The Scholar’s Pen
“Marco Polo” Season 1 Episode 7 “The Scholar’s Pen” has been streaming on Netflix since Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at 12:01 a.m. Read on below for the recap of this episode.
The seventh episode to this series opened with a flashback, with a boy hiding under the floorboards, quietly observing a little girl entertaining a man in the privacy of her bedroom. The boy is Jia Sidao (Chin Han), and the girl is his sister Mei Lin (Olivia Cheng). As the sole breadwinner of the family, the boy bowed to his sister's whims, and the girl's character is shown as smarter and stronger than her brother.
Fast forward to years later, Mei Lin is at the Khan’s court, begging for mercy after her failed attempt to assassinate the Empress Chabi (Joan Chen), as ordered by her brother (in the episode “White Moon”). She tells Kublai (Benedict Wong) that she could help him defeat her brother. She begs the empress to spare her, for the sake of her daughter. The empress actually convinces Kublai that using Mei Lin would be a good idea. She’s then made a prisoner of the Khan, with Kublai’s adopted son Ahmad (Mahesh Jadu) in charge of her.
Back in Xiangyang, Jing Fei (Shu An Oon) tells the Chinese Empress that she made Jia Sidao believe that Mei Lin carried out his orders; that Chabi is dead. The Chinese Empress agrees to keep the lie going a bit longer, as she will use this to finally strip Jia Sidao off his power and crown her son, the young Emperor. However, Jing Fei has a real challenge ahead as Jia Sidao kept seeking an audience with her. He doesn't bed her, but he wants her company all the time, as he tells her stories of his life and stories about his sister.
Meanwhile, Kublai orders Hundred Eyes (Tom Wu) and Marco Polo (Lorenzo Richelmy) to go to Xiangyang as Chinese peasants. Their actual mission, however, would be to kill Jia Sidao. But once there, the guards stops them at the gate. Fortunately, one of Mei Lin’s allies recognizes them and vouches for them to the guards. They’re finally inside the city.
The rest of the Mongol warriors prepare for war against the Chinese, and as much as Khutulun (Claudia Kim) has shown she is fearsome, the soldiers have little faith in her ability to lead them. She and Kublai’s bastard son, Byamba (Uli Latukefu), wrestle for the spot then in order to determine who would lead the soldiers. Byamba beats Khutulun though, so he would be leading the group. But this also means that he can marry the female warrior should he chose to, as finally, someone has pinned Kaidu's daughter to the ground.
That night, they discuss this arrangements of their marriage, and Khutulun attempts to dissuade Byamba from marrying her, saying she has chosen to be a warrior. But Byamba is actually fine with this, as he’s also a warrior; he knows this life. Realizing that they’re quite the perfect match, Khutulun gives in, and they kiss.
Meanwhile, there’s another marriage being arranged as Empress Chabi makes it known that she would like Kokachin to marry her son, Prince Jingim (Remy Hii), and be his second wife. The Blue Princess, while in a relationship with Tulga and aware that Marco Polo likes her too, goes along with the Chabi’s plans.
Back in Xiangyang, Jing Fei meets with Marco and Hundred Eyes in secret as they plot on how to kill the Chancellor. When she returned to the bedroom, she’s startled by Jia Sidao, who was experimenting with a flare of some sort. He asks her where she went off, and she makes up an excuse that she went back to her former place of work at the pleasure house because the Chancellor did not seem to be interested in her anymore. Jia Sidao apologizes to her for this.
As the Chinese prepare for the emperor's coronation day, Marco Polo goes to work by drawing and taking notes of the structure and weak points of the walls in the city. Hundred Eyes makes his way to Jia Sidao’s quarters, where the chancellor is seen having tea and talking to his replacement. In a matter of minutes, though, Jia Sidao attacks his replacement with the scholar's pen and kills him. Hundred Eyes takes this time to launch his attack on Sidao as well.
However, it did not end as originally planned. With the soldiers around and with Jia Sidao’s fighting techniques, Hundred Eyes and Marco retreat. They, however, take Mei Lin’s daughter with them to bring to the Khan’s castle, while Jing Fei insists on remaining in Xiangyang. The Empress needs her there.
By the end of the episode, Jia Sidao, all covered in blood, interrupts the coronation of the young Emperor of China and gives the empress a dirty, threatening look to signify that he’s still pretty much in power.
Back in Kublai’s court, Marco presents to the Khan his drawings and an idea on how to finally crumble China’s great walls.
“Marco Polo” Season 1 Episode 7 “The Scholar’s Pen,” which has been streaming on Netflix since its full season release last Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at 12:01 a.m.
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Netflix Media Center