Marco Polo Recap: The Wolf and the Deer
“Marco Polo” Season 1 Episode 2 “The Wolf and the Deer” started streaming on Netflix since Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at 12:01 a.m. Read what happened in this episode in the recap below.
Following the end of the first episode ("The Wayfarer"), Prince Jingim (Remy Hill) was defeated in his bid to secure the farm city. His father was not pleased, telling him that the Mongols do not lose in battle. The Empress (Joan Chen) ordered her son to visit the healer and defended him against her husband. Can he not see Jingim was bleeding? But the more pressing question for the Khan, however, was that why didn’t Ariq’s reinforcements arrive?
Marco Polo (Lorenzo Richelmy) was doing the rounds with the tax collector, as this was what Kublai (Benedict Wong) wanted. The tax collector was actually a nice man, who accepted payments in linens, if the people could not afford to pay in coins. The tax collector was also fond of Marco, and their relationship was cordial. He welcomed Marco to his house as guest.
Marco asked the tax collector if he could come with him when he goes to Silk Road next, but the man told him he cannot leave the city. Besides, it was safer there. That night, however, Marco tried to ride his horse outside of the city, perhaps in the hopes of escaping to Silk Road to find his father. However, he saw the vast lands and seemed to realize it may not be good idea right now.
Marco then spotted the pretty woman he saw in town. She was also riding out of the city; she went to a lone tree in the middle of the land and hid something there. Marco could not resist but ride towards her.
He learned that she’s the Blue Princess Kokachin (Zhu Zhu). He also learned that just like Marco, she’s sort of a prisoner in the city. However, the princess disagreed they're in the same situation. Marco was, as she said, Kublai’s pet, while she was a princess. They both rode back to the city after their brief talk, which did not amuse her bodyguard.
Later, Marco was told to report to Kublai, who was also not amused about his riding outside the empire’s walls. Kublai then ordered Marco to join Prince Jingim on his trip to Arig’s camp. He would have to report back what he sees faithfully.
Meanwhile, in the Song castle, Mei Lin (Olivia Cheng) was explaining to her daughter about the condition of her father, the emperor, using metaphors and legends. Her brother, Jia Sidao (Chin Han), interrupted this touching moment between mother and daughter, and the siblings had a minor disagreement. The situation was getting tense in this Chinese household.
The prince and his court arrived at Ariq’s camp, where they were warmly received. His uncle told him some lame excuse about why there were no reinforcements, blaming rebels for preventing his soldiers from reaching Jingim. As the two talked, Marco went around the camp exploring the horses and their supplies. Then they returned to Kublai, where Jingim declared to his father that his uncle would be ready to fight with them in the next battle against the Chinese.
But Marco had a different take on the matter. While the horses and the soldiers seemed ready for war, Ariq’s supplies were not enough to endure and sustain Jingim's campaign. If anything, it was more likely Ariq’s army was preparing to battle with Kublai’s men. Kublai was alarmed and sent someone to confirm this allegation.
Meanwhile, the prince threatened Marco telling him that his gift of words could end up getting him killed. Should he leave the city? Hundred Eyes told Marco that this would be a dumb move. He should instead learn to fight and prepare himself, which turned out to be unnecessary for now because, as Kublai and Jingim discovered, Ariq was indeed planning on killing the Khan.
Kublai was both torn and amused, after learning the truth and after receiving a gift from his younger brother as a peace offering. He loved Ariq, but he knew his greed reflected his weakness. The empress told her husband she would be very pleased to see Ariq dead. It was payback for what he did to their son. Such a strong and powerful woman this empress.
Back at the Chinese castle, Jia Sidao was aware that the Khan Brothers were at war with each other, which would benefit them. Minutes later, he got word that the emperor had passed on, leaving the care of the dynasty to the new emperor. But the heir was only a toddler, so for now, Jia Sidao was definitely in charge. His first order of business? He had three soldiers attempt to rape his own sister. But when she fought back and murdered them, using her deadly but graceful martial arts technique, Mei Lin was banished by his own brother to become one of Kublai’s harem. She was to spy on him, while Jia Sidao took Mei Lin’s daughter under his care to guarantee his sister would do as he said.
Meanwhile, Marco met with the royal treasurer who wanted to know if the tax collector was faithful in doing his job. Was it true he took linens instead of coins? Marco did not know how best to answer this without putting his friend’s life on the line. But later on, he saw that someone has been killed, and its body was being trampled on by horses. It was the tax collector’s. Marco was dumbfounded.
Kublai sent his brother a message with a broken arrow. He was declaring war against him. But the night before the big battle, the brothers shared a drink and a game one last time. They also reminisced about their childhood and paid tribute to their mother. They told each other how much they love each other, but this battle will have to take place.
Before heading back to his camp, Kublai had a brief talk with Marco, telling him that he was exactly Marco’s age when he knew that he has to become like his father. It was a moment that explained why Kublai was quite fond of Marco, as he sort of saw himself in him.
The next day, the Mongol tribes lined up, ready for war against each other. But Kublai decided this battle would be just between him and Ariq. So the two square off, one-on-one. Kublai was wounded quite a few times by Ariq. Age has given him a disadvantage. But somehow, Kublai was able to gather enough strength to deliver a deadly blow. Ariq was struck hard, and Kublai beheaded him to end his suffering.
And with that, Kublai declared that with the tribes working together, they will take on the Song’s Walled City next.
That’s the recap for “Marco Polo” Season 1 Episode 2 “The Wolf and the Deer,” which is currently streaming on Netflix. The site has released the full season since Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at 12:01 a.m.
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Netflix Media Center