“Marco Polo” Season 1 Episode 5 “Hashshashin” is currently streaming on Netflix. The full season of the series has been out since Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at 12:01 a.m. Find out what happened in this installment in the recap below.
Something was up and Hundred Eyes (Tom Wu) sensed this. He was immediately on alert. Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong) was nearby with Marco Polo (Lorenzo Richelmy). They were playing shatar, an ancient Mongolian chess game. They were also talking about Marco’s father and uncle, who remained prisoners in the dungeon, as the Khan found out they have been involved in smuggling. Marco was to decide what the Khan should do with his kin, but before he could give Kublai his answer, the palace was under attack.
Stealth assassins appeared out of nowhere, and the Khan was hurt. A poison dart aimed at his neck knocked him down. Marco, Hundred Eyes and Byamba (Uli Latukefu), who's the Khan’s son from one of his consorts, were all on guard to fight off the assassins. They managed to kill most of them, except for one. Marco told Byamba to let the last one live, so they could ask questions. Byamba chopped the assassins hand off instead.
Kublai remained alive but was unconscious. Empress Chabi (Joan Chen) was told by the healer that if the Khan would survive the night, he would be alright. Prince Jingim (Remy Hii) called for a council to plan on what to do next. It was Hundred Eyes who told them that the assault seemed like it was done by the Hashshashin. But then, how was this possible? The Hashshashin were long known to be dead.
Hundred Eyes suggested to the prince to send someone on a mission to found out who was behind this group pretending to be the Hashshashin. Jingim chose Marco for the task when he told the prince of the rumor about hired men who were trained to kill like Hashshashin for money. Marco would be accompanied by Byamba in his mission, but before he left, he asked Jingim to spare his father and uncle from death. It was supposed to be what he would’ve told the Khan had the attack not took place.
While preparing to leave, the Blue Princess Kokachin (Zhu Zhu) met up with Marco to tell him that should he get a chance outside of the city, he should already run as far away as possible from the Mongols.
Meanwhile, in the walled city in Xiangyang, Jia Sidao (Chin Han) gained an audience in court after they learned that the emissaries they sent to the parlay with the Mongols have been murdered. They presumed this was done by the other camp, but as viewers learned from the previous episode, “The Fourth Step,” this was a ploy from Jia Sidao. He convinced the court to give him control of the Chinese army.
Jia Sidao’s sister, Mei Lin (Olivia Cheng), was still inside the Khan’s empire. She was told by a rider to leave immediately as her cover may soon be blown, but Mei Lin was more afraid of what her brother might do to her daughter since Jia Sidao has not yet ordered her to come back home. So she would have to stay put and continue to spy for him.
Byamba and Marco were in for a long journey on the road, and thus, they got to know each other better. In between rests and travels, they talked about their parents and bonded over the fact that they both have a dysfunctional relationship with their fathers.
Back in the palace, the last one of the Hashshashin imposters was killed since they couldn’t find any answers from him anymore. Jingim then went to the dungeon to talk to Marco’s father, and he realized that Niccolo (Pierfrancesco Favino) was more concerned about this possessions and fortune than his own son. Jingim reprimanded him and defended Marco to his father.
Jingim has also learned that the peace treaty with the Chinese was essentially foiled by Jia Sidao. His adopted brother, Ahmad (Mahesh Jadu), convinced him to start preparing for war. Ahmad, by the way, didn’t trust the prince’s decision to send Marco to look for answers about the Hashshashin. He believed Marco will betray them.
Marco and Byamba came to an inn where they met a guy who told them that he could lead them to the gatekeeper. Byamba was distrustful of this guy, and there was a tense moment, but Marco was able to pacify it. So they journeyed further with their new guide and reached the middle of nowhere. They rested and smoked, which made Marco hallucinate.
When he woke up, there was an old man in front of him, talking in riddles. He gave Marco a note containing information about Kublai’s assassins. The order apparently came from someone from within the Khan’s court. They had a traitor in the castle.
At this point, Marco could have chosen to walk away from everything, never to return to Kublai’s empire. But he decided to come back, and together with Byamba, they told the Khan — who has miraculously healed from the poison — about what they’ve learned. Kublai asked them to keep this a secret for now, assigning Marco to find out the identity of the traitor.
However, Kublai has not forgotten their earlier agreement about Niccolo. So now that Kublai wanted his answer, he told the Khan that his father and uncle shouldn’t not be killed. But they would have to be branded with the mark of thieves on their palms so that they would never be able to trade on Silk Road again.
It was Marco who burned the mark on his father and uncle’s hands in front of Kublai.
That’s the recap for “Marco Polo” Season 1 Episode 5 “Hashshashin,” which is currently streaming on Netflix as of Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at 12:01 a.m.
Follow Movie News Guide (MNG) for more about this series.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Netflix Media Center