“Marco Polo” Season 1 Episode 9 “Prisoners” can be viewed on Netflix as part of the series’ full season release. The streaming site has already made the show available as of Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at 12:01 a.m. Read on for the recap of the penultimate episode.
Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong) is mad and full of rage. Once again, they have failed to topple down the Walled City, and many of his warriors died in the battle. His ally and confidante, Marco Polo (Lorenzo Richelmy), is currently holed up in the cell for treason, as he’s to blame for this mistake. The Khan's sons Ahmed (Mahesh Jadu) and Prince Jingim (Remy Hii) told him so.
Marco is brought to the court to be heard. He found an ally in Byamba (Uli Latukefu), Kublai's other son, but Ahmed and Jingim have been able to twist the facts in their favor, insisting that Marco is a traitor who has been counting on the attack to fail. While Marco insisted on his loyalty to Kublai, Jingim could not help but notice that the crucifix he wears bore the inscript, “All kings shall fall before him.” Jingim thinks this is an insult to the Khan. Marco tells the the court he knows the Khan has ambitions of conquering not just China, but even the West. He warns Kublai that his army may be weak against the Vatican. He’s sent back to his cell again.
In the Walled City, Jia Sidao (Chin Han) is told that the imperial seal is temporarily in his care as the Emperor is still quite young. But the people would like to pledge their loyalty to their new Emperor, so Sidao decides he will present the young leader to them. He will, however, stand by the Emperor's side so that others would take notice of him too.
Back in Mongol, Kokachin (Zhu Zhu) has a new servant and bodyguard courtesy of Empress Chabi (Joan Chen), who comes by her quarters to bring her some special fabric she used when she married Kublai. Their conversation turns to Marco, who would be executed at dawn the next day for treason. Chabi watched Kokachin’s face for a reaction. She knows about the two of them. Later, when Kokachin realizes that she's been held in her quarters and not allowed to see Marco, she attempts to take her life, but she lost her nerve the last minute.
Chabi, by the way, has been winning young Ling’s trust and gathering information about her mother, Mei Lin (Olivia Cheng). The Empress learns that the girl is the daughter of China’s deceased emperor, and thus, they have more leverage to keep her. Later, Chabi allows Mei Lin to see Ling from afar, telling her that from now on, she will take care of the child as her own. Ling will be safe, so long as Mei Lin does what the Empress says.
Back in Xiangyang, Sidao tells the Dowager Empress that he’s rallying up the Chinese to prepare for war against the Mongols, but he gets no support from her. He doesn’t mind though, as he seems to have worked his way into gaining the trust of the young Emperor using his pet insects, the praying mantis. He also shows the Dowager some sort of flare, which he’s been working on the past few days then uses this flare to shoot empress dead. Jia Sidao has guns for his army.
At the cell, Marco is visited by Prince Jingim, who goes on a litany about hunting and getting killed. When the Prince returns his crucifix to Marco, he refuses it, saying that Jingim has more need for the cross when they go back to battle again. Meanwhile, Hundred Eyes (Tom Wu) makes a plea for Marco Polo, telling Kublai that he’s just as responsible for treason, as the young man was entrusted in his care. Kublai orders his soldiers to escort Hundred Eyes out.
Yusuf (Amr Waked) also appeals to Kublai for mercy for Marco, saying he has been reading the man's journals and found his intentions to be noble. But the Khan’s mind is determined — Marco will be beheaded in the morning. Yusuf then visits Marco in his cell and discovers that he’s been working on another plan to help the Mongols breach the Walled City. Yusuf is starting to really believe in him, to trust his insights and ideas. When Marco said that he's not afraid to die tomorrow, but he’s more afraid to die while being branded as traitor, Yusuf knew he should do really do something.
So he told Kublai that he's the one who hired the Hashshahins, that he has been plotting the Khan’s downfall. Kublai is confused and enraged. He knows Yusuf is making this up, but then Yusuf has already told everyone about this, putting Kublai in the worst position of leadership. What choice did Kublai have? So by the end of the episode, Marco is released, and Yusuf is the one killed treason.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 23, 2014
That's the recap for “Marco Polo” Season 1 Episode 9 “Prisoners,” which has been streaming on Netflix since Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at 12:01 a.m.
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Netflix Media Center