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'Marco Polo' fan recap: 'Let God’s Work Begin'

Season 2 | Episode 4 | “Let God’s Work Begin” | Aired Jul 1, 2016

Holy plot twist, Batman! Just when we thought Marco Polo was narrowing its focus to a few main storylines, with an epic battle between Kaidu and Kublai on the horizon, Marco Polo moved in a totally new direction.

The Pope has taken an interest in the Mongol Empire and plans to take over Kublai’s territory and people in the name of Christianity. He enlists Marco Polo’s father and Nayan to take down Kublai because he’s so tolerant of all religions. While resistant to the idea, Nayan eventually agrees to help the Pope, although Nayan, who seemed to have just supported Kaidu’s claim to lead the Mongol Empire, could easily be playing both sides and planning to double-cross the Pope down the road.

While some threats remain in the East and throughout the Mongol Empire, it seems the West is the real current threat in the series. Looking at each side, the West and the Church have the resources to rally their followers and take on the East in battle if they need to, but they also have followers within regions of the Mongol Empire. If the Church were to take up arms against the Mongols, some of the Church’s warriors might already be behind the Mongol’s frontlines, which would be a huge threat.

At the end of the third episode, Kaidu’s son and daughter, Khutulun, ambushed and attacked Prince Jingim and Ahmad, who had just visited a village campaigning for Kublai. During the attack, Ahmad’s horse is killed and falls on Ahmad’s leg. As it turns out, Ahmad’s leg is broken, which makes the trek difficult and slow.

Kublai finds out about the attack and pays a visit to Kaidu with his army. Kaidu is shocked by his son’s stupidity and pledges to help Kublai find the prince and Ahmad. The next morning, they set off to find them.

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Overall, the interaction between rivals Kaidu and Kublai remains civil for most of the day, but eventually  their political differences cause a standoff. Kaidu holds his sword at Kublai’s throat, but Kublai’s army has Kaidu surrounded. So far this season, we haven’t had many moments with such high stakes for Kublai and Kaidu. They have remained comfortably safe for the most part. It was interesting to see the series hang in the balance of a sword blade.

Eventually, Kaidu and Kublai come to their senses when Ahmad and Jingim are found safe and mostly unharmed. While Kaidu and Kublai remain at odds with each other, it appears their focuses should be on their enemies elsewhere. Those are the real, true threats to their reign and control of their empire and China.

Other notes and plot points from the episode

  • While in the cave with Jingim, Ahmad began hallucinating and revealed his wish and vision to overthrow Kublai. Jingim seemed to understand, but so far, he’s refused to tell anyone about Ahmad’s plans.
  • Mei Lin is visited by the Empress, who notices Kublai’s fox scarf in her quarters. The Empress threatens Mei Lin’s daughter once more as she still remains in the custody of the Empire.
  • The Blue Princess realizes the man who impregnated her was murdered. As she follows up, she learns he had a wife and child. Later, she contemplates running away if Jingim does not return from his journey.

All 10 episodes of Marco Polo season 2 are available on Netflix now.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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