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'Marco Polo' fan recap: 'Lullaby'

Season 2 | Episode 5 | “Lullaby” | Aired Jul 1, 2016

Halfway through the second season of Marco Polo, the stakes continue to rise. The threats become more threatening as each minute passes. The treachery, lies, and deceit run rampant through Kublai’s empire, although no one seems to know where to point the finger of blame.

Marco Polo suspects Ahmad’s plot to murder Kublai and voices his theory to Mei Lin, who tries to persuade him to drop the issue entirely. She hints that this situation is much too big for him. After Ahmad threatens Mei Lin and her daughter, Mei Lin tries to show Marco the wall that Ahmad had painted showing him holding Kublai’s severed head.

While it’s interesting to see where Mei Lin and Marco will take their knowledge, “Lullaby” is all about Ahmad.

Throughout the series, we have known Ahmad to be ruthless and brutal with his plans of chaos and the eventual overthrow of Kublai Khan. In “Lullaby,” we start to understand more about why Ahmad is the way he is and wants revenge on Kublai. We knew Kublai’s forces murdered Ahmad’s father and mother when he was a child … or so we thought.

As is revealed in a flashback in “Lullaby,” Ahmad’s mother was actually sold to a brothel after she was deemed unsuitable to work in the Khan’s palace. As Ahmad travels around Kublai’s empire as a tax collector, he visits a brothel to collect their taxes. When the brothel owner is unable to pay, she offers time with one of her girls instead. Ahmad accepts and chooses an older woman who appears to be from the same region as Ahmad. They sleep together.

Shortly after, the woman begins singing a lullaby that she made up and used to sing to her son. To his horror, Ahmad realizes that the woman is, in fact, his mother — and he kills her.

Ahmad returns to Kublai at the end of his journey and begins working as his Minister of Finance. It’s clear from that day forward that Ahmad has begun a revenge plot against Kublai, and he’s so close now!

With his plan in action, Ahmad has sent the majority of Kublai’s forces to China to send a message after bombers killed 300 Mongolians in Kublai’s empire. Ahmad also sent Byamba, Kublai’s son who returned in the last episode, to the infantry. Kublai is supposed to be traveling to Xanadu, and with his army nowhere near his side, he has never been more vulnerable.

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Ahmad is so close to fulfilling his revenge plot against Kublai, but Marco Polo and Mei Lin might be closing in. With the help of One Hundred Eyes and Lotus, they might be able to stop him.

The Blue Princess struggles with her pregnancy, but she has a much bigger problem on her hands following this episode.

In “Lullaby,” the real Blue Princess, the real Kokochin, has returned. Everyone thought the real Kokochin had taken her own life instead of becoming a prisoner of Kublai. The Blue Princess we know was actually a servant of the original Blue Princess, and she tried to pass herself off as Kokochin to save her own life. It worked, although a little too well. The real Princess is back, and she wants to be the Princess again.

That’s not good news for our Blue Princess! 

This relationship between the real Kokochin and the fake one could pose a problem for the entire empire. We don’t know what the real Kokochin is willing to do to reclaim her life. We also don’t know what the fake Kokochin will do (if anything) to keep her position and power. This might be the situation that allows the fake Kokochin to get out of “her duty” as Princess.

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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