Season 2, Episode 2
Episode Information
Written By

Patrick Macmanus

Directed By

David Petrarca

Episode Navigation
Hunter and the Sable Weaver
Measure Against the LinchPin

"Hug" is the second episode of the second season of Marco Polo. It is the thirteenth episode of the series overall. It was written by executive producer Patrick Macmanus and directed by David Petrarca.


Marco gets an unpleasant surprise upon return to Kublai's court. Kublai faces an impossibly difficult decision.



As Marco Polo (Lorenzo Richelmy) and Mei Lin(Olivia Cheng) continue on their travels back with the boy emperor, they tell the boy Ling Ling is excited to see them. As they stop for a moment, they realize do not realize that Lotus (Michelle Yeoh, the protector of the boy Emperor is on their trail and are forced to move faster on horseback.


As the kurultai looms, Kaidu (Rick Yune) seeks support among people.

Byamba is moving somewhere with others.

The khan is consulting his wife Empress Chabi about the upcoming kurultai. He belives that he will win immediately because they are “his” chieftans”. Chabi advises to not rely ion historic ties and more on current favors to the people and to ensure they want to choose the khan.

Byamba meets with Kaidu an d his people about the upcoming Kurultai. They discuss who is the rightful heir and the upcoming elections. Arban, a another chieftain, belives it is not right for illegitimate children to ascend any throne. A fight ensues.

Marco Polo and Mei Lin returns to the court of the khan with the boy. Marco is immediately met with open ears of his travels while Mei Lin recieves poor reception. As Kublai interrogates the pair, the child emperor sits on the throne, making the entire court laugh. Soon Marco reunites with Jingim, who introduces (who is unaware of Marco's relationship) Kokachin as his newly wed bride. Marco is invited to a meeting with the khan.

At the meeting with the khan, Ahmed and Jingim, disagreement ensue. Ahmend argues for brutality: he says Jia Sidao would have hung the khan's head on a stick and paraded thus the boy as well. Jingim advocates for moderation and less brutality to discourage the people from uniting as one against the Mongols. Marco advocates mercy, but Ahmad points out that Marco himself admitted the south is not secure.

In Kaidu's camp, he is confident that he is going to Win. Nayan, the camp's minister to the minority Christians, comes in and converses. Kaidu is not entirely won over by the urging of Nayan. As they make a toast, Kaidu refuses to drink, instead showing willingness to make concessions.

Late at night, Kublai is in his throne room. Ahmed leads the boy emperor to the courtroom. Ahmed walks out to his contact with Xiangyang, asking if there are friends with the Song dynasty that can help because the khan is about to make a choice where he will regret.

A monumentous decision

In the courtroom, Kublai sentences the boy Emperor to death, but the child's crying forces him to sheathe his blade. Instead, Kublai tells the Emperor of a time when he saw men die, and hunted dear and antelope. The boy Emperor asks if they cried - the men Kublai watched die - before admitting he has seen bad men die himself. Questioning whether Kublai seeks his death because he's bad, the Emperor cries that he doesn't want to die before running to embrace Kublai who, overcome with grief, smothers the boy as Marco watches.



Guest starring

  • Max Kellady as Emperor Duzong
  • Tosh Zhan as Bai
  • Byambadorj Altanhuyag as General Qaban
  • Daniel Tuiara as Sukh
  • Billie Chong as Servant

Cast notes


Emperor Duzhong: I have to use the tree!
Mei Lin: ...To stand or sit?
Emperor Duzhong: Stand.

Marco Polo: How does she keep up?
Mei Lin: Stay. Ask her.

Kaidu: The best day of granting favours gentlemen. Is the day they’re returned to you.

Kublai Khan: By the time I was your age, I’d seen men die.
Emperor Duzhong: Did you kill them?
Kublai Khan: At the time, I’d only killed a rabbit. And an antelope.
Emperor Duzhong: Did they cry?
Kublai Khan: The rabbit and the antelope?
Emperor Duzhong: (shakes head) The men you watched die.
Kublai Khan: Some of them, yes.
Emperor Duzhong: I’ve seen bad men die. Am I bad? Is that why you want me to die? …I don’t want to!



Season Two Episodes

Hunter and the Sable Weaver, Hug, Measure Against the LinchPin, Let God's Work Begin , Lullaby, Serpent's Terms, Lost Crane , Whitehorse , Heirs, The Fellowship ,