Measure Against the LinchPin
Season 2, Episode 3
Episode Information
Written By

Elizabeth Sarnoff

Directed By

Daniel Minahan

Episode Navigation
Let God's Work Begin

"Measure Against the LinchPin" is the third episode of the second season of Marco Polo. It is the fourteenth episode of the series overall. It was written by executive producer Elizabeth Sarnoff and directed by executive producer Daniel Minahan.




Ahmad can be seen walking atop the walls of Cambulac, observing the masses gathered below. The guardian of the Song dynasty, Lotus, pushes through the crowd and gazes above. She is visibly upset and wiping away tears, for the boy Emperor is hanging outside the palace gates for all to see. In the morning, a warrior on horseback rides through the gates out onto the deserted and destroyed streets, while cutting the Emperor boy's body down.

Act 1

Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong) wakes up, haunted by a dream that Empress Chabi attributes to Genghis Khan.

Jingim, in bed with Kokachin (Zhu Zhu), notes that the crowd had stared at the dead, hanging body of the child Emperor for weeks, until they were angered into rioting.

Marco Polo is woken up by Hundred Eyes in the training room after a night of wine. The Khan comes and orders him to go on a hike into the mountains.

That night, Ahmad tells Prince Jingim (Remy Hii) that Jingim's advice was better and Ahmad's has only caused violence. It was a better choice to follow the the advice of Jingim to avoid the riots.

While Mei Lin (Olivia Cheng) sleeps, the assassin, the one that followed Marco and Mei Lin when they brought back the Emperor, demands the name of the “White Devil”. Mei Lin claims she is a prisoner and wants access to the underground, to which is replied that the assassin is the underground.

On the mountain, Marco demands to know the purpose of the mission. It is to ask Tengri to see if Kaidu dies or lives.

Act 2

Kaidu consults a witch to see if the future can be discerned. She says that a prince will be seen on a steppe.

A lot of things are set in motion as Khutulun tells Byamba (Uli Latukefu) they are ready to go.

On the mountain, Kublai tells Marco that he should have realized Kublai's obvious intention to kill the boy who, Kublai reminds Marco, was the Emperor of China.

On the Mongol steppes, Prince Jingim is received by Arban of the North Horde and Gerel of the West. The two are reminded that they are both are considered “lesser” emmissaries and that they are not well-favoured. Kaidu is said to have forced a vote to decide what is best, at a moment where the issue is incredible. As Jingim wanted to present his case, he is invited to a wrestling match to see if he can best the undisputed champion of the steppe tribes.

As Marco and Kublai hike to a cliff edge, the wolf finally catches up to them, hungry. Kublai advises Marco to stare down the wolf, which leaves after a few moments. They continue on their hike.

Act 3

Kokachin returns from horseriding, and is mildly scolded by Empress Chabi for riding "in her condition". Kokachin tells the Empress she has no condition, so the Empress arranges for special foods to be prepared, to aid conception. Desperate for Jingim to have an heir, Chabi asks Kokachin if she's prepared to do whatever is necessary in order to get pregnant. Kokachin says she is and eats the food.

At night in the Mongol camp, the wrestling match commences. The reining champ is a massive guy, easily hurling Jingim around the ring. Annoyed, Jingim decides to abandon wrestling in favour of actual fighting, knocking his opponent down and out, becoming the new wrestling champion.

Night falls on the mountain. Kublai reveals that he is determined to maintain his power and that the death of the boy gave him no pleasure. The wolf comes back and tries to kill Kublai, but is shot and killed by Marco. They immediately head off the mountain. When they return home, Kublai argues with Chabi about Marco. She feels that Kublai trusts a foreigner more than her. Kublai tells her that Marco saved his life, even when he didn't want to, and that Marco has a good heart. Chabi walks away, angrily. Walking to the throne room, Kublai acknowledges the good work Marco has done. Kublai Khan then conscripts Marco Polo into the Order of the Mongol Knights.


As Prince Jingim's party heads home, Khutulun leads a group of warriors and kills most of the guards, leaving Ahmad and Jingim alive, but reminds them she can kill them at any time. Orus then kills both of their horses, injuring Ahmad when his horse rolls on his leg.

That night, Kublai enters the quarters of Mei Lin and has her perform oral sex.

Chabi visits the room of Kokachin, followed by the stable boy, Batbayer. Kokachin realizes that Chabi intends to have Batbayer rape her to conceive a child. Kokachin pleads, arguing that the child won't have full royal blood. Chabi replies that the child will have no royal blood, implying she knows Kokachin is not actually the Blue Princess.


Cast notes


Hundred Eyes: A man wishing to be unhappy finds many ways to prove his cause.

Kublai Khan: Sometimes that’s all there is to being Khan. Terrible things you are required to do.




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 ,