Season 2, Episode 5
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Let God's Work Begin
Serpent's Terms

Lullaby is the fifth episode of the second season of Marco Polo. It is the sixteenth episode of the series overall. It was written by producer Bruce Marshall Romans and directed by Jon Amiel.



A few men walk through a busy night market, setting up things around the city in busy places. A few minutes later, explosions rock the city.

Act 1

Ahmad tells Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong) that several rebels set explosions, killing 300 and injuring thousands. He advocates for total annihilation of Xanadu, the home base of the rebels, an action Marco (Lorenzo Richelmy) opposes.

In a flashback, we see a young Ahmad being offered a position in Kublai's Ministry of Finance. He gracefully declines, wanting to instead travel as a tax collector, a position Kublai allows.

Kaidu (Rick Yune) still consults with the witch, who wants honorable war gone and dirty tricks employed.

That night, a guard tells Ahmad that Empress Chabi (Joan Chen) commanded the guard to escort a stable boy at an inappropriate hour. Kokachin is seen by a witch doctor, who is unable to determine the gender. As the conversation ensues, she sees, with the corner of her eyes, someone she thought she knew.

Later, she meets the person, who is the real princess Lady Kokachin (Esther Low), who had survived the “suicide” attempt. She came back to Khanbaliq and wants a life back as a princess, instead of a nobody.

Act 2

The witch performs a ceremony on Kaidu to expel the 'weak spirits' of his forefathers. As Ahmad heals, he finds Marco to be a nuisance. Mei Lin (Olivia Cheng) helps him to fix his leg.

In the flashback, Ahmad visits a whorehouse and sleeps with an older woman, presumably losing his virginity.

In the present, Ahmad tells Kublai Khan that many men are approaching for the Kurultai. Mei Lin is forced to go as well. Ahmed is told to take Mei Lin (his “whore”) and Empress Chabi is disappointed to hear that. She decides to follow Kublai to Xanada with Kokachin in tow.

In the sacred training room, Marco reveals to Hundred Eyes (Tom Wu) that Yusuf is the innocent man while Ahmad is the true mastermind behind Kublai's back. Marco demands Hundred Eyes to do something but is rebuffed.


Kaidu undergoes the firewalking ceremony. He does it in hopes of being granted favors in the upcoming Kurultai.

Mei Lin's agreement with Lotus comes to a head because she wants her daughter to be saved. As Lotus enters the training room where Hundred Eyes is training, he notices her, showing a sense of familiarity. Engaging in some sort of martial arts dance, they end up in a standstill before Lotus disappears.

Mei Lin takes Marco to Ahmad's room to show him his mural, but it has been freshly painted over. When Marco asks her what she had wanted to show him, she nervously tells him to leave the room.

In Ahmad's flashback, the prostitute starts humming the lullaby that his mother used to sing to him. Upon asking her where she heard it, she responds that she wrote it for her young son who died during the raids. Ahmad realizes that the prostitute is in fact his mother and quickly strangles her and alludes to his future fetish tendencies by femininizing his appearance before he returns to Kublai and takes him up on his offer to become his financial advisor.

Memorable Quotes

  • “The sage acts by doing nothing. You are not a sage” - Hundred Eyes to Marco Polo
  • “She's a second rate replacement” - Ahmad describing Mei Lin


Kublai Khan: You know what this means son. You finally feel worthy of the power I offer you.
Ahmad: I believe I do.

Mei Lin: Take your questions, take your suspicions, turn and leave this place.


  • The real Blue Princess returns. Revealing to have survived her own self inflicted wound after being healed by a monk. She now wants her title and power back.
  • Ahmad mentions in an earlier episode to Jingham that he watched his mother die when he was captured when he was young. Ahmad was humming the lullaby which he tells Jingham that Ahmad's real mother wrote it for him which is a lie and in reality he heard the lullaby from a prostitute in early age and killed her. Watching the episode few people may think the prostitute was his mother but actually the prostitute was too young to be his mother and he would have recognised her by her face anyway if she was his mother




Guest starring

  • Esther Low as Blue Princess
  • Karishma Ahluwalia as Oksana
  • Pearlly Chua as Orqina
  • Jason Chong as Kasar
  • Bayarsaikhan Baljinnyam as Bariyachi
  • Tosh Zhang as Bai
  • Daniel Tuiara as Sukh
  • Tan Meng Kheng as Cart Driver
  • Masa Yamaguchi as Keshig Knight
  • Derrick Ee as Chinese Man
  • Lanh Phong Giang as Way Station Scout

Cast notes


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 ,