Episode 7 of “Marco Polo” starts from Jia Sidao’s viewpoint. We see a flashback to his childhood with Mei Lin. She was a child prostitute who supported him by selling her body to pedophiles. It is interesting to see that the power dynamic was so different when he was a helpless child and she was the savvy younger sister keeping them afloat. He was much nicer to her, and she had the ability to put him in his place as needed. Of course that just makes him more unlikable now that the audience can see he would have been a starving deadbeat if not for his sister’s “whoring”. This makes Marco’s new assignment all the more desirable to audiences.
Mei Lin has been captured and has revealed to the court that her brother is Chancellor Jia Sidao. He ordered her to become the Khan’s concubine and then later ordered her to assassinate the Empress. She went along with his plans out of fear that he would kill her child Ling Ling if she did not fulfill his wishes. The court is appalled (by Jia Sidao), and Mei Lin’s life is spared. However, her brother will not be so lucky. The Khan is ready to retaliate, and he orders Hundred Eyes to take out the Chancellor inside the Walled City. Marco is to help Hundred Eyes by serving as the eyes of the expedition. He is also to look for weaknesses in the Walled City that could assist a future invasion.
Marco and Hundred Eyes are successful in making their way into the Walled City. I will not reveal all of the fun that goes on there. Let’s just say that Jia Sidao’s “praying mantis” martial arts will be put to the test during a spirited battle with Hundred Eyes. Meanwhile, Marco is able to discover a weakness in the Walled City that should reduce the need for a bloody and difficult invasion. The happy part of this journey is that Mei Lin’s daughter Ling Ling is able to escape the city with Hundred Eyes and Marco.
This episode easily reveals that Jia Sidao is one of the worst people ever to grace the show. To give a recap of all the chaos he has created throughout the series, I will make a short list:
- He lived off of the money his sister made as a child prostitute when he was young.
- He “whored” his own sister to low ranking soldiers as an adult.
- When she refused to have sex with the soldiers, he whored her to the Khan. He kept her daughter as a hostage to insure that she would sleep with and collect information from Kublai.
- He tortured her daughter (his niece) Ling Ling by binding Ling Ling’s feet at an inappropriately late age.
He doesn’t appear to be getting much better, even though the guilt of putting Mei Lin in harm’s way is starting to weigh on his mind.
Marco is always one to do the right thing. He has good values and wants to show the people of the Walled City mercy. However, given how incredibly demonic Jia Sidao is with his actions, audiences watching this episode will hope Marco and Hundred Eyes are able to handle the Jia Sidao problem once and for all.