• Full Episodes
  • Characters
  • Web Extras
  • Recaps
  • Home

'Borgen,' Episode 12: 'In Brussels No One Can Hear You Scream'

Catch episodes of "Borgen" that aren't currently streaming via our recaps here.


Previously on "Borgen"

Birgitte is visiting Denmark's troops in Afghanistan when two patrols come under attack, leaving an unprecedented five casualties. These tragic events compel the PM to completely reverse her (and thereby the Moderate Party's) stance on the war. Instead of withdrawing the soldiers immediately, as she had planned to do, she sends them more military equipment to allow them to continue their efforts. This decision -- the most contentious of her career -- drives an even deeper wedge between her and Bent. Birgitte also signs divorce papers, finalizing the end of her relationship with Phillip. Meanwhile, Katrine is now working for the Express. She is on assignment in Afghanistan when the dead soldiers are brought back to base. She decides to write a feature about one of the men who dies and print the letter the soldier wrote his dad in the article. (Click here to read the complete recap for this episode.)

This week's episode: "In Brussels No One Can Hear You Scream"

It was only a matter of time before an episode opened with Sun Tzu's sage advice to "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." That means Birgitte (Sidse Babett Knudsen) has a lot of people to keep "closer" -- including her former friend Bent (Lars Knutzon). Her relationship with her one-time mentor takes a nose-dive to a point of no return, but a tragedy that strikes at the end of the episode offers some hope of a rekindlement. And in continuation with the theme of Birgitte and Katrine's (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) lives heading in now opposite directions, Katrine and her mentor Hanne (Benedikte Hansen) as well as Kasper (Pilou Asbæk) grow closer than ever as friends.

The episode opens with Birgitte deliberating with her cabinet about who to appoint as Denmark's new European commissioner to Brussels -- Denmark's voice in Europe. Her permanent secretary later suggests using the post to exile an undesirable minister. Instead of getting rid of someone and masking it as a promotion, the PM initially decides to promote an up-and-comer, who would serve as her protege. So despite Kasper's warnings against doing so, she asks EU Minister Jacob Kruse (Jens Jacob Tychsen) what he thinks of the position. Instead of suggesting himself for the role, as Birgitte had expected, he recommends Bent for it. Although Kasper smells a rat, he thinks shipping Bent off might prove helpful, after all. His large international network could guarantee them a significant position among the other European countries and the post would get him out of Birgitte's hair. Kasper evidently loves trying to kill two birds with one stone (the operative words being tries).

Meanwhile, Katrine is down in the dumps about her upcoming birthday. She feels unaccomplished at 31 and knows she will feel even more so if she visits her family on her birthday. Her mom wants her to be married with kids by now. Hanne, who's slowly becoming her close friend and motherly figure, says "there's only one thing worse than having a family and that's not having one."

After several yelling matches at work, Bent drops by Birgitte's house to chat in a more intimate setting. And even though they're no longer pals, he still acts like a friend and brings Magnus (Emil Poulsen), who just returned from a doctor's appointment, valuable Mighty Ducks comic books that he received as a child when he was sick. "Why won't you talk to me anymore?" he asks Birgitte, bringing to mind a question she once asked Phillip (Mikael Birkkjær). She says they simply see each other less now since she was forced to let him go as her Finance Minister. That doesn't mean they can't still be friends, he says.

Instead of motivating her to work on their strained relationship, the conversation causes her to want to get rid of him and offer him the post in Brussels. He turns it down the following day. He says he knows she's doing it just to relieve her guilty conscience. "You're sending me off to Brussels to keep me from nagging at home," he says, predicting the exact reason for his appointment. He storms away, insulted that she would try to "buy [him] off." Then Jacob turns it down. Kasper says he's being cunning and strategic. He wants to be the Moderate Party's second-in-command. He can't do that from Brussels. With no other potential Moderate candidates, the PM considers the new Finance Minister Pernille Madsen (Petrine Agger), who's eager for more "stars on her shoulder" and has already weaseled her way to two major promotions. They will use the appointment as a bargaining chip to take the finance or business ministries from the Labor Party.

Hanne falls off the wagon during a press conference that day. She leaves to take a drink then returns to ask the PM whether Bent is the new commissioner -- a question just posed by another journalist. She visits Katrine that night to explain her bizarre actions. She's been having personal troubles. Her daughter's birthday is on the same day as Katrine's, but she can't attend the party because her ex-husband's wife doesn't like her. Katrine tells her to forget about the new wife and go for her daughter's sake. Laugesen (Peter Mygind) finds about about Hanne's blunder and scolds her at the office the following day. He says you can drink yourself to death, but can't embarrass the paper.

Bent has a change of heart and tells Birgitte he now wants the post, even though the PM has officially appointed Pernille (but not yet announced it to the media). Birgitte doesn't want to give yet another job to Pernille that rightfully belongs to Bent so she lets him have it. However, she mentions that his wife, who visited her the previous day to advise her against sending Bent to Brussels, might be upset about the appointment. He tells her to stay out of his marriage. After all, they're nothing more than colleagues now. Jacob thereby gets Bent's job as Moderate Party deputy leader.

If Hanne fell of the wagon earlier, she's violently thrown off now. She stumbles drunk out of a stall in the men's restroom, drops and breaks her bottle of booze, falls and cuts her hand severely. Kasper calls Katrine, who's getting ready for a press conference, to come help. The reporter walks her mentor outside and puts her away in a cab. She misses the press conference, which announced the new commissioner, and thereby has no content for her article. However, the always thoughtful Kasper taped it specifically for her.

The episode takes an even darker turn when Bent suffers from a cerebral embolism in parliament while celebrating his new post. As he hears all the responsibilities that lie ahead, he grows overwhelmed, falls to the ground, and keeps repeating "who's going to water the garden?" Birgitte is completely devastated, especially when the Express runs an article the following morning blaming her for Bent's condition. The story alleges that she knew he had suffered from an embolism earlier this year, yet selected him for the strenuous commissioner post. At this point, Birgitte has no one in her life to turn to for support. Kasper is the only one left in her court, but their relationship is strictly professional.

Birgitte visits her old friend, who's unconscious, later that day at the hospital. She's greeted by Bent's wife, Kirsten, who's completely repulsed by the PM because she's also under the impression that Birgitte knew about his illness. After some probing, Birgitte learns that Kirsten had told Jacob about Bent's fragile state two days ago, right before meeting with Birgitte to tell her not to offer Bent the post. Jacob, of course, never relayed the information to the PM.

Birgitte is livid and wants him gone immediately. Kasper calms her down and says she can't just fire her second-in-command -- it's bad press. So she instead meets with Jacob and tells him very calmly and matter-of-factly that he's resigning as deputy leader and EU minister and taking the commissioner post. When he tries to protest, Birgitte tells him she knows about his stunt. He was aware of Bent's illness, but didn't tell her about it. Instead, he convinced her to hire him as commissioner. He also told the Express that Birgitte knew about the ordeal in order to discredit her because he's after her job. It looks like Kasper was right to have smelled a rat.

Denmark receives the multilingualism post with Jacob as commissioner. They were in the running for a vice-presidency with Bent in the role. Despite the terrible predicament, Birgitte will probably honor her relationship with Bent more once he wakes up from his coma. "Bent, I'm truly sorry about all this. Do you think we can go back to being friends?" she asks.

Hanne tells Katrine the next day at work that her drinking was brought on by the fact that her daughter didn't show up to their lunch date. She kept Hanne waiting for two hours, then texted her that she just couldn't face her. They don't have much of a relationship because her husband got custody of their daughter when she was five. It's also Katrine's birthday that day so she gives her an incredible gift -- a small piece of the Berlin Wall and a card that reads "you have time to do it all." Kasper stops by the office at night to take her to dinner (instead of staying for his own dinner party that his new girlfriend had planned). Kasper gifts her a statuette of the Venus of Willendorf. Later that night he texts her the news that Jacob is the new commissioner. He seems to be trying to win her back with scoops. Hanne, who comes to dinner with them, says she can tell Kasper is still in love with Katrine. He doesn't deny it.

That night Magnus wakes up and crawls into bed with Birgitte. He says he should return Bent's comics now that he's sick. He also misses his dad and wants to go over to his place. Birgitte says that she's here for him, but he insists on wanting to be with his dad instead. When it rains, it pours ...

Like Borgen? Donate to KCET and choose a Borgen-related thank you gift.

Choose a gift

About the Author

Freelance journalist. Fashion, film, fine art, TV fanatic.
RSS icon

LEAVE A COMMENT Leave Comment