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Previously on "Borgen"
Birgitte and Bent's loving relationship is a thing of the past. The PM and her former mentor are now at odds on every issue and constantly having yelling matches in parliament. Even after he pays her a home visit to try to preserve their friendship, Birgitte decides to "promote" him to European commissioner and ship him to Brussels. He initially refuses to take the post then has a change of heart. However, he suffers from a cerebral embolism minutes after his official appointment and falls in a coma. Birgitte learns from Bent's wife, who had told her not to offer him the position after he had already turned it down, that EU Minister Jacob Kruse knew about Bent's condition. He never told the PM about it, but instead encouraged her to offer Bent the post so he could become the Moderate Party's new deputy leader. Birgitte forces him to take the job in Brussels. Meanwhile, Hanne falls of the wagon. Katrine and Kasper come to her aid and their friendship grows stronger as a result. (Click here to read the complete recap for this episode.)
This week's episode: "The Last Worker"Although less action-packed than usual, last night's episode of "Borgen" proves why the show is a must watch. "The Last Worker" focuses primarily on political backstabbing, only dabbling in the characters' personal lives. It then abruptly takes a turn in the opposite direction, thereby revealing intimate details about Troels (Lars Brygmann), Katrine (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen), and Kasper (Pilou Asbæk) before ending in one of the show's most suspenseful cliffhangers to date.
Birgitte (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is practicing her presentation to the media about the government's new welfare reform package when Bjørn (Flemming Sørensen) abruptly barges in to tell her not to mention phasing out early retirement -- the program's main financial source. Minutes to go before the press conference, she's forced to completely change her speech to dodge the issue. "What is your contribution to this coalition?" she asks the incompetent Foreign Minister. It's growing increasingly hard for her to lead a three-party coalition, especially when the Labor Party can't agree internally.
As if Birgitte didn't have enough on her plate, Phillip (Mikael Birkkjær) shows up to her office to chat. He tells her he met someone. What's worse? He wants to introduce her to the kids. Birgitte is against the idea. She says she doesn't want their children to meet all his "random girlfriends." Even when Phil assures her that he's in a serious, committed relationship, she says she won't hand over the kids that night if he plans on introducing them to Cecelie. Just as she used to do when they were married, she barks an order (albeit a justifiable one) and Phillip is forced to quietly abide.
Frustrated with Phillip, Birgitte displaces her anger onto Bjørn, attacking his leadership skills in front of the entire cabinet. "You can't just rob me of my mandate to speak on behalf of the cabinet," she says. His own party members also voice their disdain for his new stance on the retirement plan. Kasper later gives Birgitte a pep talk to inform her that Bjørn's under attack from several sides. She shouldn't be so hard on him. Birgitte says she misses "the way it used to be," she misses Bent, who will never be himself again. She doesn't think he'll return to parliament once he's recovered from the embolism.
She later realizes her mistake and leaves Phil a message, apologizing for being too hard on him. She says the kids can meet his girlfriend if he thinks they're ready to do so. He doesn't bring Cecelie over that night. He tells Birgitte that she might be right; there's no need to rush the process. But Birgitte convinces him to introduce his lady love to the family, including her, the following day. She regrets that decision soon enough. Phil calls to let her know that they're en route to the house, just as Birgitte had asked, and she overhears Cecelie's voice in the background. Phillip and Cecelie start playfully teasing each other about driving directions and Birgitte freezes. She's at a loss for words. She lies and says she can't leave the office (even though she's already home and has cleaned the place immaculately) and hangs up abruptly. The reality of the situation finally sinks in -- Phillip has moved on and is happy with another woman. There is no chance of a reconciliation. Laura (Freja Riemann) gives her mom a hug. It's not the kids who aren't ready to meet Cecelie, it's Birgitte.
Meanwhile, Kasper has been acting more aloof than usual. He's been avoiding both Katrine and Lotte. "You're not here. You're somewhere else," his girlfriend says while dropping him off at work. This sounds exactly like a conversation Birgitte and Phillip shared toward the end of their relationship. Lotte says the past few weeks have been strange and wonders whether he truly wants to move in with her. He blames his inattentiveness on the cabinet's upcoming welfare seminar. He says he'll take her on a vacation as soon as it's over. The truth is, he's been distant since Katrine's birthday dinner. It's as though he realized what he was missing out on that day. He therefore can't face either of them -- he has unrequited feelings toward his ex-girlfriend and no feelings toward his girlfriend.
Someone in parliament has started a smear campaign against the ever-so-naive Bjørn. They're leaking information about his poor verbal skills and questionable wardrobe choices -- he wore just a black tie to a black-tie-only event. Hesselboe tells Kasper he didn't start the rumors. "It's not good form," he says. He claims to not want to bully his way back to the top. Troels, on the other hand, has been acting uncharacteristically loyal to Bjørn in public so it's safe to assume he's been doing the exact opposite in private. He moves up a meeting between him, Bjørn, and Birgitte, but doesn't tell Bjørn in order to make him look bad in front of the PM. Birgitte later confronts Troels about it, but he blames it on a misunderstanding.
While every news outlet is running articles about Bjørn, the one publication that would normally revel in the chaos, the Express, is keeping mum. In fact, Laugesen (Peter Mygind) says they're above malicious rumors -- "we're not going to dish out the dirt." Hanne (Benedikte Hansen) informs Katrine that the Express hasn't slammed the minister once since Laugesen became editor-in-chief. Bjørn is Laugesen's last ally in the party. He later guesses that Troels or Pernille (Petrine Agger) is behind the rumor mill. He says Troels' political ambitions outweigh his loyalty to the party. Hanne vetoes his vote for a negative story on Troels that would reinstigate rumors about his homosexuality, but Laugesen insists that they at least run a positive fluff piece on Bjørn.
Just as Laugesen predicted, the smear campaign segues from attacks on Bjørn's speech and clothes that make a fool out of him to attacks on his character that jeopardize his political career. Bjorn is accused of using taxpayer money -- his office funds -- to purchase pornographic films. So much for Bjørn regaining his party's respect, as Birgitte had advised him to do. Troels now looks like the party's leader.
The situation further deteriorates at the welfare seminar. Bjørn reintroduces the topic of maintaining the national early retirement plan in order to appease the unions only to be thrown under the bus ... again. Pernille says he's too close to the unions and is trying fruitlessly to preserve a Denmark that doesn't exist anymore -- the country simply doesn't need workers to retire early. "It's out of touch with the realities facing us," she says, overstepping her boundary. But everyone in the Labor Party, including Bjørn's long-time ally Hans Christian (Bjarne Henriksen), agrees with her. Bjørn finally snaps. "Who the hell do you think you are?" the veteran politician asks Pernille. "I'm not the fat class clown you can all stab in the back," he yells, pounding the table and rising out of his seat.
Troels asks for a few hours to sort the issue within their party (a.k.a. more time to stab the clown in the back) and the next thing you know, Pernille is announcing to the press that Bjørn has resigned for "personal reasons." And surprise, surprise, Troels has been elected party leader. He finally accomplishes his goal after being overlooked during Laugesen's resignation. Troels sets his sights on the PM's office next.
Birgitte is forced to postpone the welfare seminar. She's disappointed that Troels, who she wanted to fire after the bugging incident, is now in power. Troels makes a remark at Bjørn's expense and Birgitte says, "At least Bjørn was loyal. And that's a quality I value as PM." She later checks up on the Bjorn, who reminds her of a conversation in which she said he wasn't a leader. "I'm not," he says, despairing about the new direction his party's headed in. He's the Labor Party's last worker. Then again, he's also proud of his rags-to-riches story from welder to Foreign Minister.
While Birgitte's kids are meeting Cecelie, she's alone and miserable at home. Laura calls to tell her they're doing just fine. In fact, they're better than fine. Laura cooked dinner with Cecelie and the whole gang is now staying up late to play Pictionary. They want to stay with their dad a few days longer. Birgitte feels completely abandoned at this point. Phillip already has a new family, while she has an empty house to herself.
Back at the site of the seminar, Kasper starts opening up to Katrine again. He doesn't want to talk politics, but reminisce about their past. As he recalls one of their trips as a couple, he looks happy for the first time in a long while. He tries to touch Katrine's hand, but she doesn't let him. However, after some liquid courage, Kasper goes up to her hotel room. Let's just say he forgets all about his girlfriend at this point. Katrine doesn't pull away this time.
And Troels forgets about his wife. Laugesen was apparently telling the truth in his memoir when he wrote that the Justice Minister is gay. "Are you sure you can keep a secret?" he tells his soon-to-be one night stand as they begin undressing. The 22-year-old, who's actually the Express' new photographer, performs fellatio on Troels. Little does he know that there's someone outside -- most likely Laugesen's primary photog -- taking pictures. The episode ends mid photo snap, but it's clear that Laugesen hired the young man to lure Troels into bed. And just when you thought he couldn't stoop any lower.
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Borgen is an award-winning Danish drama series about the fight for political power and the personal consequences for everyone involved.