This episode will be streaming online for two weeks from December 29 to January 12. Catch episodes of "Borgen" that aren't currently streaming via our recaps here.
Previously on "Borgen"
Birgitte's new cause has become a mass movement with no financial backing. She therefore reluctantly accepts a generous gift from a banker only to learn that she's selling out to big business. The banker wants her party's economic policy to include a clause about lowering corporate tax. An outraged Birgitte returns the portion of the money she hasn't yet spent and vows to pay back the rest. Meanwhile, Katrine is in limbo with Kasper. She doesn't understand whether he wants to get back together or not. She eventually finds a bra in his apartment that gives her an answer, although not the one she was hoping for. (Click here to read the complete recap for this episode.)
This week's episode: "One Man's Loss"
One of "Borgen"s biggest draws is its storylines that manage to connect the characters' personal lives with political issues. In this week's episode, what starts as an embarrassing case of projectile vomiting turns into a full-blown government debate about animal rights and Denmark's agriculture industry. The incident ultimately becomes a huge victory for Birgitte (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and the New Democrats. Katrine (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen
Birgitte and her boyfriend Jeremy (Alastair Mackenzie) step out together publicly in Copenhagen for the first time. Their romantic dinner turns revolting when her architect beau throws up in the middle of the restaurant mid-desert. The story makes headlines and one of the diners captures the moment on video, later posting it on YouTube for the whole world to watch. Birgitte learns the following morning that her now hospitalized boyfriend didn't throw up due to food poisoning, but an allergic reaction to antibiotics. The pig used for his roast pork was evidently injected with an oil-based penicillin before slaughter. The makes a perfect tie-in with a bill currently about to be passed in parliament that would ease government regulations for pig breeders. Although what happened to Jeremy was a freak incident, Birgitte goes on the TV1 evening news to insist that less inspections will mean more cases of that nature.
After discovering a bra and makeup in his apartment, Katrine has become uncharacteristically cold toward Kasper (Pilou Asbæk). She's using her son as a pawn in her avoidance game. Katrine takes a weekend trip with Gustav to her brother Asger's (Peter Plaugborg) farm without telling Kasper. She even turns off her cell phone, breaking off all contact with him. Once she returns to the city, Kasper pays her a house visit to discuss the drastic change in her behavior. When he suggests that the lack of communication can't be healthy for their little boy, she says being babysat by his new girlfriend can't be beneficial to him either. "I see lots of women, but not when Gustav is around," Kasper says. "You can't go around behaving like a f**king teenager," an enraged Katrine responds. Kasper then insists that they should no longer have access to each other's apartments.They give each other back their respective key and Katrine is left alone, crying in her apartment. She should know better by now; Kasper has mastered the cold shoulder.
Katrine returns to her brother's farm, but takes Birgitte with her this time around. Asger happens to be a pig farmer so he grudgingly gives the former PM a behind-the-scenes look at how the sausage gets made. Of course, the pigs live in close quarters and they aren't let out to roam freely. Because the industry is concerned with quantity over quality, farmers often breed more pigs than they need -- 25,000 piglets are killed daily in Denmark as a result. And the icing on the cake (for Birgitte's crusade, not for the pigs)? Asger doesn't eat his own pigs. Instead, he eats the ones that live in a pigsty, rummaging in mud behind his pig farm.
Of course, Svend (Ole Thestrup) has his panties in a twist over potentially giving the government more oversight over Danish industry. Jon (Jens Albinus) successfully (and strategically) provokes him during a parliamentary hearing, accusing him of looking out for himself. He's a pig farmer and thereby could lose money thanks to more government regulations. To show that his farm follows the law, word for word, he takes cameras to his farm and cuts off a piglet's tail the length required by law. This idiotic act leads Katrine's brother to tip her off. Svend has in fact received government warnings for his less than kosher pig-raising practices. Katrine in turn tips off Torben (Søren Malling), who learns that the Freedom Party chair has received four animal welfare warnings in the last year alone for using pens that are too small and not destroying sick pigs.
While at TV1 studios, Katrine spots Kasper flirting with a woman. She asks Ulrik (Thomas Levin) whether that's his new girlfriend. He says he doesn't keep tabs on Kasper, who doesn't exactly exercise restraint. Ulrik then asks her out for drinks out of the blue (Torben and Pia also kiss at episode's end in another uncalled for twist). Katrine bikes to Kasper's neighborhood in a fit of range and spots their babysitter walking with Gustav. She grows even angrier when the babysitter names an unfamiliar woman as the person that sometimes picks up Gustav in Kasper's place. She proceeds to take her son home, without even giving Kasper a courtesy call. "He's my son and it's my day," he yells at her later that night. The audience is suddenly reminded of the old, violent Kasper. "You don't want him when he's awake," Katrine yells back. Kasper gets the last word in again, suggesting that maybe a judge should determine custody. When Katrine asks Birgitte for her divorce lawyer's phone number, she advises her, "Don't mix your own hurt feelings with the way you share your son." She knows all too well how Katrine feels because she had the same experience when Philip (Mikael Birkkjær) started dating Cecelie.
Birgitte and Kasper interact for the first time since the season two finale when she goes on "Juul & Friis" to debate with Svend about pig regulations. After some back and forth, Birgitte says she knows a farmer near Randers who doesn't eat his own pork. "We produce garbage because that's what people prefer to eat," he says, to the amazement of everyone in the room. Despite procuring the soundbite of all soundbites and educating the audience about the dire situation, Alex (Christian Tafdrup) isn't happy. He's upset when Torben showed the clip of Svend cutting a pig's tail on the 6 p.m. news. He showed it again late at night on "Juul & Friis." Torben finally stands up for himself and says he's head of news, it's his job to decide what runs on air. Those could ultimately be his famous last words.
Following Svend's royal screw-up, the Freedom Party goes to great lengths to clean up his mess. Party member Benedikte Nedergaard (Marie Askehave) announces that their party now "speaks for animals" (the same ones Svend said were nothing more than industrial products). They want to ban tail docking and create a special animal police force. This upsets the natural order in parliament. Hesselboe (Søren Spanning) wants the Moderate Party to cut ties with the now left-learning Freedom Party. The PM meets with Birgitte and Jon for the first time to help pass his bill. Birgitte asks for the creation of an independent commission that would investigate how much it costs to convert to greener, more ethical, and more quality-minded pork production methods. They reach a groundbreaking compromise. Hesselboe refers to Birgitte's party by name on camera for the very first time, putting the New Democrats on the political map.
The episode ends with Katrine completely alone and vulnerable. She calls Kasper, who doesn't pick up, to apologize for her rash behavior. She visits her brother the next day, but he turns her away. He had specifically asked her to make sure that he wasn't cited as the source of the information he fed her about pig breeding. Birgitte referred to a farmer near Randers on national television, making his identity clear to the other farmers watching. Asger has now been shunned by the community, putting his job and livelihood in jeopardy. People in the neighborhood had dropped off a slaughtered boar in front of his door that morning. She's also currently at odds with her mom so there's no one left on her team.
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This internationally acclaimed Danish political drama tells the story of charismatic politician Birgitte Nyborg who unexpectedly becomes Denmark’s first female prime minister.