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'Borgen,' Episode 25: 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery'

This episode will be streaming online for two weeks from August 3 to 17. Catch episodes of "Borgen" that aren't currently streaming via our recaps here.

Previously on "Borgen"

The New Democrats finally put themselves on the political map when Birgitte and company latch on to a seemingly insignificant issue and build it up to epic proportions. When Birgitte's boyfriend Jeremy lands in the hospital after eating pork that was injected with penicillin before the pig was slaughtered, she decides to fight a bill that would ease government regulations for pig breeders. She asks Hesselboe to include a clause in his legislation about the creation of an independent commission that would investigate greener, more ethical, and more quality-minded pork production methods. Meanwhile, Katrine's relationship with Kasper grows more strained when she tries to use her son to punish him for sleeping with other women. She attempts to limit the amount of time he spends with Gustav, which brings out the vindictive, dark side of the political analyst. (Click here to read the complete recap for this episode.)

This week's episode: "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery"

One of Birgitte's (Sidse Babett Knudsen) many commendable traits as a politician is her ability to adopt issues she doesn't personally support. It may be slightly deceiving to the public, but it's her responsibility to that very public that influences her decision in the first place. She fought to protect pigs last week and fights for prostitutes this week. Although she initially wants to tighten prostitution laws in order to save the women hurt by the industry, she later realizes it's not her responsibility to save people who don't want and may not necessarily need saving.

The episode opens with three Romanian girls being rescued from captivity. Each was forced to have sex with 10 men a day. The Labor Party, which evidently doesn't support all laborers, wants to ban prostitution, which it considers a crime against women. Pernille (Petrine Agger) approaches the New Democrats to join other parties in forming a majority to pass the bill. Thanks to their pig crusade, the New Dems are on the map. They need 300 more signatures to be able to run for election and even have a new office in parliament. Pernille jumps the gun and announces the coalition to the media before Birgitte even has time to research the issue. She therefore doesn't sign the agreement that the other parties (including the Moderate and Freedom parties) sign. The strategic move would be to join their campaign and thereby weaken Hesselboe's (Søren Spanning) government. Her personal stance is also anti-prostitution. But Birgitte doesn't want a law based on tactics and emotions. She later comes to the conclusion that a ban expresses a moral view held by elite members of a society. An anti-prostitution law could also endanger sex workers, potentially opening the door to pimps.

Katrine's (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen

Her relationship with Kasper (Pilou Asbæk) is on the up and up as well. One of the few problems with the show is the lack of explanatory scenes about Katrine and Kasper's complicated relationship. Now that they've made up as friends, Katrine opens a can of worms about why they broke up in the first place. "Did we split up because of no sex?" she asks because sex is on her brain due to all the research she's been doing. "You didn't turn me on any more. The sexual side died for me when we became a family," he responds in an unusually brutally honest fashion. He admits that he couldn't reconcile her being both a mother and a lover. Katrine suppresses her inner feminist and apologizes for pressuring him to have a child. "I can't handle domestic bliss. There is something wrong with me," he says. But he also stresses that Gustav is the best thing that ever happened to him. He wouldn't have wanted children with anyone but her. This makes her happier, overriding everything else he said.

After Birgitte debates with Pernille live on TV1, the Labor Party assembles a panel on prostitution to meet one of the New Dems' demands. However, everyone but one person -- a prostitute and president of the sex workers union -- is against prostitution. They barely let the prostitute, who says they shouldn't be victimized and should be allowed to choose the profession they want for themselves (which they pay taxes to pursue), speak. The opposition inflates the problem with inaccurate stats that show the number of women on the street is rising. Katrine, who's been working directly with the leader of the sex workers union, despite her personal anti-prostitution stance, tries to track the real figures. However, their party is losing members because of their extremely liberal stance to not only keep prostitution legal, but to give prostitutes more rights.

Back at TV1, Alex (Christian Tafdrup) finally seems to be on Torben's side after threatening to fire him in the last episode. He wants to sex-segment their programming and cancel the 12 o'clock news, but drops both issues upon Torben's (Søren Malling) insistence. The head of news is also blissful due to another change in his life: He and Pia (Lisbeth Wulff) are having a full-blown affair. The small kiss they shared during the last episode has developed into sex in the control room. Torben is on cloud nine until his stunning wife shows up to his office to confront him about missing his son's recital. Alex later calls a meeting with him. He's back to pushing his original agenda of sex-segmentation and show cancellation. It turns out that he caught him having sex with Pia in the control room weeks ago. Someone had opened the door and interrupted them that night, but they had assumed it was a custodian. Alex now has the upper hand so Torben is back to being his personal puppet.

Birgitte decides to ignore political tactics and support the government once more in its pro-prostitution stance. The former PM suggests creating a police task force to combat human trafficking and exploitation, but giving sex workers more rights. The sex worker that was marginalized and humiliated during Pernille's panel is brought into parliament once more to advocate for their rights. They want to be treated like every other industry in Denmark. Hesselboe practically laughs in Birgitte's face after the presentation. He says there are limits to what he can go along with and passing legislation beneficial to sex workers is unheard of.

Despite the political let-down, both Birgitte and Katrine benefit personally from their interaction with the sex worker. Katrine realizes that love and sex aren't necessarily tied to one another. As the prostitute tells her, sometimes sex is just sex. She therefore has casual sex with Alex again, automatically taking her blouse off the very minute he walks through the door. Birgitte, on the other hand, finally introduces Jeremy (Alastair Mackenzie) to her kids. She initially judges him after finding out that he has slept with prostitutes in the past, but drops the issue when she realizes that it was merely a physical transaction. Things are most definitely serious between these two. I'm still holding out hope for her and Philip (Mikael Birkkjær) to get back together. After all, more improbable things have happened on the show.

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KCET site editor, movie over-analyzer, TV binge-watcher.
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