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Previously on "Borgen"
Although pushing for a healthcare reform bill against the privatization of hospitals, Birgitte is forced to enroll Laura in a long-term therapy program at a private hospital. The press, especially Laugesen, has a field day with the news. They initially question her parenting skills then label her a hypocrite for preaching one message as PM and doing something different as a mother. Laugesen even sends a paparazzo to take photos of Laura at the facility, triggering another panic attack in the teen. After coming to the conclusion that she can't expect privacy in her position, Birgitte indefinitely steps down as PM to care for her daughter. Hans Christian assumes her duties. (Click here to read the complete recap for this episode.)
This week's episode: "An Extraordinary Remark"
You knew it was coming -- the clichest of the cliche quotes: Hamlet's famous Shakespearean soliloquy "To be or not to be. That is the question." The season finale opens with the tragic hero's famous musings on life. Unlike Hamlet, Birgitte (Sidse Babett Knudsen) isn't as literal about "being," instead wondering whether she should continue to be prime minister. She's been on leave for a month now, which has sped up Laura's (Freja Riemann) recovery process immensely. But her cabinet is growing restless in her absence and the media is re-opening her favorite debate about whether a woman can be prime minister ("Do we really want a PM to go awol for a month just to take care of her sick daughter?" Laugesen (Peter Mygind) rants on his web show.) Two seasons in and the series has come full circle.
Laura has made so much progress with her long-term therapy program that her psychiatrist has decided to slowly wean her off her antidepressants. At this rate, she could stop taking the pills entirely within months. She'll soon be able to sleep at home and return to school as well. Birgitte is naturally delighted by the news. Although enjoying her newfound free time with her daughter, she's also itching to get back to work. Laura's psychiatrist, Lisbet (Pia Munk), tells Birgitte she can't work 24/7 and still be a good mother, but can't stop working altogether either. It's the never-ending dilemma of the modern woman. Birgitte steps out of character and confesses that she's often happier at work than at home. Instead of judging her negatively for the remark, Lisbet tells her to join the club. This is the first time on the show that someone has assured her that it's natural to feel that way. She's used to Phillip (Mikael Birkkjær) making her feel guilty about her commitment to her job. "Let me make this clear: Laura did not get ill because you made PM," the psychiatrist says. Birgitte had been waiting for months for someone to tell her that.
As Laura slowly fights her demons, Kasper (Pilou Asbæk), her older counterpart, is still living in the shadow of his past. And he's dragging Katrine (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) down into the darkness. The two debate about having kids again when apartment hunting. In true Kasper fashion, the spin doctor loses his cool when his realtor insists that they use a particular room as a nursery instead of an office. "I get that you don't want kids, okay? Keep the realtor out of it," Katrine pulls him aside to tell him. She then snaps, releasing some pent-up frustration. She says a luxury flat alone won't make them happy, implying that she's currently unhappy with their relationship.
In the ultimate episode of releasing repressed feelings, Birgitte finally confronts Phillip about giving up on their relationship. The two have been spending more and more time together since Laura's breakdown. She half jokingly says she's turned into the Birgitte of his dreams. What starts off as a passive aggressive remark grows into a full-blown yelling match between the two of them. You gave up too easily, you moved on too quickly, you were weak, you let me down, she lists her grievances. Cecelie (Mille Dinesen) comes to pick Phillip up in the heat of battle, but instead of saving him from an uncomfortable situation, she adds to it. "I can't quite find my place in all this. ... You all seem like a family again," she says in the car.
With pressure from Kasper and Bent (Lars Knutzon), Birgitte finally decides to swallow her guilt (she had told Kasper that Laura's rate of recovery was directly proportional to the length of her absence) and return to work. Hans Christian (Bjarne Henriksen) has already made a TV1 appearance as the acting PM, ignored Greenland's request to discuss mineral quotas, and, not to mention, brought pastries back to meetings. And what else is back? The gender debate. Birgitte refuses to discuss the issue of whether a woman is fit to be PM, potentially sacrificing an opportunity to win back voters who she lost during her absence. Then Hesselboe (Søren Spanning) goes on live TV (in place of the PM) and says his job is more important to him than his family. "Danes aren't called to vote on the best human being," he says. Well, if that's the case, he's a shoe-in. Already working on a tax cut proposal worth $25 billion, the former PM is counting down the minutes to challenge Birgitte to an election.
Phillip watches the end of Hesselboe's TV1 interview and seems to have a sudden epiphany about his ex-wife's mothering skills and overall commitment to their family. He seems to be second-guessing his decision to divorce her. Then lo and behold, he visits Cecelie at work and breaks up with her. "This isn't really about Laura, is it?" she asks then starts to cry. He shares the news with Birgitte the following day. This seems to make her happy ("you know where to find me," she says), but they don't exactly kiss and make up.
Just like Kasper indirectly influenced Laura's decision to open up during group therapy, Laura somehow convinces him to rethink his no kids policy. When Kasper describes the world as s**tty, she says it's the s**t that makes you stronger and gives him a loving peck on the cheek. Afraid to pass on his DNA to future children, Kasper visits the woman who gave him half his genes for some answers. He asks why she didn't stop his dad from molesting him, but she doesn't respond. His mom's deep into dementia. Despite the lack of closure, he somehow walks away from the meeting with a lighter mind.
At this point, Katrine has completely lost hope in having children. She's even considering breaking up with Kasper entirely. Torben (Søren Malling) offers her a permanent hosting gig at TV1, but asks her to make an extremely illegal deal to not get pregnant in the near future. In case you were wondering, every single male character on the show is apparently a total chauvinist. It's a surprise he didn't want to debate whether women can be journalists. Later that night Kasper makes the oh-so-romantic gesture of taking Katrine's birth control pills out of her hand when she's about to swallow one. He says, "I love you" in a hushed tone and Katrine knows exactly what that means. She tears up and the two have sex for the first time with the hope of conceiving.
Birgitte makes a potentially life changing move of her own after parliament approves her health care reform package. She asks the judge to make "an extraordinary remark," which usually indicates a resignation. Instead, she calls an election. She says anyone (that includes audience members as well) who thought she was going to quit her post and become a housewife must not know her very well. She also makes one of her classic eloquent speeches, saying that those who want to discuss women and their roles in politics are a century behind.
And with that and her adorable crinkle-nose smile, the season comes to end. Despite her string of groundbreaking accomplishments, her political career may not be as stable as it was at the end of season one, but her family life is improving. Laura's recovering from her anxiety disorder and Birgitte's prospects with Phillip are looking up.
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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.