Catch Up// Borgen Series 3, Episodes 3 and 4


Episode 3: The Right Shade of Brown / Episode 4: Their Loss…

Starring: Sidse Babett-Knudsen, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen.

After the disjointed but effective opening to the series last week we find ourselves on steadier turf with the next two episodes of Borgen III.

The New Democrats are bigger, with a buzzing office much developed from the band of six we saw last week, and are even beginning to talk money, membership fees and meetings with packed schedules of said meetings in Jon’s books. There’s even signs of  Kaspar and Katrine thawing their somewhat strained relationship with the former eating, drinking and sitting on the same sofa as the latter. Now that’s three more things than last week that Kaspar was willing to do with Katrine…

But it wasn’t to last as a latch key visit to Kaspar’s apartment to deliver some medicine for their son leads Katrine to discover a tell tale item of women’s garment by his bed. This upsets her (illogically, if you think too much about it) and soon she’s asking advice from Birgitte who sets her straight with a refreshingly logical solution. I.e: No harm done means nothing to fix.

But the fledgling New Democrats are still a bit of a mess ideologically as well, with conflicting policies all over the place. But as ever Birgitte gives one of her firm but positive speeches that empties the office almost immediately. Policy is soon decided to come before Jon’s attempts at fund raising when a banker attempts to buy policy and it’s enthralling viewing for the politically minded as we see just how the ethics of a party are made by its values and above all its leadership.

Birgitte is admirably strict in her idealism and that is perfectly in keeping with her past form. This may be a very different third series but the characters challenges are bending them off the road of expectation and leading them into new but believable ideological territory. That is, except poor old Torben at TV1. Sacking one of his key broadcasters Nadia at the behest of new boss Alex, and echoing his words almost exactly in the justification of said action he falls into a trap that was foreseeable.

As a viewer you can really empathise with his team as they wonder just what has happened to his fierce defense of the department’s agenda – and when he finally snaps back to reality it has a rebound in the form of a decidedly sullen e-mail from Alex questioning is commitment to ‘the team’. But he gets a kiss though as well from a certain somebody so it kind of balances out. Right?

This being Borgen and beautifully far from the undefined reality we live in probably not. As we see Katrine finally picking up some of the mess from her rather shiny floor there are thoughts and actions going round every aspect of the show. The piggy theme to episode four adds an odd form of light relief for the viewer and a powerful political wedge for Birgitte’s party – who take the footage of her oddly charisma-lite boyfriend Jeremy chucking up after a bit of Danish pork and gather some mighty powerful political leverage from it. Although in shades of previous series there are personal consequences that this writer thinks are still emerging…

As the momentum builds this run of episodes hasn’t quite hit the high of previous series at this stage but it’s still considerably  better than being hypnotised by Simon Cowell into listening to auto tune…

(To be continued)

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan.

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