Borgen Series 3: Episodes 5 and 6 – Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery, Sins of the Past
Episodes 5 and 6 tonight saw things step up a bit in the final series of the Danish political drama. Last week’s episodes, which included the pig farming episode was put aside as the big issues of prostitution and spying were addressed this week.
It must be hard watching Borgen for the Danes. This is a political drama about Danish politics, in Denmark, with a predominantly Danish cast. Yet, more so tonight than I think any other Borgen night, the characters had huge chunks of the dialogue in English. In the first of these episodes this was due to the appearances of the Scottish actor Alastair MacKenzie as Birgitte’s boyfriend Jeremy Welsh. I’m still not convinced by his character in the programme, although this may be partly due to him getting to film love scenes with the lovely Sidse Babett Knudsen. The second episode’s English parts were partly due to the appearance of Chris Fairbank, ‘Moxey’ from Auf Wiedersehen Pet fame. Yes really.
The prostitution episode was particularly appropriate for me (not because of the reason you might think!) due to a similar issue taking place in Scotland at present. The Borgen take on it was interesting, although the attitude of some of the politicians involved was pretty shocking, particularly when they had a seminar that included a prostitute.
The second episode saw the arrival of a familiar face to Nordic Noir watchers as the excellent Lars Mikkelson (Statsminister Troels Haartman, in the Killing) joining the ranks of the New Democrats as their economic adviser. He quickly seemed like a big part of the show, but as the episode developed, it became apparent that he had a shady past, with accusations flying around in the media about his communist past and rumours of him being a KGB agent. This led to him ultimately leaving the party as quickly as he joined it and I don’t expect him to appear again. Which is a shame.
As well as these two major issues, there were a number of other stories going on. Not least of which was getting to the bottom of Birgitte’s pain in her hand. She has the early signs of cancer and is getting tests and operation and radiotherapy. (The health service in Denmark seems pretty fast!) The inexplicable relationship between Torben and Pia progressed, although was quickly put into perspective by the appearance of Torben’s wife, who I don’t remember ever even hearing of before, but that is maybe just me. Torben is clearly heading for a breakdown. Katrina also seemed much more human this week and seemed to have returned to the level headed, bright woman that she was in the past.
Two much better episodes this week as far as I was concerned but still a number of issues:
- Kaspar’s hair seemed to return at an alarming rate and his on/off beard continues to come and go. The success of the show has opened doors for him and he must have had other filiming commitments during the Borgen recordings.
- We seem to be getting stories (like Torben and Pia) coming completely out of nowhere.
- Would the serious politicians really be able to put up with Nette, who seems to be there mainly because she is a bit daft.
- What exactly is Bent’s role in all this? You would have thought he would be a very big hitter in the New Democrats, but he seems to be very much a bit part player.
- If they kill off Birgitte I will never forgive them.
I enjoyed the episodes more this week, despite their flaws, but it’s all going by too quickly!