“89,000 Children” might have been better entitled “Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do” because that was what this episode boiled down to. Birgitte had to weigh up and negotiate her way through the difficulties of inheriting a war in Afghanistan  while being a pacifist and also divorcing when she found it devastating even although she and her husband had separated following his affair eleven months previously.
The second series bravely changed everything by starting off in Afghanistan and setting Brigitte on the international stage. Some of the episode was conducted entirely in English and there were some jarring moments when we saw the actor who played the devastated father in The Killing season 1 playing a pro-military involvement member of the coalition cabinet and also when the car salesman father of the first soldier to be killed in the sudden attack turned out to be the actor who played the Prime Minister in The Killing 3 and there he was sitting across from Birgitte the Prime Minister – mind blown!
Katrine’s loyalties to her journalistic ideals were tested with Exspres’s editor insisting that she write an article blaming Birgitte for the deaths of the 8 soldiers and she finally managed at the end of the episode to find an angle that suited both of them.
The 89,000 referred to the number of children who had survived as a direct result of the overthrow of the Taleban and a special interest group, who may or may not have been genuine, pointed out the number of changes which had been good for women: being able to drive, work, be educated etc. It is perhaps inconvenient for the audience that they know that things in Afghanistan are not quite as perfect as that. War, huh, what is it good for? Making sense out of a senseless war is always going to be a difficult sell.
Kasper has it all – gorgeous new girlfriend, snazzy apartment to move into with her and even an oyster knife – he blows it of course by calling her Katrine.
Episode 2 was about little and big betrayals – betrayals of friendship, betrayals of party for personal gain, betrayals of family relationships and betrayals of confidential information.
Of course, Kasper still loves Katrine and no amount of cute sun-drenched bliss with a glamorous girlfriend can disguise that fact from Hanne the louche wise crone editor. Birgitte has turned away from Bent’s friendship and advice because she is embarrassed about having to sack him earlier to keep the coalition afloat and she over-compensates by offering him the highly paid poisoned chalice of commissioner in Brussels. His embolism puts paid to that and Kruse who did not disclose an earlier embolism to Birgitte is punished by being forced to be the commissioner himself where his career will languish and never allow him to return to Danish politics. But the cruelest betrayal of all is when Birgitte’s son can’t sleep and asks to go over to his dad’s house. Crushed.
With Sidse Babett Knudsen, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, Johan Philip Asbaek, Olaf Johannessen, and Soren Malling.
Borgen, series two, episode one