Birgitte’s government has run out of steam – the internal differences are growing and only compromise legislation is being passed, which does not really satisfy anyone. Opinion polls indicate that Birgitte is likely to lose the next election. She really needs a popular cause and is therefore very tempted when the businessman Joachim Crohne draws her attention to the central African country of Kharun, on the brink of civil war. Crohne suggests that Birgitte should attempt to broker peace in the conflict, thereby gaining popularity for herself and also helping to restore Denmark’s tarnished reputation after the cartoon crisis.
The eyes of the world are on Copenhagen and chief negotiator Birgitte Nyborg Christensen as the time draws near for peace talks between North and South Kharun to stop the bloody civil war. Everyone is working around the clock.
This double episode worked very well this week as the plot straddled both episodes. Birgitte was desperate to work on something to make having power worthwhile so, just as in season 1, the series left Danish shores for foreign climes where Denmark under her leadership could make a difference. She was also worried about her jackets, again. Amazingly she had more success with power than she had with her ability to choose a jacket that closed properly at the front and didn’t jut out at the back.
Crohne was not being entirely altruistic as he was wanting to gain even more in profit for his company as a war would be costly to business but that didn’t mean that he and Birgitte couldn’t be strange bedfellows.
There was an odd mix of Arabic, English and Danish in these two episodes which worked for me a bit better than the usual Danish with subtitles. Birgitte’s accent in English is quite extraordinary – all very pukka and laboured as if someone has put it on cards in the background in phonetic spelling so that she can enunciate, and enunciate she does.
Other odd moments were Hanne having to tell Katrine that using information from her boyfriend’s briefcase was a “bad idea” TM and that she was foolish enough to throw the information out with the trash once Kasper told her what was going on as she now trusted him – tsk Katrine, you’re the untrustworthy one here.
It was good to see Birgitte using the talents of both Amir and Bent after having treated them so shabbily in earlier episodes and they deserved their cognacs by the end of the episodes.
Hanne also earned the respect of her new/old boss because her story was well researched and the reasons not to run it were noble ones.
Denmark with its population of only 6 million became a player in world politics because of the success of the negotiations. Birgitte’s willingness to be ruthless and use the sensitive information she had gained from Crohne ensured the peace process worked and it is this level of ruthlessness which has historically made it difficult for women to rise to the top in politics, and in other fields.
For Birgitte however, unlike everyone else involved in the negotiations, there was no let up in her level of stress as her daughter was very ill again. Philip will have to work more closely with Birgitte to help the family recover from Laura’s latest breakdown and perhaps this pragmatic approach will mean a return to what I as a viewer want – a female politician who can actually have both power and a family not in crisis. I’d also love to see her being able to wear her hair down again.