Birgitte’s private life is strained as she is forced to make tough healthcare decisions for the government and for her daughter. Katrine and Kasper’s relationship causes problems for them at work. While Birgitte has spent time looking after her family, her deputy Hans-Christian Thorsen has positioned himself as her successor. Kasper is not only concerned about this, but also about his relationship with Katrine. While Katrine has to balance her relationship with Kasper with her career prospects, Birgitte has to make tough decisions about her family, her job and the country.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Churchill
“To be or not to be. That is the question” – Shakespeare, Hamlet
The final two episodes of this second series focused on the conflicting demands of family relationships and work. They should have been called smoke and mirrors perhaps, what with all the relief busting smoking going on and being shown into the hall of mirrors referenced every week which disappointingly had only one narrow mirror on show. They were called “The Sanctity of Private Life” and “An Extraordinary Remark”.
Birgitte was in the unfortunate position of appearing hypocritical by wanting to pay 100,000 kroner to put her daughter to the front of the queue for the CBT she needed to get over her anxiety delivered in a residential setting. Birgitte was trying to push through reforms which would reduce the tax breaks to those who paid for the private health care that put cases like her daughter’s to the end of the queue. It would have been more hypocritical of course to use the private health care that Laura was entitled to through Philip’s job. The media had a field day and stalked the daughter at her facility which impacted not only on her care but also on the care of her fellow patients. Hopefully the lack of protection afforded to the minor children’s privacy would not happen in this country. Birgitte had to step down for a month to allow Laura to continue her treatment without media instrusion. for once Birgitte publicly put family first which put several things into question:
Could women have power and family?
Did Philip leave too soon?
Had Birgitte always been a domestic goddess who could garden, make biscuits and mend bikes, all the while visiting her sick daughter and tidying the house to the point of perfection? Is hair-down Birgitte satisfied? Is work actually easier than family? (I think we all know the answer to that one!)
Kasper and Katrine’s romance was going smoothly until it became apparent that one of them wanted children at some point in the future and the other had ruled it out entirely. Until that moment their biggest problem had been cat swinging in Katrine’s apartment but it was during their new flat hunt that the thorny subject came up due to the small room which apparently was a nursery but Kasper wanted for another office or a walk in closet across from the bedroom. 5.8 million kroner sounded a lot for a flat which was going cheap for a quick sale and the estate agent was a bit passremarkable about starting a family considering her salary would depend on the commission from the sale. Kasper did not want children due to his abusive childhood and although Katrine was focused on her work and wanted to be taken on permanently at her TV station she didn’t, at 31, want to be told it would never happen for her. At one point Kasper said he didn’t want children with his DNA which sounded like a compromise to me but Katrine wanted children with him and it seemed to be a deal breaker.
So, how did the series end?
Birgitte had Philip waiting in the wings again, Laura was making a recovery and a new friend and Magnus’s sleepovers were becoming longer and more exciting looking. She called a general election to put Hesselboe on the back foot. Kasper visited his mother and came to a personal realisation that perhaps he could be a good father, afterall he had managed to help Laura on her road to recovery at her darkest moment. He capitulated to Katrine and made her stop taking the pill there and then. Talk about flip-flop.