Borgen – Power & Glory (2022) Series: Women Take Centrestage

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Borgen - Power & Glory

In the Borgen – Power & Glory (2022) series, the women politicians take centre stage. They control the levers of authority in the contemporary Denmark government establishment.

This Nordic-Noir drama comes after a gap of almost a decade-long period. As it reconnects with the tales about the top political leaders of Denmark. So, it is the latest season of the highly acclaimed Danish political drama titled Borgen. We have seen the First (2010), Second (2011) and Third (2013) seasons of the Borgen series in the past. It introduced us to the politicians, journalists, bureaucrats, political aides, political strategists, PR advisors and other constituents of Denmark’s ruling class. And most likely it is a finale of Borgen’s show.

Focus:- Nordic/Scandi/Scandinavian – Noir

Well according to the Nordics: “The Nordic Noir is most often considered a specific genre of TV series. However, it also includes literature, film productions, and video games. Besides, it has even been extended to style, design, and music. Its key elements include a murky atmosphere, dark narratives, and flawed protagonists. Its popularity may lie in the fact that it usually undercuts the dominant narrative of the Nordics as thriving states with happy people and successful economies. Still, there is a dark underbelly here, too.”

The Nordic Noir genre is also known as Scandinavian Noir or Scandi Noir. As it is set in the Nordic or Scandinavian countries of Europe. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland Islands are part of the Nordic Region.

Synopsis (summary) of this 2022 Danish Political Drama series

The main story focuses on the struggle for power and what power does to people – both professionally and on a personal level. The struggle for power – or the struggle to retain power – challenges and changes the characters and Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) and the other central characters are forced to recognise that their desire for ‘control’ is in danger of corrupting them and denying them their humanity and sense of integrity.

This season deals with some of the biggest political issues of our time; the relevance of the Danish Realm in the modern world, the superpowers’ battle for control of the Arctic – and not least, the climate crisis.

Spoilers Free review of the Borgen – Power & Glory (2022) series

The lives of a seasoned politician Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and a former Journalist Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) are explored in this Danish drama.

About the politician Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) in the show

Its protagonist is an ambitious Danish politician Birgitte Nyborg. She chooses her political career over the life of a wife and a mother in the first three seasons of this show. Although her professional political career (Party Leader, Prime Minister, etc.) really took off, she had to sacrifice a lot in her personal family life. And all of this happened almost a decade ago when the last (third) season of Borgen aired in Denmark.

Birgitte Nyborg is the newly appointed minister for foreign affairs when a drilling company suddenly discovers oil in Greenland. An event that marks the beginning of an international struggle for power in the Arctic which develops over the series’ eight episodes. The otherwise experienced politician, Birgitte Nyborg, must repeatedly accept that despite Denmark’s ‘big brother’ relationship with Greenland when it comes to the international superpowers, it is Denmark that is the minor player – and a somewhat unruly one at that…

So, foreign minister Birgitte Nyborg finds her career in jeopardy when a dispute over oil in Greenland threatens to become an international crisis.

“Power is this poison that just drips into your coffee. You think you’re just drinking coffee, but it’s just something bitter. It’s not good for you. But power is also the opposite of not having power and not being heard and not being seen and not having any influence in anything. And I think it’s so connected to [Birgitte’s] identity, being in power, being heard, being a decision-maker. It’s addictive.”

Sidse Babett Knudsen (Birgitte) tells Netflix Tudum.

About the ex-Journalist Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen)

The second important character is Katrine Fønsmark. She has taken a decade-long career break from her high-pressure job as a TV journalist to raise her young kids. So, when she got an offer to join the senior management position at her old workplace at TV1 channel, she could not resist. Then, she decided to head back and rejoin TV1 as a boss.

Being away from Journalism for so long, Katrine does not realize that enormous changes have taken place in the world of media.

Politicians can speak directly to the people. Of course, they should be able to do that, but they also need to have reporters and journalists asking them questions, holding them accountable. And if they shortcut that system, it’s ultimately a problem for democracy.

Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Katrine) tells Netflix Tudum

Social media has taken off in the last decade or so

The addictive and toxic world of social media has come up and it is thriving. Operating alongside the mainstream media, social media is changing the way people consume news.

Besides, in a way, social media (cyberbullying, fake news content, bot armies, paid posts, etc.) platforms are causing mental health issues as well as undermining and destroying the healthy democracy around the world. On the other hand, social media is levelling the news field and challenging the narratives put forward by the dominant news organizations.

Some politicians thrive on Social Media

On the other hand, Birgitte Nyborg (Danish Foreign Minister) and Signe Kragh (Danish Prime Minister – Anne Sophie Lindenkrone) have found a way to connect with the masses using their social media effectively. So, both women have tasted success in their respective careers. They have not only climbed the ladders in male-dominated fields like politics and journalism, but they also become the decision-makers.

Now, Birgitte and Katrine are firmly seated in the new positions of power and glory. However, as we had said about the Borgen series, the world of Politics (plus Journalism) and real life in general is all about making deals and compromises. And it is more evident in this particular show with eight episodes.

It is a smart commentary about the colonial mindset

One of the major elements of this political drama is the inclusion of unresolved political issues and the prevalent colonial mindset between Denmark and Greenland, by smartly using the discovery of oil in Greenland as the trigger point to initiate the discussion. The geopolitical issues involve three major world powers, viz., the USA, China and Russia in the oil drilling site in Greenland, which incidentally is controlled by Denmark.

The relationship between Denmark & Greenland

This story is like a complex game of chess being played on the board of Greenland, with major and minor players.

As per UNRIC, even though Greenlandic today is the official language, major tensions between the mother language and Danish remain. The political and administrative elites predominately speak Danish while a majority of the population – 70 percent – speaks only Greenlandic. In other words, there is a lot of tension between the people of two nations – Denmark and Greenland. This political drama reflects this fact.

About its original title Borgen – Riget, Magten, og Æren & story

Interestingly, the Borgen – Power & Glory series’ original Danish language title is Borgen – Riget, Magten, og Æren, which means Borgen – The Kingdom, The Power, and The Honour.

The original title is more apt indeed, as Birgitte Nyborg and Katrine Fønsmark had to make a choice between honour and compromise. Did they make the right choice in the end, well we tell you in the spoilers below. Maybe this series subtly asks, but what about the honour of a nation and its population in the 21st century?

The conclusion

This drama tells an important tale of our times. It has managed to narrate an intelligent political story with many layers of hidden meaning in its content. Both the actors – Sidse Babett Knudsen and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen along with the ensemble cast did a good job in it. Again, we liked the theme music of this show. August Fenger Janson has composed its haunting tune. Kudos to the entire team for bringing alive this realistic political story of recent times. We loved this Nordic political drama, too.

Spoilers Alert – episodes, protagonist & ending explained of this show

Let us peek into the eight episodes of this Danish show

Episode 1. The Future Is Female

After the oil is found in Greenland, Denmark’s foreign minister Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) leaks incriminating information when she and Prime Minister Signe Kragh (Anne Sophie Lindenkrone) clash over who should have oversight. It is worth noting that Greenland is an autonomous country within Denmark.

So, in this show, people from Greenland claim that their country is still a colony of Denmark, as its foreign affairs (including its oil exploration businesses) are to be decided by Denmark’s politicians.

Meanwhile, Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) returns to journalism, landing a managing post at her former TV workplace, wherein she becomes the boss of some of her former colleagues.

Episode 2. The Lesser of Two Evils

{Pest eller Kolera ~ Plague or Cholera}

Birgitte Nyborg receives crucial information about the Russian owners of the company which drills for oil in Greenland. Asger Holm Kirkegaard (Danish Ambassador in Greenland – Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), who is now on Greenlandic soil, tries to help his minister at the same time as he tries to keep Hans Eliassen (Greeland Minister in charge of Oil – Svend Hardenberg) in check.

Birgitte Nyborg is called in front of the Foreign Policy Committee, and to help a close ally, Nyborg decides to use a daring tactic, which, however, turns out to have more significant consequences than she had imagined. Asger flies to Greenland to gather info for Birgitte, who hopes to convince Parliament not to extract the oil. Malik (Ujarneq Fleischer) considers spying on his employer.

Episode 3. Inuit Nunaat: Land of the People

{Inuit Nunaat Menneskenes Land}

After her statements in the Foreign Policy Committee, Birgitte Nyborg is threatened by a vote of no confidence, and when one of the Greenlandic members of parliament goes against her, the government’s majority begins to crumble. Nyborg now has two options: first, resigning and standing by her ideals and second, she and the government must change policies and suddenly advocate for oil exploitation.

Birgitte is suspected of lying to fellow Cabinet members. She gets troubling news that her son Magnus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen) has suddenly become an additional political burden for her.

Meanwhile, Katrine Fønsmark thinks Birgitte’s political career may be over.

Episode 4. The Minister Does not Wish to Comment

{Ministeren ønsker ikke at udtale sig}

In the negotiations with Greenland regarding the distribution of oil revenues turns contentious, Asger Holm Kirkegaard must play Birgitte Nyborg on the field, but the meeting is far from going as planned.

Meanwhile, Katrine Fønsmark has found decisive evidence that Nyborg lied to the Foreign Policy Committee, and is trying with all her might to hold Birgitte Nyborg responsible for her breach of the Ministerial Accountability Act and take Birgitte down. In her eagerness to achieve her journalistic goal, Katrine Fønsmark creates conflicts internally on TV1.

Episode 5. A Near-Arctic State

News of China’s involvement in Greenland gives Birgitte a reprieve but upsets the US. The Chinese delegation is making plans for oil extraction directly with the Greenlanders. Birgitte Nyborg’s change of attitude has left her without many political friends, and she is now also called to a meeting with the US Secretary of State, who demands that Nyborg intervene against China’s actions in Greenland.

Meanwhile, the rumours about Katrine Fønsmark’s leadership style are starting to swirl in the media, and she made a drastic decision to stop it. The situation between Katrine and Narciza (Özlem Saglanmak) threatens to erupt and create further problems at TV1.

Episode 6. Power in Denmark

{Magtens Danmark ~ Power’s Denmark}

Birgitte deals with the US and China but begins to lose support from her New Democrats party. The government is celebrating its first 100 days in power, but at the same time, the unrest in the New Democrats party is rising. An unknown object crashes in Greenland. So, the Sirius Patrol is sent off to investigate a crashed drone, and suddenly they face unknown soldiers…

Asger and Emmy Rasmussen (Nivi Pedersen) follow the events closely from the Arctic Command’s headquarters. And the fateful hours bring them together once again. But this time they are discovered.

Meanwhile, Katrine asserts her leadership at TV1.

Episode 7. Just Make It Go Away

Birgitte Nyborg uses hard-handed tactics in order to balance Danish, Chinese and American interests in the Greenlandic oil as a result tensions rise in the New Democrats party. Her hard-handed switch on ecological issues shocked her old friends. In addition, she consults with an unlikely adviser about dealing with unhappy party members. Asger and Hans negotiate oil revenue.

Meanwhile, Katrine reverses course at TV1.

Episode 8. Mother of the Sea

{Havets Moder}

Birgitte appears with Magnus on live television while facing a threat to her party leadership in the New Democrat party. The New Democrat party leadership elections and the complications with Chinese oil extraction in Greenland forced Birgitte Nyborg to make ethical choices. She follows her heart to find the best solutions. Will she be able to survive and thrive as a politician?

Meanwhile, Katrine Fønsmark’s world was falling apart. As she began to buckle under the pressure of her high-profile media job at TV1.

The character arc of the protagonist Birgitte Nyborg in this Danish show

The growth and change of Birgitte Nyborg in the show

Most politicians around the world swear to act in the name of the greater good and the national interest. So, Birgitte Nyborg is no different. Therefore, she blindly pursued power and glory (including the petrodollars and support of the superpowers), as a Foreign Minister of Denmark. So, she is willing to compromise not only her own personal beliefs but also those of her New Democrats party. Birgitte Nyborg was a more idealistic politician in the early episodes of Borgen. However, in this latest fourth (2022) season, she became a battle-hardened politician, but a flawed person.

Does she redeem herself in the end?

Her own green vision and environmental concerns (whales’ habitat, iceberg melting, global warming, clean energy, other ecological damages, etc.) took a backseat. She pushed ahead with the oil mining in Greenland, a nation still under the colonial rule of Denmark. But then, the big boys – the superpowers the USA and China began flexing their muscles. She is a typical savvy politician, so she realises the high stakes and takes a U-turn on the oil deal.

In the last decade, Birgitte has certainly matured as a politician.

The fate of Birgitte Nyborg and Katrine Fønsmark explained in this Danish show

The fate of Birgitte Nyborg in the show

In the closing scenes of the last episode of this show, we watch, Birgitte being a seasoned and pragmatic leader. Belatedly she realizes that it is time to own up to her mistakes publicly. So she resigned from the leadership position of her party. And hand over the reins of her party. However, privately, she seeks greener political pastures like a leadership stint at the European Commission – European Union.

To summarise, this story tells us that the women folks are no different than the men folks. Especially when it comes to grabbing political power and clinging on to it. Because the power and glory are addictive.

The fate of Katrine Fønsmark in the show

In complete contrast, bullied by the social media warriors, Katrine decided to step back. Then she resigned from her high-profile job at TV1. Maybe, she could not handle the intense pressure and extreme toxicity of the new social media platforms. Perhaps, her decade-long break from the active journalistic job did not help her. It could be one of the key reasons behind her inability to handle the dangerous new world.

Who is better off in the end?

Both Birgitte and Katrine in the first three seasons of Borgen wish to reach the top. They have their respective careers in politics and journalism. And then both get to the summit and realize their ambitions. In the end, there are a lot of failures and emptiness; as both pay a big price. Still, Birgitte is relatively in a better mental space than Katrine. Birgitte might head for the EU while Katrine heads home.

We think, in the end, with their respective acts and steps – both of them kept their honour intact.

Key details of this 2022 Danish Political Drama series

Original titleBorgen – Riget, Magten, og Æren {The Castle – The Kingdom, The Power, and The Honor}
Original languageDanish (with a bit of Greenlandic and English)
Age-restrictionsUA (16+)
ReleasedFebruary 2022
SeasonOne (1)
Also, it can be considered as the continuation of the highly acclaimed Borgen series of the past, hence, perhaps, it is the fourth and final season of the same.
EpisodesEight (8)
CreatorAdam Price
CastSidse Babett Knudsen (Birgitte Nyborg), Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Katrine Fønsmark), Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen (Magnus Nyborg Christensen), Mikkel Boe Følsgaard (Asger Holm Kirkegaard), Simon Bennebjerg (Oliver Hjorth), Magnus Millang (Rasmus Gren Lundbæk), Søren Malling (Torben Friis), Johanne Louise Schmidt (Signe Kragh), etc.
About – Borgen – Power & Glory show.

Poster of this 2022 Danish Political Drama series

Borgen – Power & Glory show – poster.

FM rating of this 2022 Danish Political Drama series

FM’s rating4.25/5
FM’s short commentsThis Nordic show is one of the smartest and most intelligent political dramas of recent times. If you like brainy stuff, then do watch this show.
FM, IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes ratings – Borgen – Power & Glory show.

Trailer of this 2022 Danish Political Drama series

Official Trailer – Borgen – Power & Glory show | YouTube.

Featured & Other Images: Borgen – Power & Glory (2022) Series | Netflix.

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