Borgen – Power & Glory is the 4th instalment of a Danish political drama series that revolves around Birgitte Nyborg as she serves as the foreign minister and has to deal with an important crisis that stacks the deck against her. The episodes are now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Birgitte Nyborg serves as the Foreign Minister in the Danish government and has to contend with new developments in Greenland as a Canadian company discovers a large reserve of oil on the arctic floor. She also has an unsteady alliance with Prime Minister Signe Kragh.
When the news of the oil gets out, Birgitte immediately contacts Hans, the Greenland foreign minister to get a handle on the situation but he proves to be a wiry operator that keeps the cards close to his chest. She reaches out to the Arctic ambassador and his deputy so that they have more information.
At TV1, Katrine Fønsmark has been appointed the new head of news, a prestigious position that comes with a ton of responsibility. She aims to bring the channel back to its former glory but appears to face some resistance.
Birgitte tends to do things without informing the PM, so after one such incident, she is called in and reminded that she answers to a higher authority. Birgitte finds out that Signe plans to make a controversial appointment in her cabinet that benefits one of Birgitte’s biggest critics, Michael Laugesen.
She leaks it out to the press and shuts it down at its root, which does not improve her standing with Signe. She also promotes the ambassador’s deputy, Asger, to acting ambassador because she believes he was better suited to the job.
Asger immediately proves useful by uncovering that the drilling company now has some questionable Russian shareholders. Asger flies to Greenland to negotiate with Hans while Birgitte digs into Russian ownership.
Birgitte’s son, Magnus is a vegan activist who gets into some trouble after breaking into a pig farm and letting them all out.
The Americans contact Birgitte and ask her not to reveal the information about Russian influence in the oil project due to security issues but it is eventually leaked out and puts Birgitte in a lot of hot water.
Asger has a tough time getting Hans to cooperate so he has the Greenland Premier send someone in her stead to push things forward. Birgitte’s party policy still makes it difficult to accept the notion of extracting the oil but Hans is adamant that Greenland will go ahead.
The foreign minister is forced to change her stance when the Chinese step in and take ownership of the drilling company. This puts her at odds with the Americans as well as her party.
Katrine and her team want to use this turmoil to show that Birgitte is losing control but she has to contend with her lead anchor, Narciza, who is stirring the pot with her attitude and disagreements on how the news should be reported.
When a foreign object flying over Greenland crashes down in the mountains, it causes an international incident that forces Birgitte to work on the front foot and put out multiple fires. The more she tries to please others, the further away she pushes from her party and her family.
Katrine has no choice but to fire Narciza after her authority is questioned one time too many but after receiving severe online backlash, she has to make a u-turn that undermines her position as the head of news.
Asger begins to assert his authority in the negotiations with Hans and also has an affair with the Premier’s representative. This makes life very complicated for him and when Birgitte finds out, she reprimands him and tells him to forget her and get back on track.
Soon, her party loses confidence as Birgitte begins to act more recklessly and they call for a party meeting to vote on a new head with her long time political partner, Jon Berthelsen, challenging her for the leadership.
Borgen – Power & Glory ending explained in detail (Episode 8: Mother of the Sea):
A green new deal
Birgitte is preparing for the party meeting in the coming weekend and is quite nervous about it. She is also scheduled to appear on a talk show along with her son to improve her image with the public.
The interview devolves into chaos as Birgitte and her son get into an argument on live television that lowers the public opinion of her. It also drives a wedge between her and her son.
She has some progress on the work front as the Danish government succeeds in setting up a buffer company to handle the oil deal between China, Greenland and Denmark.
She heads out to Greenland to sign the deal along with Hans as a public show of their initiative. Kristine is interviewed for a personal profile in the newspaper about being a woman in power.
A change of heart and mind
Birgitte is taken on a sailing trip along the ice fiord to admire its beauty and it shifts something within her. She gets together with her secretary and Asger to explore legal ways for Denmark to get out of the deal they just signed.
The day of the party meeting has arrived and everyone has gathered for this prominent event, newscasters included. Kristine is set to be a commentator during the vote but she appears to be a little flustered when she leaves.
Birgitte watches on as Jon makes his case for the party leadership and then is shocked when her own mentor, Bent Sejrø, speaks out on her change in attitude and claims that he too has lost confidence in her.
Her advisor tells her that she needs to bring up his dementia diagnosis to tarnish his credibility but she is apprehensive.
A new dawn
Kristine bails in her role as an analyst and finds somewhere secluded because she has a breakdown from all the stress that she’s been under. Her friend finds her and assures her that everything will be fine.
Birgitte has a new plan in mind that will improve the situation regarding the oil deal and calls the Prime Minister to discuss it. After a fruitful conversation, she appears at the conference and talks about how she has strayed in her path and agrees that she is wrong.
She then willingly steps down as the party leader and endorses Jon to replace her.
Kristine takes some time off work because of her incident and then decides that she’d rather quit the job because of the toll it took. It ends up being a massive load off her shoulders.
The oil deal with Greenland collapses due to the significant costs it may rack up and ultimately all the countries get what they aspired for.
Birgitte steps down as the Foreign Minister but the rumour crops up that she will join the EU commission as the next commissioner, signifying that this is not the end yet, just the beginning of a new chapter.