Realpolitiker Birgitte Nyborg must solve Denmark’s transition from Legoland to oil country.
«The Castle», season 4
Danish drama series in eight parts
Series creator: Adam Price
Director: Per Fly
With: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Søren Malling and others. fl.
All episodes available on Netflix on Thursday, April 14th
The last time we met Birgitte Nyborg (Sidsel Babett Knudsen), she mentioned Christiansborg as her second home, on her way to a new position as foreign minister.
Nine years later, she heads the same ministry, but not in a blue-weight alliance. New Democrats are now in coalition with the Labor Party. As is well known, principles and power are not always as well connected.
By the way, the iPhones are newer, the children older and the cigarettes fewer. Korona is mentioned in a subordinate clause, Ukraine in a few more. Torben Friis (Søren Malling) is less direct and Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) has returned to journalism and become his new boss. There’s a lot of adult jaws.
Greenland confirms an enormous and realistic recoverable oil discovery. It changes the world’s biggest eye its relationship with Denmark and starts a similar discussion we know from home: How to achieve the climate goals when 2000 billion kroner is ready to expand the state’s accounts? Nyborg’s immediate approach is to highlight the Paris Agreement.
Something the Greenlanders experience as another assault from Danish colonial masters.
An urgently appointed Arctic ambassador, Asger Holm Kirkegaard (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard – last seen in «Kastanjemannen») shows good negotiating skills and insight into Greenland and Denmark’s overlapping and motley history.
At the same time, Nyborg must constantly make new moves to save his own political career and family. The son Magnus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen – from, among others, «The Rain») has his own agenda, with instruments that do not pass into the established part of the system.
The «castle» in 2022 is faster, denser with a higher level of tension than the three, almost ten years old previous seasons. Apart from Francis Underland’s murderous and directly immoral and undemocratic means, at least the fourth season of the Danish political power is close to «House of Cards»
The actors, especially Knudsen and Kirkegaard, who in addition to sounding like a Danish existentialist indie duo, keep an impressively high and believable pace. Together, they are almost present in every single scene. Nyborg’s challenges with hot flashes and menopause while the planet struggles with the two-degree goal are balanced human and beautifully comic.
Adam Price has taken the lead writing responsibility for all episodes, and Per Fly has directed the overall. It has, despite those who thought at the screenwriter had completely lost its grip in «Ragnarok» turned these eight episodes into concentrated and explosive political TV.
This is how you look when you think about it – it probably is not likely to work. And – when you think about it again – is probably closer to the truth than you might think.
“You are not yourself”, says a character to Birgitte Nyborg towards the end of this season. “Yes,” Nyborg replies. “I adapt to the circumstances.”
We can easily get more of such circumstances.