Copenhagen Cowboy Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – what does Rosella want with Miu?

January 5, 2023 (Last updated: January 7, 2023)
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
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A bizarre and unpleasant opening situates us in Refn’s demented imagination.

This recap of the Nicolas Winding Refn Netflix series Copenhagen Cowboy Season 1 Episode 1, “Miu the Mysterious”, contains spoilers.

If most shows opened with a woman being strangled in a pig farm, her choking interspersed with the frantic squealing of sows, I’d think it was a bit weird. But Copenhagen Cowboy is a Nicolas Winding Refn show, so that kind of thing is expected. We’ll return here a little later with a bit more context, but the turn the scene takes can hardly be described as illuminating. If anything, we’re left with even more questions than we had to begin with, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Copenhagen Cowboy Season 1 Episode 1 Recap

Most of “Miu the Mysterious” revolves around Miu and is indeed mysterious. The young woman, who is an immigrant devoid of papers and has been bought by Rosella, the matriarch of what we very quickly realize is a bizarre crime family, may or may not have magic powers. Rosella seems to think so. She’s referred to frequently as a source of luck. Rosella thinks Miu can help her to get pregnant and is willing to pay her ten grand for the privilege. In exchange, Miu gets privileges of her own. She gets to sleep upstairs with Rosella and her near-silent husband, Sven. She gets to eat at the table. And, crucially, she doesn’t have to “work”, which in this household means being prostituted by Rosella’s violent brother Andre.

It’s no secret that this is an awful place and that it’s exploiting undocumented immigrants. The Albanian girls downstairs laughingly explain their roles to Miu, who watches them quietly from afar until she’s spotted, and then watches them close up. She says little. The others, understandably, resent the idea that she’s lucky. How can luck, of all things, exist in this place? What can Miu provide that they can’t, when they have already provided so much of themselves?

Miu realizes rather quickly that things aren’t going to go as planned. Rosella forces him to sit in the room while her husband Sven awkwardly humps her, believing that her presence alone will magically cause conception. Earlier, Miu, and thus we, saw Sven rape one of Andre’s girls, which he later gets beaten half to death for. When he thrusts and grunts, Refn mixes in the squealing of the pigs, blurring the line between human and animal, which is a trick he repeats a lot, always in the context of sex or violence.

The next morning Rosella believes she’s pregnant and offers Miu eight grand in payment instead of the promised ten. When she argues, the offer lowers. Rosella’s exploitation of vulnerable women has become habitual. Earlier, one of the Albanian girls described her as a psychopath, and you can see it here. When Andre attacks Sven at the table, she barely notices. Andre doesn’t believe in any of Miu’s supposed supernaturalism, and when Rosella wakes in the night, bleeding, neither does she. Miu is sent downstairs, where the other girls live. Her only ally is Cimona, a good-natured young woman in terrible circumstances who wants to escape. Towards the end of the episode, she tries to. As she flees down the roadside, the camera swoops by from the perspective of a passing car and slows to a stop. The man inside has white hair and black leather driving gloves. He picks Cimona up and, as we saw in the opening scene, strangles her.

When he’s finished, he lets out an inhuman roar straight to the camera.

You can stream Copenhagen Cowboy Season 1 Episode 1, “Miu the Mysterious” exclusively on Netflix.

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