The Top of The Lake-episode 3-warning-spoilers-On in the UK on BBC2 Saturdays @ 9pm-posted today 30th July 2013

Top of The Lake
Episode 3

So the guy down at the lake found the obviously murdered Austrian paedophile about a mile high up in the tree.  Detective Robin does her starey thing.  (a’ la The Killing)  Somehow spotting a grave in the dark.

Matt Mullan: (the thing you least expected him to say)
“Wrapping parer, wrapping paper, do we have any?”

So i must have missed this but Matt has taken  fancy to Bunny
(at the ladies’ camp with brown hair in a bob and the Mum of the young girl dropped off in the helicopter by rich ex-husband / Dad Jock)

Matt in the group therapy meeting:
“I have a question, what is the nature of human mind?”
“Recent research has told s that the universe is not infinite, what I wanna know is, what happens when you get to the edge?”
he continues:
“What’s so scary?”

Holly Hunter whose name is GJ;
“Your girl, Mr. Matt, with a secret growing inside…”
(that didn’t make any sense but did we expect it to?)

At the grave-peeling back the blood-stained towel..
Robin ditches out for a moment from filming.  Detective to Robin-Oh, no, they’re playing moving music.

Detective to Robin:
“Do you have kids?”
“Can I be alone please?”
then sobs a bit.

Detective Robin out on the lake with Jonno:
Jonno(that is the name of hunky shirt hating guy who is her ex)
I brought my Canadians”!

“Can’t we do some of the wrong thing before we do  the right thing?
Robin & Jonno snog.  Seemingly forever.
“Do you want to do this properly?”
“in bed..”
“Wear it!” (what)
should’t it be the other way around?

So there is a basement in the Mullan’s house.  With a laboratory.  Think it’s  E-ecstasy?
“Just take a half mate”

Matt Mullen (takes Anita up the hill)
“Adam & Eve, garden of Eden, first family,.. Killed them, burned down the house”
” second family, went mad, thought they could hear the kids’ voices through the walls”..

one of the brothers:
“I only want to hear things in the present!”
“it is!” not “It was”!

Matt & Anita:
Matt mimics his ex-wife:
“Oh Matthew, you take too long, you got no power”..

So now Matt & the blond lady Anita are E-ing it up.   Oh dear.  Film-makers always mistake E’s with acid when they portray this.

Then, a bit of a come down really, as Matt tells Anita to F-off from standing on his Mother’s grave.  Then proceeds to start self-flagellating with a belt he has left there just for that purpose.

So Robin is doing that really predictable thing of sticking up photos on her wall & staring at them.  A lot.

Question: why didn’t Detective Al want Robin to come over to the station?
& why is he plying her with wine and dinner? is it a date?  it looks like it.

Detective Al to Robin:
What do you think when you see Tui?”
“I think this case is triggering your personal history”..
(he’s both patronising her & trying to shut her down)

Detective Al:
“We got those lads you know, those little hard-ons”..
“So everybody knows I’ve been raped and those arses are walking around..”
“I had a baby at 16, Mum was Catholic”
“My girl wrote to me, pink notepaper, with two doves in the corner..”
she continues:
“Bla, bla..Fuck the truth Al!”

He broke her down good.

Detective Al:
“Was Jonno involved?”
Detective Robins:
“He was my date”
Detective Al:
“Most of those guy are gone now, except Sarge..”
Al holds her hand at the table.  (told you)

Robin gets up and collapses!  Wtf did he put in her wine?

(next morning)
“I woke up in your shirt and in your bed”!
Detective Al:
“You embarrassed yourself”
he continues
“OK, Miss Marples..”

Jesus Robin, he’s playing you like a bow.

Nb. Anita is the blond haired girl from the camp.
Matt & Anita

“You don’t put the cups back properly, the handles face out!”

Guilt trip city mother:
“I want to see my granddaughter, this is what’s killing me..”

The blue hoodie person.
Um, Robin, um you have a blue hoody too.

Robin calls out:
“Tui!” really loud!  that’s an idea.  Why have they stopped looking.

Sarge and guy at bar:
“Know what the perfect weapon is?  A stalagmite!”

Sarge & Robin
“You don’t remember me, do you?”
Robin finally does something proactive & stabs the guy with a glass-good! Then she is shouting and shown hysterical.
“What the fuck is happening?!”

They’re trying to break you down, that’s what.

Annoying Jonno looks after her, lights the eponymous fire.

piano music is getting really annoying



Sadly, for me this episode of top of The Lake jumped the shark. I’m not sure however, that there was even a shark to jump.

By which i mean, i was wavering last week.  I was wondering if it was sexist.  Then i was wondering if it was sexist to men. At least its bordering on equally offensive.  I really didn’t want to be pondering such things in a drama.  So i’m thinking this feeling/stuff must be pretty severe for me to be noticing it.  it is.

The other part of this i am thinking is the rest of it,  If that was sufficiently deep and or arty to carry this off:
everything would be OK.

Like in Les Revenants, some scenes we could have been looking at a jug, a vase of flowers, and still be finding it frightening.

Top of The Lake doesn’t submit enough solidity otherwise to make up for this lack, the malfeasance of tone/ something.

It’s almost  too cruel to be a caricature.  The violence and pathos with in it are uncomfortably mixed perhaps.

Even if all that was right and found its atmosphere or tone: the rest of it is annoyingly treacly in feel.  As in slow moving, disjointed and serially shifting.

Elizabeth Moss, i have decided, has a truly beautiful face.  Ever since someone on a forum mentioned that she looks like Gillian Anderson from The X-files i haven’t been able to stop thinking that Detective Robin really is Scully.

Because Elizabeth Moss not only looks like Gillian Anderson , but she holds her face, her chin, tilted in the same way.I am thinking all this because mostly the camera seems to focus just on her Elizabeth’s face, a lot in close-up.

Detective Robin has that beautiful, dewy, misty, old school Hollywood translucent glow to her face.  It’s like 40’s film noire met up-lit 21st century close-ups.

Yet the reason we mainly look at Robin’s face i believe is that all the action happens to her so far & she is purely reactive.

Everybody is being mean to her pretty much particularly Detective Al.  Maybe I’m wrong but i have distrusted him from the beginning.

Still, after the satisfyingly predictable Grasshopper style soothsayings of GJ: dramatic device demands that sometime soon Detective Robin gets officially mean and proactive.  Well she tried, but ended up in a house full of guns.  A bit dumb.

  Time to get with the Detective programme Robin, exclaim! in wondrous consternation, then satisfaction as you discern a clue from staring at your photographs on the wall. Or alternatively get a revelation whilst doing something officially unusual.

Then gear up with your latest mode of transport, whatever protection you can work out, and set out on your lone, tough and troublesome (and of course dangerous) Quest.

Oh yes.  & p.s.  Just a little of Matt Mullan’s scariness rubbed off temporarily at the sight of him in his black boxer shorts.

Nb.  Could it be that Matt Mullan is not just generally a bit dangerous but on top of that be suffering an organic deterioration by disease?

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