Top of the Lake (2013–2017)
1 user 10 critic

Episode #1.7 

Robin is squashed under the burden of Matt's disclosures, nevertheless, she will gather up her remaining strength for a valiant ultimate effort to locate Tui, utterly unprepared however for the inconceivable truth that lies before her.


Jane Campion




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Mullan ... Matt
Elisabeth Moss ... Robin Griffin
Loren Taylor ... Young Jude
Stephen Lovatt ... Officer Pete
Elliot Fell Elliot Fell ... Officer Elliot
Thomas M. Wright ... Johnno
David Wenham ... Al Parker
Gavin Rutherford Gavin Rutherford ... Officer Joy
Robyn Malcolm ... Anita
Geneviève Lemon Geneviève Lemon ... Bunny (as Genevieve Lemon)
Skye Wansey ... Grishina
Lauren Dawes Lauren Dawes ... Mandy
Sarah Valentine ... Prue
Alison Bruce ... Anne-Marie
Georgi Kay Georgi Kay ... Melissa


Robin calls on Matt who gives her information that prompts a crisis, a visit to Paradise to consult GJ, a night of heavy drinking, and Al's taking her off the case. Matt redoubles his efforts to find Tui; Johnno and Robin are close behind. A few days later is Tui's due date. A helicopter searches the woods by the lake, GJ departs Paradise, DNA test results are in, there's gun violence, and Robin follows a hunch. Written by <>

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Did You Know?


AT 29:56, you see Putty pickup Tui's newborn and you can see that the baby has socks and booties on. See more »


Robin: I don't know how to keep living
GJ: Who is she?
Anita: She's the, um, detective.
GJ: Oh, I remember the detective. So, you are on your knees? Good. Now die to yourself. To your idea of yourself. Everything you think you are, you are not. What's left? Find out.
Robin: I've just realized that who I thought I was, who my father and mother were...
GJ: Stop. Stop thinking.
Anita: Coffee
GJ: What are these crazy bitches doing?
Anita: They're meditating.
GJ: Ah! Have you people paid your trailer rent?
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Alternate Versions

Originally shot and screened in countries such as Australia and the UK as 6 episodes. In the US, the Sundance Channel airing was re-edited into 7 shorter parts. See more »


How Can I Recognise My Home
Written by Veljo Tormis.
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User Reviews

S1: Very good at the cold sense of detached isolation, but less good at delivering the narrative
21 October 2014 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

If you can forgive me looking at one aspect of this show right out of the gate, if there is one thing this show does excellently, it is to produce a feeling in a consistent manner. That feeling is one of isolation, of detachment, of lack of options and of an almost total acceptance of all of it. It is a powerful sense that is there from the first opening scene right through to the end and it is what I take away from the 7 episodes because it is what I liked most about it. At times it seems to be all the show itself is interested in, and as such it produces this aching, still, empty feeling in a way that I was surprised by how well it reached me mostly watching the show on a small screen in my front room. The remoteness of New Zealand plays a part in this and the landscape is well used as a static, silent background rather than being lovingly swooped over as many a production would have done.

The problem I had with the show is that this is far and away the best thing about it, and that it does seem to care less about other aspects of the show. Unfortunately one of these is the narrative. Well, not so much the narrative itself, because a lot of it is compelling as a story, but it is the delivery of it that hurts. Major events happen and occasionally seem to be forgotten; scenarios and people exist without context at times; credibility is stretched to breaking regarding some things, and generally the show is not really effective at delivering a tense, dramatic story because it seems to have no interest in doing that or being that type of show. Again, I liked what it wanted to be instead – but we still have all this plot kicking around which feels consistently neglected.

The cast match the direction of the show well, which again hurts the delivery of the narrative but adds to the sense of isolation and detachment. Moss is good at this and I really felt for her throughout. Mullan brings his usual intensity to his role and as much as I was surprised to find him here, he did well. Young Joe does well as Tui even committing herself in the delivery of some of the less convincing aspects of the later episodes. Hunter throws herself into her role, although personally I found her character and her whole camp to be something that didn't ever really work within the narrative. Wright, Wenham and others are solid throughout, but in some occasions I felt like this was not the crime show they thought they would be in. I've only been to New Zealand once (and as an older man, did not live there for 6 months like everyone else and their dog), so I am not the best to comment on accents – but with all the Australians, Americans and Scots in the cast, it should be no surprise that the accents are a bit varied.

For me the atmosphere and the feeling within the show carried me a long way, while the deficiencies in the delivery did not totally stop me being engaged in the narrative. That said, it is hard not to see the weakness from my point of view, although credit to the show for the way it knows what it wants to be and gets it right from its own agenda – even if I think it would have been a better show if one aspect done very well didn't negatively impact on other aspects.

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Release Date:

15 April 2013 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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