Watching: ‘Top of the Lake,’ Pt. 3


The first two episodes of Top of the Lake left a lot to be desired with Matt Mitcham, who transformed into an exponentially more complex character in episode three with all he was up to and hiding. The assumption that he was bad business only because Tui disappeared is distant in our rearview mirrors.

First, we’re either led to believe or jump to the conclusion that this sliver of light coming from underneath Mitcham’s shower is some kind of Bates Motel—like basement cellar where Mitcham is hiding his daughter Tui, but in retrospect I’m not really sure why we’d be so naive to believe a) he has her and b) is hiding her in the basement. Then again, I didn’t see a meth lab coming either.

That’s Mitcham’s shady business. He has guys who look like they’re in a biker gang bringing bags of product into his A-frame and down into the lab and in episode three his two minions (as we’ll call them) are exposed to an especially potent variety. Now, the friendly police detective looks a little bit more controversial, leaving me to wonder if he knows, and is profiting, from this lab. It’s early to jump to that place, though.

Second, Mitcham needs a Viagra. This is surprising, I suppose, as he reveals it to the only woman from Paradise who agreed to go on a date with him — though he says it’s simply an apology dinner. Why exactly did she agree to it, in the first place? They end up having a supposedly nice meal at some random diner, before returning to the A-frame to cuddle.

The next morning they take ecstasy. Of course, they take ecstasy! They end up crawling around in Narnia, aroused by the moss on the trees and the soft grass in the fields. (So that’s what it’s like to do that stuff?) Randomly, Mitcham stumbles near the gravesite of his mother and we get to know all about his insane momma drama. I mean, come on, he leaves a thick belt draped over her headstone so when he visits he can whip himself for failing her. I don’t blame his dad for being a little freaked out watching that — it made me a little uncomfortable, too. I also thought he was about the kill the woman when she stepped on the grave.

At the beginning of the episode, I just thought, boy Robin is really getting under his skin because he’s trying to tell the police what to do — anything that will push them further away from his land. But now — now, he has some serious issues. I’m not rooting for him to, like, find peace, I just think he’s crazy. Is that weird?

I think it’s important to point out that we also now know where the background from each episode’s end credits come from — the wall where Robin is living.

There is a lot going on with Robin in this episode, too. It was pretty packed full of craziness, episode three. First, she has now entered into a beneficial relationship with her neighbor pal Johnno, which makes her a self-destructive individual because she doesn’t think she deserves her fiance Steve, who calls her and just wants her to come home. She talks all about how they’ve been engaged for five years, but she’s the one extending it — not Steve. She’s also understandably stressed, after he mom admits to her that she’s done fighting the cancer since it came back.

Also, Robin now has video footage of Tui and her cell phone, leading me to believe that she’ll finally see this “R u ok?” text from random blonde boy in the back of the bus. We’ll see; however, Robin is really starting to feel something for Tui, seeing how promising a young girl she is (i.e. she sings well). As if Robin needed any more motivation to find Tui, she’s got it.

She also has an idea of what’s going on, but for all of us that’s going to have to wait until the next episode. It has something to do with “No one.”


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