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Top Of The Lake

Top of the Lake

Sat Aug 17, 9.10-10.10pm, BBC2

Episode six
‘Everything you think you are, you’re not,’ announces Holly Hunter’s GJ (a character whose rich potential is never quite realised, we’d say), pretty much getting to the heart of what makes Laketop so rotten. Uncertainty abounds, right up to a conclusion that may leave some a little frustrated at the number of ends left loose and questions unanswered. But you won’t often have seen so much pain expressed so powerfully.

The search for Tui begins to unravel as quickly as Robin’s psyche tonight, as Matt Mitcham goes after his daughter himself – but not before casually chucking a grenade into the detective’s fragile sense of self. Not for nothing was Robin’s distress code, as she went in to hear the man’s self-serving confession, ‘that’s unacceptable’.

What follows is deeply troubling and profoundly shocking, of course, as the cycles of violence and abuse keep turning and ever clearer battlelines are drawn between sexes and generations. But it’s also very moving and even, at the very end, uplifting. Few series come weighted with the expectations of Jane Campion’s ‘Top of the Lake’ – fewer still manage to surpass them. Between this and ‘Southcliffe’, these have been extraordinarily rich times for the discerning TV viewer.
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