Welcome to my viewing diary for Top of the Lake. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I will review another episode. I will be following the Sundance Channel order, which is the one available on U.S. Netflix. It divides the six BBC episodes (each directed in its entirety by either Jane Campion or Garth Davis) into seven shorter episodes. The episode titles will usually reflect which two BBC episodes were cannibalized. This is my first watch-through of the series so there will be NO spoilers for upcoming episodes.
Originally aired April 15, 2013 (written by Jane Campion & Gerard Lee/directed by Jane Campion)
What an intense hour of television, full of twists and gut-punches. Not only did the show manage to surprise me and keep me in suspense, it did so despite some prior clues (and correct suspicions). More importantly, Top of the Lake really delivered on its premise, and the themes it sustained throughout. That includes a mood of uneasy, think-twice foreboding...the viewer's feeling of generalized mistrust reflects Robin's own state of mind all too well. Looking back over the story, none of the developments appear arbitrary. The outcomes, the revelations, the discoveries both false and true, are deeply rooted and cleverly seeded. There are plenty of loose ends and open questions but the important threads are tied up, the necessary answers provided, and appropriate ambiguities retained.