6   +   3   =  

top of the lake 3The Edge Of The Universe’

By the end of the hypnotic third installment of this Kiwi drama – flawlessly directed by co-writer Garth Davis – you’ll feel like you’ve really been to the episode’s titular location. The potential similarities between Tui’s case and Robin’s past are causing our heroine to spiral out of control. Meanwhile, Matt is also beginning to unravel, his building rage making him more dangerous than he already was.

Before all of that though, there’s the matter of Wolfgang’s death, revealed at the end of the previous episode. As predicted, his apparent suicide was not due to his involvement in Tui’s death, but instead that of his dog. However, videotapes found in Wolfgang’s lodge show Tui singing & dancing, suggesting he may not be completely innocent. We don’t yet know for sure who recorded the footage, although Robin believes it may have something to do with Jamie, who has sent a number of texts to Tui’s phone and whose mother is employed at the Mitcham estate.

At the Mitcham estate, Jamie’s mother is not a cleaner as Matt told Robin last week. The beaming light coming from under the shower wasn’t from a room holding Tui, but from Matt’s drug den. Under the bathroom, Matt’s sons are running an extensive operation and have just received a fairly substantial amount of Methadone. Whether Matt’s drug business has directly affected the disappearance of his daughter remains to be seen, but it shows that he is more than just the angry thug we currently know him as; he’s a career criminal.

Surprisingly though, Matt seems fairly calm for a large portion of this episode, as the writers begin to explore his psyche. The way he turned up in Paradise with flowers, asking out Bunny and then settling for Anita couldn’t help but make you laugh. With little time spent in the company of GJ and her women this week, the early stages of Matt & Anita’s courtship gave the episode its comical edge. The scenes of the two tripping on E were fascinating to watch (and not just for the sight of Matt attempting yoga in his boxers), Mark Bradshaw’s spectacular score emphasizing the disorientating effect of the drugs. However, the anger within Matt was subtly & tensely building; his self-punishment in front of his mother’s grave and his discovery of Anita crying in Tui’s room leading to his attack of GJ’s women, reminding us how terrifying a man he really is. Mullan was exceptional this week, thoroughly justifying of his Emmy nomination.

Elisabeth Moss too has been awarded an Emmy nomination for her part as Robin; despite her wildly inconsistent accent it’s easy to see why. The focus of this episode was shared between Matt and Robin; but while Matt was tripping, Robin was crying. Her revelation of how she was gang raped at 15 and how this led to pregnancy was heart breaking to watch, Moss able to exemplify the childhood innocence of Robin’s character for greater emotional effect. This doesn’t compare to her confrontation with Sarge though, an inevitable but still shocking outburst. The way she continued to berate a bleeding Sarge as Johnno pulled her from the bar and threw her in the lake showing just how much her past and the events of the present are taking their toll on Robin’s mentality.

Like Robin, we’re still no closer to finding Tui but we may be closer to finding the truth behind her pregnancy. If “No One” really does refer the more than one rapist, then it’s time to start looking at more than one suspect… although anyone could be questionable right now.

★★★★★

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