1,620 votes
Top of the Lake

Top of the Lake

BBC Two 2013

Set in a remote mountain town in New Zealand, "Top of the Lake" centers on the disappearance of 12-year-old Tui, who is five months pregnant. She is last seen standing chest deep in a freezing lake, and now all attention is focused on inexperienced detective Robin Griffin, who leads the investigation in the same town where she endured traumatic events years earlier. Not only must she find Tui, but Robin also embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Her limits are tested amid clashes with Matt, the missing girl's father and local drug lord, and GJ, a guru at a local women's camp.

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The 10 Worst Episodes of Top of the Lake

Top of the Lake - S1E1

#1 - Paradise Sold


Season 1 - Episode 1

In a breathtaking but remote mountain town in South Island, New Zealand, a twelve year-old girl named Tui is discovered to be pregnant. Local police enlist help from Detective Robin Griffin, a child protection specialist who has recently returned to the area to care for her mother. Tui refuses to disclose any clues about her perpetrator, but the town’s knot of long-buried secrets begins to unravel. Trapped where happiness and honest work are just out of reach, the entire community is under a smoldering cloud of suspicion. Chief suspect is the girl’s father, a menacing local figure with a violent past who is also embroiled in a land dispute with a new age women’s encampment. Robin’s investigation heightens tensions in the town and hints at a personal history she had hoped to keep buried.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Top of the Lake from 1190 votes.

Top of the Lake - S1E3

#2 - The Edge of The Universe


Season 1 - Episode 3

The case seems to be slipping out of control as each new piece of evidence adds to the growing sense of menace. Tui is still missing and the community is beginning to buckle under the strain of suspicion. Robin gets a warrant to search Matt Mitcham’s house, but before she can gather any conclusive evidence, the police report another mysterious local death. Robin suspects the worst when police stumble on a shocking discovery, but nothing is quite what it seems. The mystery deepens when videotapes of Tui are found and Robin notices a figure in the videos wearing a blue hoodie. Matt, meanwhile, continues his crusade to recover his piece of land called Paradise from the new age women’s group, convincing a member to go on a date with him. But their ecstatic revelry is interrupted by Matt’s thinly veiled dark side.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Top of the Lake from 773 votes.

Top of the Lake - S1E2

#3 - Searchers Search


Season 1 - Episode 2

After a tense encounter with pregnant girl Tui’s father, Robin Griffin is driving home and confronts a disturbing sight: Tui’s rider-less horse on the road. The hard-bitten Laketop community turns out in force to search for her but the questions only multiply. As the search grows in intensity, so do fears for her survival. Tui’s father addresses a crowd assembled in the local pub asking anyone who knows anything to come forward, but his threatening words hardly seem to encourage hope. Robin pursues an accused pedophile to his house for questioning, but the encounter spirals quickly out of control. Desperate, Robin turns to Johnno Mitcham, the girl’s half-brother, for help. His support may prove crucial to the case and to Robin’s safety, but it also soon entangles Robin more deeply in a battle with her own past.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Top of the Lake from 908 votes.

Top of the Lake - S2E1

#4 - China Girl


Season 2 - Episode 1

Detective Robin Griffin is newly back in Sydney, haunted by the baby she had as a teenager and partnered with an eager new recruit, Miranda. When a body in a suitcase washes up on Bondi Beach, Robin is determined to take the case.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Top of the Lake from 669 votes.

Top of the Lake - S2E3

#5 - Surrogate


Season 2 - Episode 3

Robin is galvanised by her theory that China Girl is a surrogate and ignores the threat of Al Parker’s imminent case against her. Mary accuses Robin of being manipulated by Pyke and Julia into believing Alexander is dangerous.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Top of the Lake from 534 votes.

Top of the Lake - S2E4
#6 - Birthday
Season 2 - Episode 4

There's a breakthrough in the case when Robin interviews Silk 41 regular Brett who suspects that China Girl is his ‘Girlfriend Experience’. Puss tests Mary’s love with a surprise for her 18th birthday celebration.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Top of the Lake from 536 votes.

Top of the Lake - S1E4
#7 - A Rainbow Above Us
Season 1 - Episode 4

A violent incident raises questions about Robin’s future with the local police, but she won’t let go of the case. She locates a friend of Tui’s who refuses to speak a word to anyone. He is accused of disrespect, but Robin believes there are deeper motives at play. His silence may hold a clue to Tui’s disappearance and she’s determined to earn his trust. Robin is also contacted by a pathologist who has investigated several cases for the local police. He tells Robin about additional evidence with potentially powerful implications, and she finds herself ever more committed to getting to the bottom of Tui’s case. At the same time, she begins to exhume long-buried memories with Johnno. He hints at a tragic secret from their past that could threaten the future of their relationship and her work on the case.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Top of the Lake from 718 votes.

Top of the Lake - S1E5
#8 - The Dark Creator
Season 1 - Episode 5

Despite a troubled past relationship and a dark secret that bonds them, Robin and Johnno are growing closer than ever. Robin’s mother warns her against dating him but refuses to explain why. Robin can only assume it stems from fear of his father, Matt, who is busy sending thugs into the bush to find Tui. Robin and Johnno follow the hunters and discover evidence that sends shockwaves through the investigation. Robin returns home buoyed at last by a new optimism, but she is greeted by heart-breaking news. Meanwhile, Tui’s mute friend is found stealing under suspicious circumstances. After being arrested and interrogated, his bizarre behavior causes another ripple in the investigation.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Top of the Lake from 691 votes.

Top of the Lake - S2E2
#9 - The Loved One
Season 2 - Episode 2

Armed with the fact that China Girl was pregnant, Robin launches into the investigation, including inside Sydney's sex industry. The meeting with her daughter's parents veers off the rails and puts contacting Mary at risk.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Top of the Lake from 557 votes.

Top of the Lake - S2E5
#10 - Who's Your Daddy
Season 2 - Episode 5

Robin finds a surprising love, but as Puss puts another arm of his audacious plan in place and suspicion grows around Silk 41, her fears for Mary escalate. Then Miranda drops a bombshell that brings her closer to the dead girl.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Top of the Lake from 506 votes.

Last updated: apr 11, 2021



i absolutel loved this series. The setting is beautiful, the lighting is great, the music is hauntingly beautiful. The story does take a while to get going and in the beginning you dislike the main character, but once you understand the reasons behind her actions you almost feel guilty for ever disliking her.


Unengaging show about unlikable characters. Disgust and boredom were the only emotions this show managed to evoke in me.


The first three episodes were very slow i almost gave up on it but no from episode 4 it gets much better much engaging the only thing that kinda bugs me is Elisabeth's accent well great performance nevertheless .. but seriously guys give this show a try you won't regret it


Story is totally disjointed. Jumps all over the place. It has unnecessary characters, including the whole group with the containers In the field. Felt that we wasted 6 hours of our life hoping for a logical tie up to various plots.


great atmosphere, acting and writing. yes, its slow and not exactly action packed, but everything simply fits together here. it shares many of its qualities with the killing, so if you like TK, youll like this.


Has a good start and a good setting. The dull ambience in the beginning somewhat reminds me of 'The Killing'. But then the show is far too slow and has too many weird characters. I don't know why.. but the lack of charakters with a rather usual life story gets more annoying from episode to episode. As if there weren't enough of them already they even invent an extra camp of annoying problematic life story characters...


This show was a gigantic waste of talent. The big problem is that it didn't seem to know what it wanted to be. It was a drama without drama and a mystery without real mystery. It seemed to think that just because you have good actors and dramatic music playing there would be something magically dramatic and it just doesn't work that way. At no point was I invested in any of the characters and at no point did there ever really feel like there was a real mystery. The characters just kind of meandered through mediocre story lines. Season 2 did seem to have a better arc but it was still troubled by all of the above. It's such a shame to see Moss, Kidman and Hunter wasted in this way. The contrast check out The Sinner to see how drama/mystery should be done. follow me at https://IHATEBadMovies.com or facebook IHATEBadMovies


Agree with several others here, this was not a patch on S1. Storyline just seemed somehow disjointed and jumped from one plot to another too quickly.


S1 only (so far): Elizabeth Moss is amazing! The scenery is beautiful and almost another character of its own as it impacts on the story more than once. It's a slow burn for sure, but it picks up between episodes 3 and 4 as more pieces fall into place.


The entire Season 2 is already out on BBC iPlayer. And it's SO good

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