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Emmys 2017
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TV Recaps

Top of the Lake: China Girl recap: 'Chapter 3/Chapter 4'

Robin tries to get through to Mary

Posted on

Sally Bongers/See-Saw Films/SundanceTV

Top of the Lake

type:
TV Show
creator:
Jane Campion
performer:
Elisabeth Moss
broadcaster:
SundanceTV
seasons:
2
Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B+

“Chapter 3”

Robin is wronged by men quite often — and, in some cases, quite severely. It’s exhausting to watch, to see someone subjected to the same hurtful behavior over and over again by no fault of her own. This is an episode in which guys range from being jerks to full-on assailants, in which one dude — a colleague, no less — proposes an arrangement where they’d have sex seven to eight times and where another…well, we’ll get to that later.

For now, a guy named Tony is “confessing” to Robin that he killed China Girl. He’s at the police station, eating something very loudly and going into detail about having sex with, supposedly, China Girl. I don’t need to repeat what he says here, but I will say that hearing him explain what he did with her while he obnoxiously chews his food all felt like one big PSA for abstinence. In a word: Tony’s gross.

And Tony’s lying. He says he choked her and then didn’t call the police because he was so sad and upset, and then he wrapped her body in a picnic blanket and threw her out to sea — no suitcase mentioned. I’m really hoping Tony plays into the story in some way, because otherwise I’m going to be pretty annoyed I had to sit through his nasty fake confession.

So that’s a bust, but Robin realizes that China Girl’s death could be the result of a breakdown in the surrogacy agreement. Maybe, she guesses, China Girl demanded more money and they weren’t having it. From there, Robin and Miranda head to a surrogacy clinic in hopes of finding some parent desperate for a child. The more hungry they are for a baby, Robin thinks, the more likely they would be to kill for it. Oh, also: Miranda and Adrian are dating, and he’s the baby daddy, allegedly. Okay.

Adrian already had a wife, which initially meant Miranda didn’t even think of him “like that,” until one night when they drank a bit too much red wine and got handsy. You know who else has a wife? Puss! (I still can’t believe his name is Puss.)

Mary’s dad, Pyke, did some research on his daughter’s new boyfriend, which is a bit surprising because he seemed to be much more chill about Puss than Julia was. Not anymore. Once he finds out Pyke is still married, he’s all, My daughter can’t be with a bigamist! And yes, he says “bigamist.” He stages a confrontation at a restaurant — because, yeah, that seems like a great idea — and it quickly goes awry when Puss gets there before Mary and realizes he’s being cornered. I almost feel a little bad for him until he starts trying to make Julia look at the ring he bought for Mary. If she says she doesn’t want to look at it, she doesn’t want to look at it, man.

Once Pyke hands him the document proving what he knows, Puss gets up to leave and then makes a scene by tapping on his wine glass with a knife and telling a story about how he was 22 when he proposed to his wife, and it was senseless, and that’s why he did it. “For the first time, I was doing something completely senseless, that if I went through with it, I would be lost,” he says. “For me, that was irresistible.”

He storms out, and Pyke and Julia are kind of like, “Oh, s—.” Pyke still thinks Puss sucks, while Julia vocalizes that Mary probably won’t think it’s that bad. She’s right: Mary gets there, they tell her, and she goes all Romeo and Juliet on them, talking about how he loves her and she loves him and “if he rejects me, I don’t think I can live.” Isn’t young love sweet? (Recap continues on page 2)

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