Top of the Lake season two is making its SundanceTV debut tonight, September 10, after a four-year hiatus since the premiere season. This time around, Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) returns to Sydney, bringing with her some PTSD from shooting Al Parker in the first season, and embarking on a new investigation 鈥 鈥淐hina Girl,鈥 which refers to a young Chinese prostitute who washes up on a beach, dead inside a suitcase.

Jane Campion, the creator of the series, also returns, writing all of the season two episodes and directing two of them. In a bit of a mother-daughter theme, Campion鈥檚 own daughter, Alice Englert, has been cast as Mary, Robin鈥檚 daughter, whom she placed for adoption nearly 18 years earlier. Nicole Kidman is Mary鈥檚 adoptive mother, Julia, and the three of them are on a collision course as the series explores the theme of parent-child relationships.

Speaking with Brit + Co, Moss said that season two is very much about 鈥渨omanhood and motherhood鈥 and 鈥渢he different choices that you make as a woman.鈥

鈥淚 think that could not be more relevant 鈥 ownership of your body and ownership of what you want to do with it and what it means to be a mother,鈥 Moss told us at the 2017 TCA summer press tour. 鈥淚t鈥檚 very interesting to me and very interesting to women. It鈥檚 certainly interesting to [creator Jane Campion] and she really explored it in a beautiful way.鈥

Part of that exploration is Robin and Mary coming face to face for the first time. Moss said Robin has a very honest reaction in that she doesn鈥檛 feel any kind of instant connection with her offspring.

鈥淗ere is this stranger; here is this 18-year-old girl who she doesn鈥檛 know,鈥 said Moss. 鈥淚 think there鈥檚 this idea that you have a child, you meet your baby, and you start feeling like the queen mother all of a sudden and lactating and stuff [laughs] 鈥 Everyone has a different experience with motherhood, so I loved that. I thought that was really honest, that she has to figure out what her relationship is with Mary. She has to figure out how she is a mother to this child.鈥

But Mary isn鈥檛 going to make things easy on Robin or Julia. 鈥淪he鈥檚 hurt and she鈥檚 hurtful, which is kind of wonderful to have to be a kind of paradox of a person,鈥 Englert told us. 鈥淎t that age, you鈥檙e searching for and losing control constantly. 鈥 One thing I knew about Mary is that she鈥檚 strong, she鈥檚 really strong. 鈥 She鈥檚 passionate and she鈥檚 sensitive and she鈥檚 furious and she鈥檚 rude. It took me a while to master some of the obscenities I have to yell at sweet, sweet Nicole Kidman.鈥

It might seem as though Mary hates her adoptive mother, but Englert said that it鈥檚 actually just the opposite. 鈥淢ary loves Julia. She loves her so much that she鈥檚 an a**hole to her. She loves her a lot,鈥 Englert explained.

With Robin, on the other hand, there鈥檚 a lot to unpack for Mary because she wrote a letter to her birth mom years ago and Robin never responded. 鈥淸It鈥檚] the fantasy of the birth mother and the devastation that followed for Mary when she wrote this letter to Robin and she never got a response, growing up trying to understand what she might鈥檝e done wrong,鈥 said Englert. 鈥淎nd then trying to understand what might have been done to the birth mom, what made me, which is a big thing for her as a character. She rightly assumes how she was made, that Robin was raped.鈥

Yes, Mary correctly guesses the circumstances of her birth, which viewers learned about Robin in season one and which will definitely come into play between Robin and Mary 鈥 something further complicated by the fact that Mary is dating a much older man, Alexander 鈥淧uss鈥 Braun (David Dencik). The relationship is problematic for both of Mary鈥檚 mothers, which Englert said she totally understands, even if she had to believe in their love as the actress playing Mary.

鈥淚 think that Mary and Puss really do believe in their love, for better or worse, and I think that鈥檚 why their relationship is disturbing,鈥 said Englert. 鈥淭here are a lot of things that are really toxic and I think you can really love someone and treat them really badly and that鈥檚 where we came from. 鈥 Being in love is not enough. You have to be good to each other.鈥

The show also reveals early on that Puss has some kind of connection to the brothel where 鈥淐hina Girl鈥 worked, so viewers 鈥渄efinitely should be鈥 suspicious of him, according to Englert. But there might be more going on there than meets the eye.

鈥淭he great thing about the series is it doesn鈥檛 tell you who is bad. The first installment was鈥 you could see who the bad guy was. There was a bad guy, there were a lot of them. And in this one, it鈥檚 very gray,鈥 said Englert. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 want to mislead you and make you think that it鈥檚 vague. It鈥檚 not vague; there are revelations. But I鈥檓 curious to see what people feel and what they come away with. Everyone鈥檚 a bit guilty and I enjoy that.鈥

Top of the Lake: China Girl premieres Sunday, September 10 at 9pm ET/PT and airs two hours each night from September 10 to September 12.

Will you watch Top of the Lake: China Girl? Tell us @BritandCo.

(Photos via SundanceTV)