In this installment of Green Screen, we highlight the greenest parts of your favorite TV guilty pleasures (spoiler: There are a lot of them!).

This week’s episode of True Detective should have been called “Oh, hello — here we are, right back where we started!” because after last week’s bloodbath we’re back at square one with regard to the first episode’s big question: Who is this old Caspere dude, and why is he dead?


But we do know a few more things now than we did then. For example: Frank was involved in the intentional metal-polluting of all the land “up north” that will serve as the route of the high-speed rail that’s ruining everyone’s lives. As you may recall from last week, said land can no longer serve for farming, which is just as well because California doesn’t have much water to spare for crops these days anyway, and the current incarnation of the West Coast Amtrak is about as efficient a transportation method as riding a mule.

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OK, Frank. You mucked up all the soil with mercury and other nasty things, but now you also want to be an organic farmer, because that is the clear palate-cleansing antidote to prostitution and drug dealing. News flash, Frank: Pimpin’ ain’t easy, but neither is farming! In this episode, we regrettably end up back in bed with him and the long-suffering Jordan as he waxes nostalgic on his days as a teen crop-picker. Life as Frank must look pretty bleak — spoiler: it does! — to make organic farming look like an easy alternative.


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But real talk for a second: All things natural and organic repeatedly crop up as a better alternative to the concrete hellhole in which each of our sulking characters is waiting to die. Beyond his agrarian aspirations, Frank, suspected reader of one too many Wendell Berry books, is committed to having a baby the “natural way,” which is now apparently an issue because Jordan has been rendered infertile by too many abortions. (First trimester abortions, which constitute the vast majority of such procedures, pose “virtually no risk” of future infertility, according to the Guttmacher Institute — nice fearmongering, True Detective.) The calmest — and most out of place, incidentally — that we’ve seen Ani is when she spends a day at the beach to get some downtime with her wayward sister. And she and Sad Riggs also owe the most recent case discovery (related: My new least favorite sentence is “That’s arterial spray!”) to tracking some circling crows following their instincts.


Check back with us next week, at which point we will maybe finally start to figure out what the hell is going on on this show.