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

It’s time to talk about something pretty uncomfortable: How many people have had to die in this season of True Detective to make California’s high-speed rail happen?

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Let’s do a brief — but by no means comprehensive — body count:

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  • Caspere (1)
  • Stan (we still don’t really understand who this is, but Frank remains very sad that he’s dead, so he must be important) (2)
  • Approximately 100 (roughly! Just a guess!) public transit activists, drug dealers, gang members, sex workers, cops, and Dixon Teague who died in the “Vinci Massacre,” set up as a ruse to distract our disgruntled heroes from the real criminals at hand. (102)
  • That security guard at the orgy — and also maybe an oil baron? Why is no one talking about one of the rich orgy guests getting sliced up like a Christmas ham? (104)
  • Irina Rulfo (105)
  • “Tasha” (106)
  • Casino security guard (107)
  • SPOILER Blake Churchman (108)
  • SPOILER D.A. Davis (109)
  • SPOILER Four of Catalyst’s security team, including Paul “Sad Riggs” Woodrugh’s babely ex-military lover (113)
  • SPOILER Paul “Sad Riggs” Woodrugh (114)


I’m tired, so let’s stop there. That’s 114 people (ballpark) — most of whom are probably pretty shitty and at least one of whom probably, on some level, wanted to die, but still! Is fast public transit worth this much bloodshed?

I have to think that if a real high-speed, energy-efficient rail system actually does arrive on the West Coast someday, I will always wonder: How many people have been murdered, with how much gory spectacle, for this to go down? But that is because I have an overactive imagination that is easily affected by media! Hopefully you are more sane and balanced, and can see high-speed rail as the true boon it would be.


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The last and most awful death in this blighted season of True Detective brings us the best argument for protected sex (and, by the same token, against unplanned pregnancy) that television has possibly ever seen. Nothing quite drives home “that IUD doesn’t sound so bad, does it” like (SPOILER!) the tableau of a pregnant woman quietly weeping, trapped in a hotel room watching shitty network TV with her unbearable mother-in-law, while her heavyhearted, duty-driven fiancée and father of her unborn child bleeds out on a godforsaken slab of Los Angeles concrete, sputtering, “Oh, fuck you.”


After this penultimate episode of True Detective, we still don’t really know what’s going on, but we’re definitely not psyched about it. On the bright side, at least SOMEONE is still enjoying it:

Join us next week, when we will be writing this column from the depths of bed after binge-drinking our way through 90 (90!!!!!!!!) minutes of True Detective‘s conclusion.