The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Reign, “The Siege” – Season 2, Episode 21

The fate of Francis and Mary looked bleak in Reign, “The Siege.” The two, alongside their court, had to take shelter and barricade themselves within the castle walls as Condé had staged a coup against Francis and had stationed 900 men outside of his castle. And the question is, who will survive next week’s finale?

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

 “The Siege” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

 The episode did not pass any of the diversity tests because named women (of which there were several) never talked to each other without mentioning men, there were no LGBTI characters and because there was only one non-White character (Condé).

*The Bechdel test entails three requirements:
1. It has to have at least two (named) women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

**The Vito Russo test entails three requirements:
1. The show contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and/or transgender
2. The character must not be solely or predominately defined by her sexual orientation, gender identity and/or as being intersex
3.The character must be tied into the plot in such a way that her removal would have a significant effect

***The race or people of color (POC) test has three requirements:
1. It has two people of color in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a White person

****Just because a show passes the Bechdel, Russo and race test does not mean that it is not sexist, heterosexist, racist and/or cissexist, etc. The Bechdel, Russo and race test is only a bare minimum qualifier for the representation of LGBTI individuals, women and people of color in television. The failure to pass these tests also does not identify whether the central character was a woman, a person of color or a LGBTQI individual and it does not dictate the quality of the show.

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