The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Wayward Pines, “Our Town, Our Law” – Season 1, Episode 3

On Wayward Pines, “Our Town, Our Law,” Theresa and Ben got into an accident and were brought into Wayward Pines. Ethan, of course, was not pleased about this new development and approached Sheriff Pope about the incident. Events quickly escalated after this.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Our Town, Our Law” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

“Our Town, Our Law” did not pass any of the diversity tests because the two times women did talk to each other, men were mentioned and not all of the women who talked to each other had names (e.g. Theresa approached a secretary at a Secret Service building and asked about her husband); there were no LGBTI characters in the episode; and because the two or three non-White characters that made an appearance in the episode never talked to each other.

*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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