The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Wayward Pines, “The Truth” – Season 1, Episode 5

Major mysteries were revealed on Wayward Pines, “The Truth.” Namely, Ethan and Ben learned that they were currently living on a future version of their Earth and that mankind was all but extinct due to evolved forms of humans called “Abbies.”

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“The Truth” passed the Bechdel test but did not pass the Russo or race test.

There were a couple of instances where named women talked to each other in “The Truth” and there was one instance where named women actually talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Mrs. Fisher asked Claire how to came to Wayward Pines) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. The episode did not, however, pass either the Russo or race test as there were no identifiable LGBTI characters in the episode, and because the handful of non-White characters that were in “The Truth” never spoke to each other (in fact, Amy was the only non-White character who ever spoke).

*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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