The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Hannibal, “Contorno” – Season 3, Episode 5

Series 3 Episode 5 Contorno

On Hannibal, “Contorno,” Will and Chiyo took a train ride to Florence and discussed Hannibal; Mason set a bounty on Hannibal’s head; Inspector Pazzi tracked down Hannibal and took on Mason’s bounty; and Jack made a surprisingly bold move and confronted Hannibal (SPOILER– Jack beat the shit out of Hannibal).

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

There were a couple of named women (e.g., Alana, Chiyo and Bedelia) and non-White characters (e.g., Jack and Chiyo) in “Contorno,” but because the named women never talked to each other and the non-White characters never talked to each other, the episode failed to pass both the Bechdel and race test.

“Contorno” also failed to pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode.

*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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