The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Reign, “Getaway” – Season 2, Episode 11

Reign returned this season with the new episode “Getaway.”

In “Getaway,” a cardinal came to France seeking out any who had been branded by the Dark Riders, and upon his arrival, he learned that Condé had been branded. The cardinal tried to arrest and hang Condé, but Mary whisked him (Condé) away before the cardinal could arrest him, and the two fled to Condé’s brother’s wild party.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Getaway” passed the Bechdel and Russo test but did not pass the race test.

There were two instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men – when Catherine talked to Kenna and when Catherine talked to Claude. This allowed the episode to pass the Bechdel test, and the episode also passed the Russo test as there were two gay men in “Getaway” who were not solely defined by their sexual orientation and were not replaceable. For instance, the cardinal and his lover were pivotal to the plot as they were the ones terrorizing the people of France and leading the inquisition, and their status as lovers was only a side note to their characters and not their sole identity.

As to the race test, the episode did not pass the test as non-White characters 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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