The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Strain, “The Silver Angel” – Season 2, Episode 4

Dutch and Abraham went off to search for a former employee of Eldritch’s in The Strain, “The Silver Angel” and more of Abraham and Eldritch’s past together was revealed.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

A strigoi attacks a banker.

There were several non-White characters in “The Silver Angel” and there were several occasions where some of these non-White characters talked to each other without mentioning White people (e.g., Angel was reminded by another non-White restaurant employee that his break was over and Angel, Gus and Aanya talked to each several times about food, wrestling and mothers) so the episode passed the race test. The episode did not, however, pass either the Bechdel or Russo test despite the fact that there were named women and a LGBTI character (Dutch) in the episode because women (named or unnamed) never talked to each other and because Dutch was not important to the plot of 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.