The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Teen Wolf, “Strange Frequencies” – Season 5, Episode 7

On Teen Wolf, “Strange Frequencies,” Scott and the rest of the Wolf Pack laid a trap for the Dread Doctors and used Hayden as their bait.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Strange Frequencies” passed the Bechdel, Russo and race test.

Women talked to each other on three occasions in “Strange Frequencies,” and on all of those occasions the women had names and they did not mention men (e.g., Kira talked to her mom on two separate occasions about fighting and acupuncture and Tracy asked Lydia for help) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. The episode also passed both the Russo and race test.

In the case of the Russo test, “Strange Frequencies” passed this diversity  test because there were two LGBTI characters in the episode (Mason and Corey); because neither Mason nor Corey were solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Mason was a friend, a detective and a life saver and Corey was a chimera); and because both were important to plot and couldn’t have been removed without causing a huge change to occur (e.g., Mason saved Scott and the only reason Mason went to the school and was able to save Scott was because he had learned that Corey was a chimera and he needed to tell Scott). And as to the race test, “Strange Frequencies” easily passed this test because there were numerous occasions where non-White actors talked to each other without mentioning White people.

*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.