The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Strain, “Identity” – Season 2, Episode 6

On The Strain, “Identity,” Ephraim reached out to different possible distributors about his bioweapon, and Kelly tracked down Zack.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

Kelly searches for Zack.

There were several non-White actors in “Identity” and many occasions where these non-White actors talked to each other without mentioning White people so “Identity” easily passed the race test. The episode did not, however, pass either the Bechdel or Russo test, and the episode did not pass these tests because the one time named women talked to each other (and this was the only time named or unnamed women talked to each other), men were mentioned (e.g., Nora and Justine talked about Zach); and 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.

Advertisements