The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Teen Wolf, “Status Asthmaticus” – Season 5, Episode 10

In the summer finale of Teen Wolf, Theo aimed to isolate and divide all of the Wolfpack members in an effort to get rid of Scott so that he, Theo, could be the alpha of the pack. However, while Theo was successful in isolating and dividing the Wolfpack, he was not able to become the Wolfpack’s alpha so Theo came up with a plan B and he created a new pack from scratch by resurrecting the dead chimeras.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race

“Status Asthmaticus” passed the Bechdel, Russo and race test.

There were several named women in “Status Asthmaticus,” and because there were a couple of times in this episode where some of these named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Hayden asked Melissa to find her [Hayden’s] sister and Braeden told Malia that the Desert Wolf was looking for her), the episode passed the Bechdel test. “Status Asthmaticus” also passed both the Russo and race test.

“Status Asthmaticus” passed the Russo test because Mason (who is LGBTI) was in the episode; because he was not defined by his sexual orientation (his sexual orientation wasn’t even a factor in the episode); and because he was important to the plot of “Status Asthmaticus” and could not have been removed from the episode without causing a significant change to occur to the plot of the episode (e.g., Mason was important to the plot of the episode because he was the one who stopped Liam from killing Scott and no one else could have done this because everyone else was preoccupied with their own problems). And as to the race test, “Status Asthmaticus” passed this test because there were multiple occasions in the episode where non-White characters 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.

Advertisements