Nate’s case went to court and Eve placed Annalise on the stand and pinned Sam’s murder on her (Annalise) on How to Get Away with Murder, “She’s Dying.”
The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test
“She’s Dying” passed the Russo and race test but did not pass the Bechdel test.
There were four LGBTI characters in “She’s Dying,” Annalise, Eve, Connor and Oliver, and they all passed the Russo test. How did they pass this test? Well, Annalise and Eve both passed the test because they are LGBTI and they were in the episode; because besides being LGBTI, Annalise and Eve were also lawyers; and because the removal of Annalise and Eve from the episode would have significantly impacted the plot as the episode largely revolved around how Eve was defending Nate in court and using Annalise as her scapegoat. As to Connor and Oliver, they passed the Russo test because they are both LGBTI and they were in the episode; because neither of them were solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Connor was also a law student and Oliver was a hacker); and because their removal from the episode would have significantly affected the plot as Connor and Oliver had their own subplot in “She’s Dying.”
Besides passing the Russo test, “She’s Dying” also passed the race test. The episode passed this test because there were several non-White actors in the episode and there were a couple of moments where some of these non-White actors talked to each other without mentioning White people.
In regards to the Bechdel test, named women talked to several times in “She’s Dying,” but because men were always mentioned in these women’s conversations, the episode did not pass the test.
*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.