The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Strain, “Night Train” – Season 2, Episode 13

THE STRAIN -- "Night Train" -- Episode 213 (Airs October 4, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst, Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet, David Bradley as Abraham Setrakian. CR: Michael Gibson/FX

On the finale of The Strain, “Night Train,” Setrakian and Eichorst placed their bids on the Lumen and Eph, Nora and Zach attempted to leave the city.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Night Train” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

There were only three women in “Night Train” (Nora, Coco and Kelly), and they never talked to each other so the episode did not pass the Bechdel test. To add insult to injury, two of the women that were in “Night Train” were killed off of the show (as if women in The Strain didn’t already play as little of a role as possible).

As to the Russo test, “Night Train” did not pass this test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode. “Night Train” also failed to pass the race test, and the episode did not pass this test because even though there were multiple non-White actors in the episode, the couple of times that non-White people talked to each other, a White person was always mentioned.

*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.

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