The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Reign, “Extreme Measures” – Season 3, Episode 3

Reign -- "Extreme Measures" -- Image Number: RE303b_0202.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Toby Regbo as King Francis II and Adelaide Kane as Mary, Queen of Scotland and France -- Photo: Sven Frenzel/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

King Antoine returned to French court on Reign, “Extreme Measures,” and he returned to court in order to secure safe passage in France for his brother Condé who had been captured by Antoine’s enemies.

At first resistant to helping Antoine, Mary and Francis quickly changed their minds and used Antoine’s desperation to their advantage. They told him that they would allow Condé passage through France, but that in exchange, Antoine would have to give up any and all claims that he and his family had to the French throne.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Extreme Measures” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test. The episode failed to pass these tests, because of the handful of instances that named women talked to each other, men were always mentioned and because there were no LGBTI characters or non-White people 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.