The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Originals, “I’ll See You in Hell or New Orleans” – Season 3, Episode 3

The plot thickened in The Originals, “I’ll See You in Hell or New Orleans.” In the episode, Tristan entered the scene and tried to convince his sire, Elijah, to view both Lucien and Klaus as a threat and Lucien was arrested by the police and interviewed by Camille and Vincent.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“I’ll See You in Hell or New Orleans” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

Tristan’s lackey pays Marcel a visit.

“I’ll See You in Hell or New Orleans” did not pass any of the diversity tests because the named women in the episode never spoke to each other; because the one LGBTI character in the episode, Josh, while not defined by his sexual orientation, did not play a significant part in the episode so his removal from the episode would not have significantly affected the plot; and because the few times that non-White individuals talked to each other, White people were 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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