The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Twenty-Seven” – Season 2, Episode 5

Jane The Virgin -- "Chapter Twenty-Seven" -- Image Number: JAV205a_0204.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Andrea Navedo as Xo, Ivonne Coll as Alba and Gina Rodriguez as Jane -- Photo: Michael Desmond/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

On Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Twenty-Seven,” Jane chose Michael over Rafael; Alba decided to pursue getting citizenship; Petra was forced to marry Milos; Michael was fired and forced to hand over his badge and firearm; Rogelio had a run-in with his ex-friend and nemesis Brittany Spears; and Rafael did his best to prevent Jane from breaking up with him.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Chapter Twenty-Seven” passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.

Britney Spears makes a grand entrance at the Marbella.

There were several instances in “Chapter Twenty-Seven” where named women talked to each other without mentioning men and non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people so the episode passed both the Bechdel and race test. The episode did not, however, pass the Russo test, and “Chapter Twenty-Seven” did not pass this test because while Luisa, an LGBTI character, was in the episode and she was not solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., she was also defined as being Rafael’s sister), her removal from the episode would not have significantly affected the plot.

*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.