The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Gotham, “The Son of Gotham” – Season 2, Episode 10

Bruce, with the help of Cat, was determined to get some answers out of Silver on Gotham, “The Son of Gotham,” and Gordon investigated a scourge of monks who were terrorizing and killing the citizens of Gotham.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“The Son of Gotham” passed the Russo test but did not pass the Bechdel or race test.

Monks conduct a secret blood ritual in the bowels of Gotham.

There was one LGBTI character, Tabitha, in “The Son of Gotham,” and she (and thus the episode) passed the Russo test.

Tabitha passed the Russo test because she was not defined by her sexual orientation (instead, she was defined as being a villain) and because she her removal from the episode would have significantly affected the plot as she critically injured Alfred, a main cast member.

As to the Bechdel and race test, “The Son of Gotham” did not pass either of these tests, and the episode did not pass these tests because the one time that named women talked to each other, they mentioned men (e.g., Cat and Silver talked about Bruce) and because the non-White individuals in the episode never talked to each other.

*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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