The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: How to Get Away with Murder, “Hi, I’m Philip” – Season 2, Episode 8

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - "Hi, I'm Philip" - Philip makes a threatening move and ADA Sinclair may have figured out a way to take down Annalise. Meanwhile, Catherine and Caleb are forced to make a life changing decision, on "How to Get Away with Murder," THURSDAY NOVEMBER 12 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Tony Rivetti) JEFFERSON WHITE, CONRAD RICAMORA
On How to Get Away with Murder, “Hi, I’m Philip,” Bonnie was MIA; Philip confronted Annalise and the Keating Five; and Annalise did her best to prevent Catherine and Caleb from taking a bad plea deal.

 The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Hi, I’m Philip” passed the Russo and race test but did not pass the Bechdel test.

Annalise tries to convince Catherine and Caleb not to take a bad plea deal.

“Hi, I’m Philip” did not pass the Bechdel test, and the episode did not pass this test because while there were several occasions where named women talked to each other, men were always mentioned. The episode did, however, pass the Russo test, and the episode passed this test because the three LGBTI characters in the episode, Annalise, Connor and Oliver, were not solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Annalise was also defined as being a lawyer, Connor was defined as being a law student and Oliver was defined as being a hacker) and their removal from the episode would have significantly affected the plot as they all played key parts in “Hi, I’m Philip” (e.g., the episode revolved around Annalise fixing problems, Oliver led Philip to Annalise and Connor freaked out and went to Annalise to tell her that Oliver had been kidnapped).

“Hi, I’m Philip” also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because there were several instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people.

*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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