The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Reign, “In a Clearing” – Season 3, Episode 5

Cured, Francis was in a state of bliss on Reign, “In a Clearing.” He spent his time with Mary and the two appreciated each other more than ever, but their happiness was not meant to be for as soon as he was cured, assassins were sent to kill both him and Mary.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“In a Clearing” passed the Bechdel test but did not pass the Russo or race test.

Catherine and Mary mourn Francis.

There were a couple of named women in “In a Clearing” and there were a few instances where some of these named women talked to each other. In one of these instances where named women talked to each other, men were not mentioned (e.g., Mary and Greer talked about Mary signing away her rights to the English throne) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. “In a Clearing” did not, however, pass the Russo or race test, and the episode did not pass these tests because there were no LGBTI characters or non-White individuals 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.

Advertisements