John had actually first gone to Hotel Cortez five years ago. When he had gone there he had had a run in with Mr. March, and from that point forward, he had been groomed by March into becoming his (Mr. March’s) protégée. Due to some sort of mystical hotel related reason (and probably because of disassociation), John had forgotten about the murders that he had committed and his long standing history with the hotel, but John finally recollected all of his memories in “The Ten Commandments Killer,” and instead of being horrified, John embraced his new identity as a killer.
The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test
“The Ten Commandments Killer” passed the Russo test but did not pass the Bechdel or race test.
There were two LGBTI characters in “The Ten Commandments Killer,” Liz and the Countess, and they both passed the Russo test. These two passed the Russo test because they were not solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Liz was also defined as being a bartender and the Countess was defined as being a ruthless kidnapper) and because their removal from the episode would have significantly impacted the plot (e.g., their removal from the episode would have significantly affected the plot because the episode was about John and his history with the Cortez’s residents).
As to the Bechdel and race test, “The Ten Commandments Killer” did not pass either of these tests. The episode did not pass the Bechdel test because while there was an instance or two where named women talked to each other, men were always mentioned, and the episode did not pass the race test because there was only one non-White individual in the episode (Andy).
*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.