The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Teen Wolf, “The Last Chimera” – Season 5, Episode 11

Teen Wolf returned last night with “The Last Chimera,” and in the episode, Scott and Stiles raced against the clock to figure out what kind of toxin was inside of Stiles’ dad. The result if they couldn’t figure it out? Certain death.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“The Last Chimera” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

TW 511 Shelley Hennig and Tyler Posey
Scott and Malia search for the culprit behind the poisoning of Sheriff Stilinski.

There were a couple of named women in “The Last Chimera” (e.g., Lydia, Malia, Natalie, Valerie, Hayden and Melissa) but because none of them ever talked to each other (in fact, no woman, named or unnamed, ever talked to each other), “The Last Chimera” did not pass the Bechdel test. “The Last Chimera” also failed to pass the Russo and race test.

There was one LGBTI character, Mason, in “The Last Chimera,” and while he wasn’t solely defined by his sexual orientation (e.g., he was also defined as being a friend), his removal from “The Last Chimera” wouldn’t have significantly affected the episode’s plot as nothing he did or said in the episode made a significant impact on the episode.

As to why “The Last Chimera” did not pass the race test, this is because in the two or three instances that non-White individuals talked to each other in “The Last Chimera,: White people were always mentioned.

*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