The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Reign, “Bruises That Lie” – Season 3, Episode 10

Reign -- "Bruises That Lie" -- Image Number: RE310b_0152.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Rose Williams as Claude and Clive Walton as Duke Boinel -- Photo: Sven Frenzel/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

On Reign, “Bruises That Lie,” Elizabeth was poisoned; Lola was held captive by Elizabeth; Mary struck a deal with Gideon; Claude married an abusive, middle-aged man; Narcisse accused Mary and Catherine of stealing gold Greer made plans with her sister; and Catherine was voted as queen regent.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Bruises That Lie” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

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Catherine instructs Mary to unpack her bags for she is now queen regent and Mary can stay for as long as she likes.

“Bruises That Lie” did not pass the Bechdel test, and the episode did not pass this test because while there were a couple of instances in the episode where named women talked to each other, men were always mentioned. “Bruises That Lie” also failed to pass the Russo and race test, and the episode did not pass these tests because there were no LGBTI characters or people of color 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.

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