The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The 100, “Wanheda: Part 1” – Season 3, Episode 1

The 100 returned last night with “Wanheda: Part 1,” and the episode caught the audience up with everything that has been and is currently going on with various characters.

Octavia awaits a search group.


In “Wanheda: Part 1,” it was revealed that the AI was the one who destroyed humanity; that Murphy has been trapped in a bunker for three months; that Jaha has drank the AI’s cool aid and he is now her follower; that Jasper is not coping well with Maya’s death, at all; that Camp Jaha, along with everyone else, is searching for Clarke; and that Clarke is now a hunter badass who does what she wants, when she wants, thank you very much. So to put it simply, “Wanheda: Part 1” started off the third season with a bang, and it proved, once again, that The 100 is in it to win it when it comes to character and story development.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Wanheda: Part 1” passed the Bechdel, Russo and race test.

Trapped in a bunker for three months, Murphy is pushed to the edge of sanity.

There were numerous named women in “Wanheda: Part 1” and there were several instances where some of the named women in the episode talked to each other. Of the several instances that named women talked to each other, there were a couple of occasions where men weren’t mentioned, and because of these few occasions, the episode passed the Bechdel test.  “Wanheda: Part 1” also passed the Russo and race test.

“Wanheda: Part 1” passed the Russo test because of the two LGBTI characters – Clarke and Niylah – that were in the episode. More specifically, the episode passed the Russo test because Clarke and Niylah are LGBTI and they were in “Wanheda: Part 1”; because these two women weren’t solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Clarke was also defined as being a killer and Niylah was defined as being a tradeswoman); and because their removal from “Wanheda: part 1” would have significantly affected the plot of the episode as the episode was largely about other characters searching for Clarke and Niylah played a large part in Clarke’s storyline in “Wanheda: Part 1.”

As to how and why “Wanheda: Part 1” passed the race test, there were many instances in “Wanheda: Part 1” where non-White individuals talked to each other and because there were two occasions where White people weren’t mentioned when non-White individuals talked to each other (e.g., Raven told Bellamy to get out of the way and Indra informed Marcus that the fallen trees in their path were no accident), the episode passed the race test.

*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.