The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The 100, “Wanheda: Part 2” – Season 3, Episode 2

As fantastic as ever, The 100 returned this week with the second half of “Wanheda,” and in this newest installment, Clarke was held hostage by an Ice Nation man; Monty was reunited with his mother; Murphy rescued Emori from a dangerous situation; and the Ice Nation marched towards Arcadia and the Grounders.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Wanheda: Part 2” passed the Bechdel, Russo and race test.

hu302b0221bjpg-c73f4d_765w
Roan and Clarke face off one another.

Women barely talked to each other in “Wanheda: Part 2,” but the episode nonetheless passed the Bechdel test as there was a single instance, near the end of the episode, where named women talked to each other and they did so without mentioning men (e.g., Lexa asked Clarke for her help). “Wanheda: Part 2” also passed the Russo and race test.

In the case of the Russo test, “Wanheda: Part 2” passed this test because of the three LGBTI characters that were in the episode, Clarke, Niylah and Lexa. More specifically, the episode passed the Russo test because Clarke, Niylah and Lexa are LGBTI and they were in “Wanheda: Part 2”; because they were not solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Clarke was also defined as being Wanheda, Niylah was defined as being a Grounder and Lexa was defined as being a queen); and because their removal from “Wanheda: Part 2” would have significantly affected the plot of the episode as “Wanheda: Part 2” was largely about Clarke and how she had been abducted and Lexa was the one who had had Clarke abducted and Niylah helped Bellamy and Co. locate Clarke and her kidnapper.

As to the race test, “Wanheda: Part 2” passed this test because there were several non-White individuals in the episode and there were a couple of instances where some of the non-White individuals in “Wanheda: Part 2” talked to each other and they did so without mentioning White people.

*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