The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The X-Files, “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” – Season 10, Episode 3

The X-Files finally found its pace in “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” and it was finally as fun and campy as it should have been in the beginning of this new season.

In “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” Mulder was moopy beyond belief. Many of his theories from his past cases had been debunked, and while he wanted to believe, he felt like all of his work had been for naught. Mulder thus began to work like Scully, as a skeptic, and as a consequence, dumb antics and hilarity ensued.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

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A man reveals to Mulder that he is actually a lizard that transforms into a man.

“Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” did not pass the Bechdel test, and the episode did not pass this test because women only talked to each other once in “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” and in that instance, they mentioned a man and only one of the women had a name (e.g., Scully questioned a prostitute about a were-lizard she had assaulted). “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” also failed to pass the Russo and race test.

There was one transgender character in “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” the prostitute who Mulder and Scully questioned, and while this character wasn’t solely defined by her gender identity (e.g., she was also defined as being a sex worker), the episode did not pass the Russo test because if she had been removed from “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” the plot would not have been significantly affected (e.g., the plot would not have been significantly affected if she had been removed from the episode as she was not a vital character to the plot of “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster”).

As to why “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” failed to pass the race test, that’s because while there were a few non-White individuals in the episode, there was never an instance where anyone non-White talked to each other.

*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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