The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Agent Carter, “The Atomic Job” – Season 2, Episode 5

On Agent Carter, “The Atomic Job,” Wilkes and Carter discovered that Zero Matter could make Wilkes corporeal once again. Carter thus setoff in “The Atomic Job” to retrieve more Zero Matter, but retrieving the substance proved to be trickier than expected especially since Whitney Frost had her own agenda when it came to the element.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test:

“The Atomic Job” passed the Bechdel test but it did not pass the Russo or race test.

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Carter is critically injured in the wake of a scuffle with Frost.

Named women talked to each other a couple of times in “The Atomic Job,” and while men were sometimes mentioned when named women talked to one another, there were also some instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Carter informed Frost that she could help her and Violet told Carter that she should go to a hospital) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. As to the Russo and race test, “The Atomic Job” failed to pass either of these diversity tests.

“The Atomic Job” did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode, and the episode failed to pass the race test because there was only one non-White individual (Wilkes) in “The Atomic Job.”

*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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