The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The 100, “Hakeldama” – Season 3, Episode 5

Lexa and Clarke discovered that Lexa’s peace-making army had been massacred by Arcadia on The 100, “Hakeldama.” Furious, Lexa wanted to destroy Arcadia, and while Clarke was also shocked and saddened by Arcadia’s brutal actions, she convinced Lexa to give her a chance to investigate what had led to the massacre and to bring the specific culprits behind the slayings to justice.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Hakeldama” passed the Bechdel, Russo and race test.

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Jaha returns to Arcadia.

Named women talked to each other several times in “Hakeldama,” and while men were almost always mentioned whenever named women talked to one another, the episode passed the Bechdel test as there were two instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Octavia told Clarke to start moving and Abby bid her daughter farewell). As to the Russo and race test, “Hakeldama” also passed these diversity tests.

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Clarke flees from Arcadia after a failed attempt to capture Pike.

There were two LGBTI characters in “Hakeldama” – Clarke and Lexa – and because they were not solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., they were both also defined as being leaders) and their removal from “Hakeldama” would have significantly affected the plot of the episode (seeing as the episode largely revolved around how Lexa wanted to retaliate against Arcadia and Clarke doing her best to prevent this), the episode passed the Russo test. “Hakeldama” passed the race test because out of the several instances where non-White individuals talked to each other, there were two occasions where White people weren’t mentioned (e.g., Hannah greeted Jaha and Jaha told Raven that he could help her).

*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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