The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Agent Carter, “Life of the Party” – Season 2, Episode 6

On Agent Carter, “Life of the Party,” Carter busted Dottie out of confinement and tasked her with an assignment. Her task? To infiltrate a party that Frost was attending and secretly attain a blood sample from her (Frost).

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Life of the Party” passed the Bechdel test but it did not pass the Russo or race test.

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Frost and her husband encounter Chadwick and Masters at a political party.

In “Life of a Party,” there were a couple of occasions where named women (of which there were a few) talked to each other and while men were almost always mentioned whenever named women talked to each other, the episode did pass the Bechdel test as there was one instance where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Dottie apologized to Frost for running into her).

As to whether or not “Life of the Party” passed any other diversity test, there were no LGBTI characters and there was only one non-White individual (Wilkes) in “Life of the Party” so the episode did not pass the Russo or 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.

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