The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The 100, “Bitter Harvest” – Season 3, Episode 6

Three major developments occurred in the newest episode of The 100, “Bitter Harvest.” To be more specific, Clarke faced a major moral dilemma as Lexa tasked her with the deciding the fate of the very last surviving Mountain Man; Pike went after Grounder land and he was prepared to kill any Grounder who got in his way; and Abby grew suspicious of Jaha and his “miracle cure.”

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Bitter Harvest” passed the Bechdel, Russo and race test.

Bitter Harvest
Abby confronts Jaha and she questions his so-called “cure.”

 

There were several named women in “Bitter Harvest” and there were a couple of occasions where some of the named women in the episode talked to each other. Of the couple of times that named women talked to each other, there was one instance where men weren’t mentioned (e.g., Alie and Raven discussed the second AI program) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. “Bitter Harvest” also passed the Russo test.

There were two LGBTI characters in “Bitter Harvest” – Lexa and Clarke – and the episode passed the Russo test because these two women met all of the Russo test’s requirements. The women, for example, are LGBTI and they were in “Bitter Harvest”; they were not solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Lexa and Clarke were both also defined as being leaders); and their removal from “Bitter harvest” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot as a large portion of the episode revolved around how Lexa wanted Clarke to decide whether or not the last surviving Mountain Man should be executed.

As to the race test, “Bitter Harvest” also passed this diversity test, and the episode passed this test because non-White individuals talked to each other several times in “Bitter Harvest,” and on two of those occasions, White people weren’t mentioned (e.g., Kane and Miller discussed Pike and Raven and Alie discussed a second AI).

*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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