The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Come Back, Mister – Season 1, Episode 3

On Come Back, Mister, episode 3, Young-Soo followed his wife home and he found himself in a precarious predicament; Gi-Tak and Young-Soo reunited in the most unexpected of ways; Han-Na was determined to prove that her father hadn’t committed suicide; and Gi-Tak help Yi-Yeon out of a sticky situation.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 3 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Young-Soo spots Han-Na right after she has been pushed by Jae-Kook.

Episode 3 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 3 (and no, Gi-Tak is not being counted as gay because he does not, at least so far, identify as gay). As to the Bechdel and race test, episode 3 passed both of these diversity tests.

There were a couple of instances in episode 3 where named women (of which there were a few in episode 3) talked to each other, and while men were almost always mentioned in their conversations, the episode passed the Bechdel test because there was one instance where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Da-Hye told Han-Na to go to bed). Episode 3 passed the race test because there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning anyone White as the entire cast was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned White people.

*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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