The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The 100, “Terms and Conditions” – Season 3, Episode 8

The 100 -- "Terms and Conditions" -- Image HU308b_0138 -- Pictured (L-R): Henry Ian Cusick as Kane and Michael Beach as Pike -- Credit: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Grounders delivered a message to Arkadia on The 100, “Terms and Conditions” – give up Pike or suffer the consequences. Pike, predictably, chose to suffer the consequences, and as a result, a coup occurred within Arkadia.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Terms and Conditions” did not pass the Bechdel test but it did pass the Russo and race test.

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Sinclair and Lincoln plot a prison breakout.

There were a couple of named women in “Terms and Conditions” and there was one instance where two of these named women talked to each other (e.g., Raven and Alie discussed a password that Monty had set), but the episode, nonetheless, failed to pass the Bechdel test and “Terms and Conditions” did not pass this test because in the one instance that named women talked to one another, men were mentioned. As to whether or not “Terms and Conditions” passed any other diversity test, the episode did pass the Russo and race test.

There were two LGBTI characters in “Terms and Conditions,” Miller and Bryan, and “Terms and Conditions” passed the Russo test because these two LGBTI men were in the episode; because they were not solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., they were both also defined as being guards); and because their removal from “Terms and Conditions” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot (e.g., their removal from “Terms and Conditions” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot because they both played important parts in the kidnapping and rescue of Pike, the episode’s main storyline).

As to the race test, “Terms and Conditions” passed this test because there were several instances where non-White individuals (who predominantly comprised the cast of “Terms and Conditions”) talked to each other without mentioning 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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