The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Descendants of the Sun – Season 1, Episode 5

Shi-Jin rescued Mo-Yeon from a near-death accident on Descendants of the Sun, episode 5, and while the experience brought the two ever closer to one another, their closeness was short lived as Shi-Jin was scheduled to deploy to another region.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 5 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Mo-Yeon takes a moment to just breathe after her near-death experience.

There were a few White individuals in episode 5 and there were a few instances where non-White individuals of the primarily non-White cast of episode 5 talked to or mentioned White people, but the episode, nonetheless, passed the race test as there were several instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning anyone White. Episode 5 did not, however, pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

There were a few named women in episode 5 and there were a couple of instances where some of these named women talked to one another, but the episode did not pass the Bechdel test because men were always referenced whenever named women conversed with one another. The episode did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 5.

*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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