The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Come Back, Mister – Season 1, Episode 7

On Come Back, Mister, episode 7, Young-Soo discovered that Ji-Hoon had been the one thwarting all of his attempts to expose the events that had led to his death. His betrayal, however, did not deter Young-Soo, and more determined than ever, Young-Soo finally got his hands on video evidence of his death.

Gi-Tak, in the meanwhile, hatched a clever plot and he tricked the young man who had claimed that he had an affair with Yi-Yeon into confessing his treacherous ways.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 7 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Young-Soo and Gi-Tak take a stance against treachery and finally gain the upper hand.

The entire cast of episode 7 was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned White people. The episode hence passed the race test (and easily so) as there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning anyone White.

As to the Bechdel test, episode 7 did not pass this test, and the episode did not pass this test because while there were a few named women in the episode and there was a time or two where named women conversed with one another, men where mentioned whenever named women talked to each other. Episode 7 also failed to pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode (the male fashion designer isn’t being treated as a LGBTI character because it isn’t actually known whether or not he is LGBTI – just because a man exhibits feminine behavior does not mean that he is LGBTI).

*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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