The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Come Back, Mister – Season 1, Episode 8

Come Back Mister, episode 8, was all about Jae-Kook and how events were not unfolding like he had planned. So what exactly happened in episode 8? Well, Jae-Kook’s father blew up at him; he (Jae-Kook) tried to manipulate Yi-Yeon but his attempts failed; and Da-Hye refused to accept a settlement that he had offered her as compensation for her husband’s death.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 8 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Yi-Yeon takes a moment after watching a video that had captured Young-Soo’s final moments. 

Episode 8 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 8. Episode 8 did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

Named women (of which there were a few in episode 8) talked to each other a couple of times in episode 8, and while men were almost always mentioned in their conversations, the episode passed the Bechdel test because there was one occasion where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., a named female employee talked to Da-Hye about work).

Episode 8 passed the race test because there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people 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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