The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: How to Get Away with Murder, “There’s My Baby” – Season 2, Episode 14

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - "There's My Baby" - The Keating 5 are called into questioning by A.D.A Denver about the night Emily Sinclair was murdered. Meanwhile, Caleb goes missing as the manhunt for Philip intensifies. In flashback, Annalise's tactics in the Mahoney case leads to a devastating result, on "How to Get Away with Murder," THURSDAY, MARCH 10 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Mitch Haaseth/ABC via Getty Images) VIOLA DAVIS

On How to Get Away with Murder, “There’s My Baby,” the Keating 5 were brought into questioning by Denver about the night that Sinclair was murdered and Annalise finally sat down with Wes and talked to him about her involvement with his mother.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“There’s My Baby” did not pass the Bechdel test but it did pass the Russo and race test.

JACK FALAHEE, KARLA SOUZA, CHARLIE WEBER, AJA NAOMI KING
Frank approaches Laurel while everyone hangs out Annalise’s.

There were several named women in “There’s My Baby” and there were several instances where some of these named women talked to each other, but the episode, nonetheless, did not pass the Bechdel test. The reason? Men were always mentioned whenever named women talked to each other.

“There’s My Baby” passed the Russo test, and the episode easily passed this test because there were four LGBTI characters in “There’s My Baby,” Annalise, Eve, Connor and Oliver, and they all met the Russo test’s requirements. Annalise, Eve, Connor and Oliver, for example, were not solely defined by their sexual orientation as they were also defined as being lawyers,  a law student and an IT guy, respectively, and their removal from “There’s My Baby” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot since they all played vital roles in the episode.

As to the race test, “There’s My Baby” also passed this diversity test, and the episode passed this test because there were several instances where some of the numerous non-White individuals that were in “There’s My Baby” 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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