The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Descendants of the Sun – Season 1, Episode 9

On Descendants of the Sun, episode 9, Shi-Jin teased Mo-Yeon about her unintended confession and Mo-Yeon made the decision to stay behind in Urk with Shi-Jin.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 9 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Shi-Jin and Mo-Yeon share a kiss; Dae-Young and Myeong-Joo begin dating; and Shi-Jin and Mo-Yeon encounter a dangerous situation. 

Episode 9 passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because there were many non-White individuals in episode 9 and there were several instances where some of these non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people. Episode 9 did not, however, pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

Episode 9 did not pass the Bechdel test because while there were named women in the episode and there were instances where some of these named women talked to each other, whenever named women talked to each other, they referenced men.

Episode 9 did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode.

*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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