The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Descendants of the Sun – Season 1, Episode 13

Mo-Yeon, Shi-Jin, Dae-Young and Myeong-Joo returned home on Descendants of the Sun, episode 13, and the four resumed their normal daily lives with Mo-Yeon working at a hospital; Myeong-Joo getting some much needed rest; and Shi-Jin and Dae-Young working secret missions.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 13 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

descendants-of-the-sun-episode-13
Shi-Jin and Dae-Young work as security detail.

Episode 13 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 13. The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

Named women (of which there were a few in episode 13) talked to each other on several occasions in episode 13, and while women usually talked about men when they talked to each other, the episode passed the Bechdel test because there was one instance where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Eun-Ji begged Mo-Yeon to take her shift).

As to the race test, episode 13 easily passed this test because there were many instances where non-White individuals 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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