The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The 100, “Fallen” – Season 3, Episode 10

The 100 -- "Fallen" -- Image HU310b_0276 -- Pictured (L-R): Paige Turco as Abby, Erica Cerra as Alie, and Isaiah Washington as Jaha -- Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Three main storylines occurred on The 100, “Fallen.” The storylines? Well, 1) Murphy assisted Ontari in her quest to convince everyone that she had ascended as Commander 2) Abigail, Raven and Jasper brainstormed on how to release Raven from Alie and 3) Monty fled Arkadia when he learned that Pike knew of his part in the prisoners’ escape.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Fallen” passed the Bechdel, Russo and race test.

100-fallen-053
Pike uses Monty to lure out the escaped prisoners.

Named women talked to each other and non-White individuals talked to each other in “Fallen,” and because there were a couple of instances where named women talked to without mentioning men and non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people, the episode passed the Bechdel and race test.

“Fallen” also passed the Russo test, and the episode passed this diversity test because Clarke is LGBTI and she was in “Fallen”; because she was not solely defined as being LGBTI (e.g., she was also defined as being a rebel); and because her removal from “Fallen” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot because while she was barely in the episode, her appearance tied into the episode and the series’ overall plot.*****

*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.

*****There were two other LGBTI characters in “Fallen,” Miller and Bryan, and if they had been the only LGBTI characters in the episode, “Fallen” would not have passed the Russo test. Why? Because while they weren’t solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., they were also defined as being rebels), if they had been removed from the episode, the plot would not have been significantly affected.