The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Descendants of the Sun – Season 1, Episode 16

On the finale of Descendants of the Sun, all of the couples in the series got together and lived happily ever after. Seriously. No one died and no one was unhappy.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 16 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Shi-Jin and Mo-Yeon return to the shipwreck some time later.

Episode 16 passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people as the cast was almost entirely Asian and none of the non-White individuals in the episode ever mentioned White people.

As to the Bechdel test, named women (of which there were a few in the episode) talked to each other a couple of times in episode 16, but because men were always mentioned whenever named women talked to each other, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test.

Episode 16 also failed to pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 16.

*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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