The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The 100, “Nevermore” – Season 3, Episode 11

Clarke and her friends did their best to rid Raven of Alie on The 100, “Nevermore,” but the task proved to be no easy feat as Alie was at every turn, thwarting their every effort.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Nevermore” did not pass the Bechdel test but it did pass the Russo and race test.

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Octavia and Monty search for a battery that they can use to save Raven.

Named women (of which there were a couple in “Nevermore”) talked to each other a couple of times in “Nevermore” and because men were always mentioned on those occasions, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test. “Nevermore” did, however, pass the Russo and race test.

There were two LGBTI characters in “Nevermore,” Clarke and Niylah, and the episode passed the Russo test because neither of these characters were solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Clarke was also defined as being a leader and Niylah was defined as being a tradeswoman) and their removals from “Nevermore” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot as they were both major players in the episode’s plot.

As to the race test, “Nevermore” passed this diversity test because out of the couple of times that non-White individuals talked to each other in “Nevermore,” there was one instance where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people (e.g., Alie instructed Hannah to go after her son).

*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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