The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The 100, “Demons” – Season 3, Episode 12

The 100 -- "Demons" -- Image HU312a_0329 -- Pictured (L-R): Eliza Taylor as Clarke and Bob Morley as Bellamy -- Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Clarke and friends returned to Arkadia on The 100, “Demons.” What did they find there? A ghost town.

Arkadia had been abandoned by the time Clarke and Co. returned, and presumably, this meant that everyone had been chipped and that they had all moved on so that they could chip even more people. However, the longer that Clarke and Co. stayed in the abandoned the camp, the more they came to realize that maybe their initial observation that the camp had been abandoned might not be so accurate after all.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

HUN312b_0350b
Clarke, Monty and Jasper observe the seemingly empty Arkadia.

Named women (of which there were many in “Demons”) talked to each other many times in “Demon” and while men were almost always mentioned when named women talked to each other, the episode passed the Bechdel test and “Demons” passed this test because there was one instance when named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Murphy’s named female lover informed Ontari that the gates had been opened).

“Demons” also passed the Russo test, and the episode passed this test because there were three LGBTI characters in “Demons,” Clarke, Bryan and Miller, and one of those characters (Clarke) was both not solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., Clarke was also defined as being a friend) and her removal from “Demons” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot (e.g., Clarke’s removal from the episode would have significantly affected the plot because the episode largely revolved around how Emerson sought revenge against her).*****

As to the race test, there were many instances in “Demons” where non-White individuals talked to each other and while White people were almost always mentioned during these instances, the episode did pass the race test as there was one instance where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people (e.g., Sinclair begged Raven to get back in the caravan).

*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.

*****”Demons” would not have passed the Russo test if Bryan and Miller had been the only LGBTI characters in the episode because while Bryan and Miller weren’t solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., they were also defined as being a friend), their removals from “Demons” would not have significantly affected the plot as they didn’t have much to do with the plot.

Advertisements