The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The 100, “Join or Die” – Season 3, Episode 13

Clarke and Co. desperately searched for Luna on The 100, “Join or Die,” but their search for her was a struggle as they found that they didn’t understand the clues that Lincoln had left behind for them.

Pike and Kane, in the meanwhile, arrived at the Citadel in “Join or Die,” and the two realized that Alie had taken over the Trikru and that no one could be trusted.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Join or Die” passed the Bechdel, Russo and race test.

join or die
Pike enters the Citadel.

There were a couple of named women in “Join or Die,” and while the named women in the episode didn’t usually talk to each other, the episode did pass the Bechdel test. The reason? Because there was one instance where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Clarke asked Luna to accept the flame).

“Join or Die” also passed the Russo test, and the episode passed this test because there was one LGBTI character in “Join or Die,” Clarke, and she was not solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., she was also defined as being a rebel) and her removal from “Join or Die” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot as she played a large part in one of the story’s main storylines.

As to the race test, non-White individuals (of which there were several in “Join or Die”) talked to each other many times in “Join or Die,” and because on some of these occasions non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people, “Join or Die” passed the race test as well.

*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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