So now that we have finished our season three marathon, I started thinking about some of the themes throughout the season and how they are reflected in certain characters. Risking it all and sacrificing everything for your convictions are pretty important themes, and we can see them reflected in many of the characters and story lines.
For starters, Brian and Justin learn how much it sucks to sacrifice each other for their initial ideas of love. They prove that sometimes sacrifice isn't worth the cost when Justin realizes that real relationships are about more than superficial romance, and Brian realizes that real relationships are not the terrifying traps he always imagined they were. Then Justin sacrifices his educational goals for what he believes in, which in turn inspires Brian to sacrifice his job, his money, and his material possessions for his beliefs, his community, his friends, and his boyfriend. In short, he sacrifices his professional life for his personal one, exactly the opposite of where he was at the beginning of the season, where he was all about business. Also, he "risked it all" emotionally by opening himself up more to his relationship with Justin. All the things he once needed to feel secure—his material things, his career, and his money—are gone. Instead, he's allowed himself to be more vulnerable and taken comfort in the people he loves and the community he is a part of.
Melanie, I think, learned a similar lesson about embracing her vulnerability; her pregnancy forces her to "risk it all" and relinquish some of her control issues in order to gain something she truly wants. It forces her to grow, making her even stronger than she was at the beginning of the season. She finds out that she is indeed "woman enough" (read: strong enough) to face her fears and have the baby, something she previously thought Lindsay was much more capable of.
Emmett also has to sacrifice everything in S3. In his case, it was about "sacrificing" his relationship with his best friend and lover, the person he cares most about in the world, in order to keep his own life on track. But he, too, will be stronger for it in the end.
Michael, of course, risks everything to save Hunter, who he really comes to love during the last few episodes. We see him find a certain strength inside himself when he puts Hunter before himself and does everything he can to protect him.
Unfortunately, Ted sacrifices his partner, friends, health, and dignity for drugs. But he will get his opportunity to grow and get stronger in season four.
All the characters are in such different places than they were at the beginning of the season. What do you all think? Do you interpret these themes differently? What are some of the other themes running throughout the season or even just certain episodes?