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Walking Dead season 3 main theme: Is safety more important than humanity?

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Rob Bricken explains:

I never said the Governor was a good guy. I said that the main theme of this past season seems to be whether safety is more important than humanity in this new, zombie-fied world. If you think safety is more important than humanity, then the Governor is, without a doubt, a much more successful leader than Rick. The Governor, for all his faults, kept Woodbury not only safe but in marvelous shape, at least until Rick attacked to save Glenn and Maggie. Rick, on the other hand, tried to be as cold as the Governor; when he succeeded, like with the hitchhiker, he kept people safe (from a threat that may not have existed) and when he failed, like with the prisoner he let escape, there were horrible consequences. The Governor is not a better person than Rick, but he is clearly, definitively better at keeping his people safe (or he was until he lost his mind in the finale). But whether the ends justify his means is up to the viewer.

My main problem with the season is that Rick has been thoroughly unlikable as he’s tried to be a bastard, and just because the Governor is a bigger bastard, this does not mitigate Rick’s dickishness. It’s a problem because it’s hard to care about Rick when he’s like a Bastard-in-Training to the Governor — and it makes for awkward TV, because it makes Andrea the center of morality on the series, and Andrea is the worst.

And last but not least, I am not happy about the finale because the show built up to a massive climax and then completely sputtered out. I watch 15 episodes slooooowly setting up this epic confrontation and then the Governor just kills his own team? I’m all for surprises in storytelling, but this is a scam.Walking Dead’s storytelling hasn’t earned the right to have these sorts of twists, because it hasn't reached this level of sophistication. I bought my ticket, I wanted my damn show.

Humanity is definitely more important than safety.

Bricken's season 3 finale recap:

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