In many ways, in fact, tonight's episode was the most about Carol's heroism and redemption. She was exiled from our group by Rick last season for killing humans who were likely fatally ill, and therefore likely to turn into walkers. And then she did something even worse - certainly in my view - killing a teenage girl whose mind had made her a killer herself, in the psychotic but understandable belief that she could be friends with walkers, and therefore thinking there was no real harm in killing another human being, in this case her very own younger sister.
Carol's killing of the older sister, Lizzie, gave her a long road to redemption. In many ways, it was the single most depraved act on the series. But Carol walked that road tonight. She arrived at just the right time in the narrative - of course she did, but a story is allowed at least one big coincidence like that - and the explosion she set off stopped the butchery of our people right in its tracks. Rick, Darryl, et al took care of the rest. And when Rick later hugged Carol - right after a very different kind of hug with Daryl - this was a hug we could all share. It was deeply good to have Carol back.
The other satisfying thing was how quickly the Terminus story has apparently drawn to a close. What it shows is that this was essentially last season's story, which the producers aptly allowed to spill over into this season's debut. Rick, indeed, wanted to go back to Terminus, when all of our people were in the clear, and kill every last human who still was there. It was great to see Rick get back into full survival mode - including aggressive killing when needed - and I was at least a little sorry that Rick was persuaded, by Carol's return and its leading to Judith, to let whoever had survived at Terminus survive, at least for this night.
For the first time in a long time, it seems, all of our people are together. Tyreese - who also had a great evening - and his daughter, and everyone else. So what's left to follow this grand reunion? I haven't the vaguest idea - notwithstanding the strange bit at the very end with Morgan - which makes me look forward to next week's episode even more. In the battles that undoubtedly are ahead, our group is the strongest it's been in years.
See also The Walking Dead 4.1: The New Plague ... The Walking Dead 4.2: The Baby and the Flu ... The Walking Dead 4.3: Death in Every Corner ...The Walking Dead 4.4: Hershel, Carl, and Maggie ... The Walking Dead 4.6: The Good Governor ... The Walking Dead 4.7: The Governor's Other Foot ... The Walking Dead 4.8: Vintage Fall Finale ... The Walking Dead 4.9: A Nightmare on Walking Dead Street ... The Walking Dead 4:14: Too Far ... The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale: From the Gunfire into the Frying Pan
And see also The Walking Dead Back on AMC ... The Walking Dead 2.2: The Nature of Vet ... The Walking Dead 2.3: Shane and Otis ... The Walking Dead 2.4: What Happened at the Pharmacy ... The Walking Dead 2.6: Secrets Told ... The Walking Dead 2.7: Rick's Way vs. Shane's Way ... The Walking Dead 2.8: The Farm, the Road, and the Town ... The Walking Dead 2.9: Worse than Walkers ... The Walking Dead 2.11: Young Calling the Shots ... The Walking Dead 2.12: Walkers Without Bites ... The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale