Wow. That was intense. This is why I love The Walking Dead.
I expected tonight's episode to be about the giant hoard getting into the city. Instead, the enemy is human - or at least nearly so. While the warriors are gone, the colony was infiltrated by The Wolves. This is a tactic used historically in genocide. Wait for the strong to go hunting or fight a battle, and attack the old and the children while they're defenseless. Coincidence?
Once again we see the contrast between those who have given up their humanity to survive and those who haven't. While last week was primarily about doing things humans do: like burying their dead and living with law and order, tonight's took it to an extreme. The Wolves live and kill like animals. Their humanity is past the point of saving. That stands starkly against the townspeople, most of whom are childlike and innocent. Did you notice that most of the town's people wore pastels? This signifies their innocence. Those who have seen violence wear darker colors - their innocence lost, if not their humanity.
And then there is Carol. After it becomes necessary, Carol is forced to give herself up as the sweet and helpless widow, but she trades her mask of apron and pearls for a more sinister disguise, making herself look like one of the wolves. We know that Carol is both capable and willing to kill. She's been questioned and even exiled because of her actions, which seemingly come without remorse.
But tonight it's revealed that she is hiding something more. After the death of her daughter, Sofia, Carol changes. She is no longer helpless and defenseless, small, frail, and meek. She shrouds herself with either the clothing of the wolves, or of the sheep but in fact, she is the shepherd. And she protects her sheep at all costs and with no thought of herself.
And the remorse? It's there. She internalises it, taking on the blame when she's unable to protect others. Morgan may not be able to see it, but Carol might be the most human of all the survivors.