The Walking Dead series finale tried to wrap up as many loose ends as possible before the upcoming spinoffs continue their self-contained stories, luckily, Carol’s character arc got the perfect ending. Melissa McBride has portrayed Carol Peletier since The Walking Dead started, being one of only two cast members who have survived for the entire run of the show, the other being Norman Reedus, who plays her closest friend, Daryl Dixon. Originally, McBride and Reedus were set to reprise their roles together in a spinoff, but McBride had to drop out of the project as it was “logistically untenable” for her to film in Europe for the series’ French setting.
Because McBride could no longer take part in the Daryl Dixon spinoff, many speculated that The Walking Dead’s final episodes would see the beloved character’s tragic death. While characters such as Luke and Rosita did, unfortunately, pay the ultimate price during the series finale, the survivors eventually brokered peace between the new Commonwealth, rebuilt Alexandria, and the Hilltop Colony, with a year-long time jump giving everyone a happy-ever-after. The final moments of “Rest in Peace” show Daryl setting off for his spinoff, but Carol chooses to stay behind in a very emotional scene, deciding to stop running and take responsibility in the Commonwealth, perfectly bookmarking her time on the show.
Carol Staying Behind Was Perfect For Her Character Arc
Having her stay in the Commonwealth while Daryl leaves for his spinoff was the most satisfying conclusion to Carol’s character arc that The Walking Dead could have provided. Carol spent the majority of season 10 and season 11 running away from responsibility and pushing the people she cares about away, so having her stay put, plant her feet in the ground, and take on a new job in the reformed Commonwealth proves that the character has grown. Carol has had one of the most remarkable arcs of any TWD character, going from abused housewife to absolute badass, and this ending is just another glowing example of how much she has changed.
What Is Carol’s New Role In The Commonwealth?
Staying behind means finding a new job, and aside from being a baker in the first part of The Walking Dead season 11, Carol has many other skills that she can put to good use. After the time jump during “Rest in Peace,” it’s revealed that Carol has a new job in the Commonwealth, as she has taken over the position once held by the sinister Lance Hornsby, Director of Operations. Obviously, she doesn’t plan to do the same shady business that Hornsby used to, but Carol is the perfect person to fill this role, aid in rebuilding the Commonwealth, and bring in new people to contribute to their society.
If anyone was deserving of the perfect ending in The Walking Dead’s series finale, it was bound to be Carol, especially since she has endured more than most throughout the show. While she might not be confirmed to be appearing in any of the upcoming TWD spinoffs, a crossover or reunion hasn’t been ruled out in the future, so it’s possible that this won’t be the last time that Carol is seen in action. Until then, viewers can rest assured that the often-troubled Carol now has a happy ending thanks to The Walking Dead series finale.