I only got to watch the finale last night, after being on the road for a few days. Frankly, reading the last few pages of this bitchfest was much worse than anything I watched in the finale. The finale was not perfect, but I actually enjoyed the idea of taking the story lines in unanticipated directions. I liked the final fall from any remaining grace by the Governor, and thought his butchering of his own citizens was the perfect way to demonstrate his utter depravity, as well as fully link him to the personality of the Governor as depicted in the books.
I agree with the creative choice made to reshoot the scenes between Milton and Andrea; I particularly liked Dallas Roberts' (Milton) acting with the governor in the lead up to his stabbing - he was very convincing in this section of the scene, demonstrating bravery in confronting the governor with his own acts (how would your daughter feel?) and then alternately showing his fear in the situation. I liked the lines they gave to Andrea, because they at least finally gave us insight into the reason for her actions ("I didn't want anyone to die"), and she admitted her mistakes. It was a sad coda for her character, who had to watch her own sister die after being bitten - recall her denial of the situation at the time.The final scene with Rick, Michonne, and Daryl was effective, allowing her the chance to tell Daryl that "no one can make it alone" and Daryl to reply ("I never could"), which is an important insight into his character going forward from Merle's death. Getting to see Michonne demonstrate true sorrow for the impending death of her friend was powerful. Finally, the very act of the characters coming back to Woodbury to find Andrea demonstrates a morality that Tyreese will remember and respect.
I was hoping that Lenny James would figure into the finale, so was disappointed that it didn't happen. I LOVE that Rick brought the weak and afflicted back to the prison - a choice that reveals that Rick's moral compass is returning, and an indication that he intends to teach Carl lessons that rise above the squalor of their present world. The decision to stay at the prison is a decision rooted in the desire to fight for life, versus continuing to run. Based on last week's episode, that decision was made by the group, not just Rick. It will be interesting to see what the writers decide to do next season in terms of how well that decision plays out - whether the group can flourish at the prison, or whether the group will struggle and regret their choice.
The ambivalence of the finale is pitch perfect, because it's a reflection of the world of The Walking Dead - nothing ever seems to work out exactly right regardless of intentions. Witness Carl's conversation with Rick: for every decision that Rick had made (for what he considered to be good and honorable reasons), Carl pointed out that death resulted from those decisions. I would call that the perfect representation of the theme of this show.