I think the key moment for the Carol character came when the Wolves attacked Alexandria. She had been playing meek for the Alexandrians to fit in, a wolf in sheep's clothing, as it were. But when the Wolves came, and it came time to put on their clothes, I think she was a bit shocked by how well they fit. She wasn't simply dressed as a wolf, for that moment, at least, she had become one.
One could persuasively argue that the careful gardening of one's soul is not a luxury afforded us when we have zombies scratching at one door and Neegan knocking on the other with his barbed-wire bat. Still, Carol hasn't yet seen what Neegan is, and had she continued on the path of "bad-ass Carol" she might have become nothing more than a mirror of the zombies that have made their world what it is. They kill because they can do nothing else. Carol wants to find a sense of self that does more than just kill to survive. Remember, she watched Rick kill her zombified daughter, she had to kill another child that was like a daughter to her. Give her a break, or at least a couple more episodes. She'll be back and as bad-ass as ever.