That was a beautiful moment. Whatever you felt about Carl, or even about Rachel, seeing the show's longtime core character finding her own personal happiness again - true love, family and friends all in good places - with that added personal touch for viewers, and Wyndham herself. We knew they were going to be alright, even if we never saw the characters again. Yet the gesture for Ada (and for Constance) also reminded us of what we had lost. It was an honest moment in a genre that by that point was already alien to them.
I'm so glad Victoria Wyndham stayed with the show through decades of turmoil and various efforts to drum her out. I think of what Chris Schemering wrote about how Tudi Wiggins called Love of Life "The Lady." The soap was not just there to sell product, it was its own being. Wyndham respected that creature, and respected the fans who were hanging on to see it brought to a natural end.
I still remember the AW finale which IIRC ended (minus the last scene) with a long, lazy sort of hangout scene in the summer evening with the characters all relaxing either at the various homes or I think at the wedding? with their families, children, loved ones, etc. I always remembered that and loved the mood and vibe and I felt it was the essence of good long-running soap - instilling a sense of a familiar place, feel and moment in time, something Nancy Curlee famously also described about GL.
The ending of AW I'm sure had many issues but I thought a lot of its final few hours were a quality finale, and for my money superior to GL or ATWT.