From an interview with Charles Esten (Ward), this is what he said about Carla Limbrey.
I wanted it to be epic and operatic and fitting for the character. And the other thing they did so well was, they had already brought in another bad guy. Audiences are so savvy now. If they didn’t bring in another villain, [audiences] know, you can’t kill the only villain.
But once they had Elizabeth [Mitchell, who plays Limbrey] and they could then go well, “He’s kind of expendable.” But then it was so operatic that you go, “Well, I think he might be dead.”
TVLINE | Well it feels like Ward better get his stuff together, because — if the show is renewed for Season 3 — we learn that he may have Big John and Limbrey to contend with. And the teens. Obviously, Ward thinks Big John is dead, but do you think he’s aware that Limbrey is any kind of a threat?
I do think he wrote her off, yeah. I don’t think he thinks of her as such. The arrogance of [the fact] that it’s been a hard-fought war, but he keeps sort of coming out on top. He keeps making these mistakes. At a certain point, you know, he might forget that there’s other sharks out there.