Another post from me on this never-ending thread but...
...Last night they aired "Welcome Home" parts 1 and 2, with the return of Richie (and Ralph, briefly). I missed the first 15 minutes of it, but I found myself remembering it very well. Clearly a standout amongst the last several seasons.
When I was a kid and first saw this, I couldn't understand why Richie was so mean. Now of course I get it. We've all made sacrifices to keep our loved ones happy. Well-done episode, and the kind of send-off the Richie character should have had in the first place.
So nothing to look forward to now until the end. Maybe they'll surprise us. As I said before, this season is a vast improvement over the last several before it.