I'm glad you enjoyed it, but don't act like I'm dumbing down the show and just want action. It might make you feel smarter to say something like that, but it's a cheap comment. Mostly because everything you said about Carl and Michonne has been pretty clearly obvious since season 3.
As I mentioned, this is the type of setup you do in the first couple of seasons, because you want your characters to move past such basic outlines (and they are basic. Rebellious teen, reticent badass with a family past). It's ok to draw outlines in the first couple episodes, because it gives you something to fill in over the course of the show, but you don't need 45 minutes to sum up those 2 traits and solidify them in the viewer's mind (this goes double in the 4th season). Breaking Bad didn't go back and try to convince us that: by the way, Walt's sick, and this is why he's doing what he does. It had already established that in season 1 and moved forward to create depth, so that by season 4, we got some mind blowing television.
The episode was like an episode of Lost - spinning its wheels and trying to pass off 'character study' as an excuse to not do anything of interest. You're right, the show isn't about zombies - it's about the people in the zombie world who have so far wandered then found a place, lost it, wandered, then found a place. No theme, no purpose, very little difference in their outlooks or as the effect of their actions. I've actually enjoyed the show so far, all told, but I did notice the pattern. I'm starting to get a Lost vibe, though. Like Lost, I really don't care about the main characters that I'm supposed to like,(except for Daryl), and I'm starting to get the impression they have no idea what to do with this huge world that has so much potential. If you're content to let Walking Dead waste its time on a teenager's histrionics, then I'm glad you enjoy it. But for me, it's a huge letdown, (For instance, why do something interesting with the plague in the first half of the season rather than drop it for another showdown with the Governor?) and it hints at a network that's trying to milk the cow.
Edit: Also the significance of Carl not killing his dead involved a terrible act of writing because of its implications: Carl had already put down his mother after she had just given birth. He must have really hated her if he couldn't do the same to his dad. Otherwise, it's a retcon because that moment showed that Carl had already grown up in a sick, sick world, and now they're trying to throw him back to a different emotional state.
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