Blergh, I had no idea you were talking about the imdb boards, they're almost as bad as youtube comments. You should have mentioned that earlier, a superior attitude towards many people posting there is healthy and completely justified.
I still didn't like the finale and that is primarily the show's fault, they teased the conflict between the prison and Woodbury almost the entire season and then it fizzled out like that. They did the whole "27 people die, guess who!" thing on twitter, knowing that people would assume a big fight between the groups and many named victims, not the governor going super crazy and killing a bunch of extras.
It's copacetic. I understand where you're coming from. Perhaps I was so impressed that they killed off another main character instead of only extras that I'm easy to please.
I did like the teasing of how bad Carl might become.
Anything is possible, but I see them becoming close war /best friends--like his growing relationship with Daryl.
That would work, too. Well developed friendships always strengthen a show. It might be nice to see a woman get in on that action, so to speak. The best friendships are always between the male characters. The Rick/Herschel mentor dynamic adds something positive. Rick and Daryl being close could add a great deal as well. Rick/Michonne as comrades in arms who'll fight to the death for one another--why not?