I was reading a review of the show on a different website that stated the show shouldn't necessarily be graded based on individual episodes, and that the merits of the show and what it's tried to do should be justified based on the season as a whole. Much like "The Killing," I completely agree with that sentiment. I thought this episode was pretty good as a piece of a puzzle, not necessarily as an individual episode of the show.
I really like how the plot has slowed down for a little bit and let us get a grasp on who the heck these people are, especially for us non-readers. The show still moves at a breakneck pace sometimes, but at least here, we got to see Tyrion, Jon Snow and the rest of the Nightswatch incomers interact, we got to see Ned Stark deal with the people of King's Landing (including a menacing conversation with Jaime Lannister, who is quickly becoming one of the lamest characters ever on TV, and I mean that in a good way, not in a negative way), as well as seeing a great scene between Robert Baratheon, Jaime Lannister and one of the King's right hand men, a guy who I can't remember the name of.. but here, they were all sharing their first kills, and it was an extremely revealing scene that gives us a look into these characters.
Besides these plots, I found myself getting drawn more and more into the children characters. Some shows have a lot of trouble getting their child actors to be compelling enough to lead a show, but between Sansa, Joffrey and Arya, who's quickly becoming my favorite character on the show, we have a cast that has been put together very well. I'm really hoping now that Bran has woken up, we'll get some drama between the Starks and the Lannisters. Obviously, Baratheon is going to have a big choice to make when he discovers what Cersei is doing to him, and I myself cannot wait to see what happens.
As for the stuff going on with the Dothroki, Vaenerys and Daenerys, I'm not sure I care too much at this point. I'm certain that there's going to be some sort of collision between them and the people in Westeros, but until then, there's not much going on. I really do like Daenerys personal guard (I can't recall his name now) and I like how the brother keeps getting put in his place. I still think the Khal Drago is a horrible person, but I suppose thanks to Daenerys, the show is making him out to be a more tender man instead of the savage he was at first portrayed as.
I almost wish the show were twelve episodes long.. I bet you any money the extra two episodes would benefit the show a lot. But I guess when you're working on a budget, you have to work with what you've got. Right now, the show has seven more episodes to keep the story rolling, and seeing as I've never read the books, I'm happy with where the show's going right now to an extent.. I just hope they work out the pacing and don't try to rush through too much. Because right now, the stories and characters are finally starting to get fleshed out. The writers should at least recognize that and slow down and speed up accordingly.