These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Badass Decay: Brody. In three seasons he has changed from a hardened terrorist who can hold his secrets and poise to a decrepit fugitive addicted to heroin.
Broken Base: Season 2. Early Season 3 had an intentional Base Breaker as Saul seemed to be pitted against Carrie, when Carrie had been The (Anti)Hero and Saul had been the nicest character on the show. Some fans questioned Saul's morality, and others Carrie's sanity (and some certainly questioned both). It turned out that Saul was moral, Carrie was sane, and they were working together in a Batman Gambit to fool the Iranians. Viewers now have a different thing to question, whether they should have been kept out of the loop for almost 4 episodes.
Creator's Pet: A lot of people are starting to call Dana this in season 3, mostly because of the writer's decision to devote 35% of every early season episode ("Tower of David" excepted) to her Romantic Plot Tumor despite how pointless and unpopular it's been to date.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Used in "The Good Soldier." The moral given is: "It's OK to cheat on your partner if your partner did it first." Brody and Carrie have drunken sex in the back of Carrie's car. Incidentally, Brody has had trouble getting aroused around his wife, Jessica.
Harsher in Hindsight: The Season 2 finale, "The Choice", aired two days after the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school massacre. While the real-life tragedy was not the exact same as the fictional attack depicted in the episode, the Newtown attack did provoke similar reactions to that of prior actual terrorist attacks.
Hate Dumb: This show has a huge internet Hate Dumb from people who insist that the show is "establishment propaganda."
Iron Woobie: Saul. He risks his life, career and professional trust to support and vouch for Carrie countless times. At least until he throws her under the bus to protect the CIA in the aftermath of Abu Nazir's attack.
Narm: Some of Claire Danes' overacting appproaches it, especially when the sultry jazz kicks in.
Older than You Think: The concept of a homecoming American MIA convert to Islam has been explored much earlier in 2006, in John Wells spy novel series. Coincidentally, the author of the series is a friend of Howard Gordon's. In fact, Saul Berenson is named after the author.
Romantic Plot Tumor/Just Here for Godzilla: Opinions among the lines "Get on with the CIA's War on Terror and please do show Nick Brody every now and then, because personal dramas pertaining other characters are of little concern" are not uncommon, especially regarding the beginning of Season 3.
Lauder is a jerk who, without his war wounds and occasional Cassandra Truths, has absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever. Of course, one could say that without his war wounds, and the ensuing alcoholism, he wouldn't be such a jerk.
Jessica's affair with Mike tends to be one of the the weakest storylines of any given episode. Her racist anti-Muslim rant in "The Smile" didn't do her any favors either.
Dana in Season 3, due to her boring romance storyline. Viewers are annoyed that a series who calls itself a spy thriller invests so much time on a teenager's angst.
Even Brody himself has become a scrappy for some. Around mid-season 2, he changes from a hardened survivor who's able to keep his secrets from everyone to a weak and whining pawn between the CIA and Abu Nazir.
Last and not least, Chris. He just isn't there.
Sophomore Slump: The first season is universally loved. The second season... not so much. And it doesn't look like the third season's gonna pull out of the spiral. It may, as the first four episodes were the ones that hit the wrong tone more than those since.
Of course, supporting drone programs is not the same as wanting to divert from human intelligence. Without good intelligence on the ground, how do we know whom to strike?
Similarly, this show makes light of Lockhart's intention to arrest Javadi. Considering that Javadi is in fact responsible for the death of two hundred and more Americans, and that it is easier and less risky to try him in the United States instead of doubling him back to Iran, his argument rings true to some fans, while others recognize Lockhart's remarkable shortsightedness toward the extraordinarily high value of having a mole in such a position to feed us all the intelligence that Iran has and sabotage every future anti-Western operation Iran attempts or even knows of. If Javadi were tried, we would even give up our leverage to coerce him into telling us what he already knows.
Although with any plan, the Rule of Drama precludes it from working without problems and complications. The apparent successful initiation of the plan is likely to turn out to be a Hope Spot.
The Untwist: Averted and inverted at the end of Season 2. Abu Nazir is dead, which in Estes's eyes, makes Brody expendable. Estes orders Quinn to take out Brody. Quinn stands down, arguing that Brody and Carrie did lead them to Abu Nazir. So Brody lives another day, despite the buildup that had taken place in prior episodes. Estes lets Saul go, thus resolving the plot thread where Estes planned to ruin Saul's career. By this point in the episode, the show has almost run out of established story to move forward... until the car bomb goes off at Vice-President Walden's funeral. Ironically, in targeting someone he determined was expendable, Estes became expendable himself.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Season 2. After the discovery of Brody's suicide video, the writers could spend the whole season milking out Carrie's new operation on Brody and working out their relationship in a Death Note chess game-style. Instead they blew it right at the end of the episode.
And it doesn't help that they've spent a disproportionately large amount of time on Carrie and Brody's romance over what the CIA is actually doing.
Trapped by Mountain Lions: Dana Brody's storyline takes several notes from Kim Bauer's book, especially in Season 3. In the middle of a gigantic geo-political game, the show focuses on her relatively meaningless teen, angsty problems with her also troubled boyfriend.
Villain Sue: As season 2 nears its conclusion Abu Nazir is starting to feel like this.
The Woobie: Nicholas Brody. He comes back to his family eight years after leaving them, tortured and broken and struggling to return to normal life—while also being forced to lie to them. Then he thinks that he's found someone who understands him—nope, she's been spying on him the whole time.
It gets worse in the second season after the CIA finally finds evidence that he is a terrorist, and forces him to work with them. He has to keep lying, and even more than he did before.
Therehasbeencriticism of the show's depiction of Muslims and the Middle East in general. Whether seemingly westernized and educated or ignorant and fanatical, the overwhelming bulk of the show's 'Muslim' cast have ended up being linked to the terrorists in one way or another. The Islam of Homeland is presented almost as a monolith, with Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda teaming up to kill Americans without complicated ideas like 'Shia' and 'Sunni' being introduced to complicate such a team-up or acknowledging that Hezbollah has never targeted the United States for attack. The show's presentation of Hamra Street in Beirut, in reality a bustling and cosmopolitan area with shops and cafes, as a dirty haven for terrorist and armed militia even led Lebanon to threaten legal action.
The third season makes things worse by making the entire nation of Iran the enemy and by making Javadi a cartoonish Evil Muslim who stabs his ex-wife to death because all Muslims are Straw Misogynists.