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.
Family Unfriendly Aesop: Used in "The Good Soldier" with Unfortunate Implications. 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.
This is continued in the subsequent episode, when the affair is continued. The Aesop turns against them though. Carrie accidentally reveals something about Brody that Brody hadn't told her, thus tipping Brody to Carrie's prior spying on him. Brody thinks Carrie is a Honey Trap as a result.
For Want of a Nail: Quinn. This writer theorizes that if Estes had succeeded with his late Season 2 plan to kill Brody, the events of the Season 2 finale would have never happened.
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.
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.
The Scrappy: 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 Brody and Mike Faber tend to consistently have the weakest storylines of any given episode.
Jessica's racist anti-Muslim rant in "The Smile" didn't do her any favors either. Still, in her case, she kind of has a point, even if she doesn't realize it. Brody didn't convert totally voluntarily, given the fact of his imprisonment and the way Abu Nazir manipulated him in the first place.
Sophomore Slump: The first season is universally loved. The second season...not so much.
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.
Unfortunate Implications: Done deliberately in "The Smile". Dana blurts out that her dad (Nicholas) is a Muslim during class to try to win a debate. Cue chain reaction. The dean calls Jessica, and Jessica launches a triangle argument between her, Dana and Nicholas. Unfortunately for Jessica, Nicholas confirms it. Jessica snaps, finds Nicholas's Qu'ran and throws it on the floor. Jessica says that she married a 'U.S. Marine, now a Congressman and vice-presidential candidate', ostensibly equating Muslims with something that can't be one of those.
This may be a reference to similar statements made about Muslims during recent elections in the US. Obviously still Unfortunate Implications, but perhaps more indicative of Jessica's opinions than those of the writers.
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.