Greg: It's becoming very clear that no matter what path Brody chooses, he is neglecting his family in the process. We can all feel bad for Brody at times, but as we discussed in prior recaps, he is fully responsible for his own actions, and those actions have consequences. Nothing about Brody has given the family a sense of safety or normalcy, so, naturally, Mike is going to pick up the pieces and take the whole family under his wing (or under the covers).
I think that dinner date from earlier this season will be part of the big reveal before this season wraps up. This show tends to throw shade on things to make viewers believe they don't matter, only to have it be a fundamental plot foil (think last season's Yorkshire Gold). I think it could be very possible Roya Hammad has been working for our side all along, and Estes/Walden/Dar Adul are up to something far more secretive than Carrie, Saul and The Gang have been led to believe.
Tierney: Now that would be a twist and a half. But back to the family scene, I loved the 'what if' situation. It was ironic that Dana was decrying Brody coming back, because as terrible as the whole my-dad-is-a-terrorist situation is, she has matured so much from it, becoming the moral idealist of the show (remember the pot-smoking, school-skipper of season 1?). Furthermore, Mike demonstrated what kind of father he would have been—affectionate and caring, but also tough and disciplined when the moment called for it. I also liked the Season 1/Season 2 parallel of Dana being handed the phone to talk to her father before he goes through with the big mission, except this time she won't talk to him.
Two small notes from this episode:
1. The English major in me would like to tease out the meaning of Quinn/John owning Great Expectations. This is obviously an aspirational allusion for the show, as Dickens was the master of twisting and turning plots with hidden motives and surprise characters. But I think Great Expectations specifically ties in with this episode "Two Hats," specifically with both dealing with double identities. Dickens's Pip is a poor boy who ends up with a rich inheritance, his benefactor starts out as convict who child Pip helps. "Two Hats" refers to specifically to the "two hats" Estes says Quinn is wearing (though "FBI liason" actually means "Brody assassin"), but many of the characters wear two hats, too: Brody is a terrorist and a CIA agent, Carrie is a spy who needs Brody operationally and a woman who loves him, etc.
2. Where are Virgil's and Max's loyalties? They were first brought in by Carrie to run her own side surveillance of Brody in Season 1, and Saul has now used them for some extracurricular spying on Quinn—but now that it's clear that there at least two different missions going on under the roof of that bunker, I am curious where they fall in the hierarchy and why Estes is so willing to trust them with the CIA-freelance work as well.
Greg: I would think under normal circumstances, Virgil and Max never would have been allowed to operate in the command center of a CIA operation. I think Estes is too wrapped up in his secret side project to care about credentials. As long as Carrie vouches for them, they are good. I think it's complete fantasy to believe a CIA operation of this magnitude would operate on this level, but I'm not responsible for writing the show to fit the CIA's chain of command.
Overall, I'm glad we have moved away from our romantic subplots and back to the intrigue of who is tiptoeing the lines between good and evil. The show thrives when we are left on the edge of our seats, contemplating all of the ways the myriad of characters could be good, bad or a mix of both. We are starting to see signs that this season's big reveal will further muck up the already gray world Homeland operates in, which is exactly what this show has always been about.