'The Mole': Tick, tick, tick... boom

Nicole_mole_240 I honestly can't believe this could have happened, I'm actually tense and excited to find out who the culprit is on The Mole. Oh sure, I thought watching the show would be good for a laugh over the summer, but I actually feel kind of invested in the outcome. Some of that probably comes from the fact that I guessed Mark was the mole during week one, have stuck with that guess every week, and Mark is still there as one of the final three players (plan on reading that bit more than once in this recap).

The game started tonight with the old ticking-time-bomb-and-a-briefcase-full-of-money task. There was 50 grand to be had and all the players had to do was decipher the clues in an hour or less in order to defuse the bomb. The players were given very few instructions, they pretty much had to work out the specifics of the task themselves. It was a great setup, perhaps the best one we've seen this year (and afterwards the players all seemed to agree with that sentiment).

As they started to work out the pieces of the puzzle, Nicole started to lie. Once they'd found a hidden time zone map, Nicole was tasked to figure out which cities, from a list on one wall, were in which time zone. The first thing she said was that Paris was in the same time zone as Greenwich, England. Those of you who have done a little travelling in Europe (or have taken a gander at that Windows time zone map that you see when you set the clock on your computer) might know that Paris and Greenwich are not in the same time zone.

That made me sad. It made me think that Nicole could be the mole.

With time running out and the letters that corresponded to the times in the various cities not making sense, the players decided to recheck the cities' time zones. Apparently Nicole had messed up more than just Paris (though no one ever called her on the Paris error). Nicole was caught in her lie, as she always seems to be. I hope that she's not the mole, not because it would mean that Mark wasn't, but because she gets caught lying all the time. If she's the mole, she's the worst mole ever.

With more of the word puzzle, but by no means the whole thing, solved, and time running out, the players decided to cut the purple wire to see if that defused the bomb. The countdown clock turned off and the players got their 50 grand.

Rather than spending a lot of time on the players' thinking and talking, the show moved very quickly to the next mission. For this one, the players would work alone and run to a series of locations in Buenos Aires based upon clues given to them by Jon. Once at the various locations they had to do silly things like try on a leather jacket, eat dulce de leche, or take a photograph with any old woman.

Nicole, of course, showed herself to be a pain in the derriere once more. She refused to actually listen to the clue Jon gave her (she had to get a flag and take a picture with it, she just took a picture of her standing in front of a flag). She then proceeded to tell Jon that she wasn't going to argue with him and hung up her cell phone. How stupid can someone possibly be?

Okay, don't answer that, because Mark had a map of the city in his envelope and, inexplicably, decided not to use it. He actually sounded proud of that when he was doing his one-on-one with the camera. Seriously? Seriously. And, he couldn't find the location he was supposed to go to first either. What, precisely, was he thinking?

The whole mission kind of went like that for everyone. Craig made a lucky guess to figure out where he had to go second, but couldn't actually find the place. Nicole remained huffy until she decided to dance down the street, then she opted to eat a hot fudge sundae instead of getting hooked up with dulce de leche, as ordered. She got caught cheating and my night was made. But, they should all be embarrassed about their performance on this task, not just Nicole.

No matter how badly they all performed, someone did have to win, and in this case it was Mark. He had to choose whether to put $75,000 in the pot or to get the mole's dossier. He opted for the dossier.

I don't think that meant that he was the mole (he is the mole, but that didn't reinforce it). Taking the dossier, learning about who the mole is, is the right choice for every player. Getting those answers for the final quiz could mean the difference between winning and losing. Why put an extra 75,000 in the pot and lose everything when by not putting in the 75 grand you get a sneak peak at the mole and a better chance at winning over 400,000 bucks?

The night end with the final quiz for the season, which was double in size and asked about a bunch of different tasks, not just this week's. It put that much more pressure on the remaining players. Who held up through it? Who cracked? Who guessed the identity of the mole correctly?

We'll find out next week.

Odds and ends:

  • If the numbers given by Craig and Mark are correct, Mark has taken more money out of the pot than either Craig or Nicole. Nicole though has been thwarted in numerous attempts to remove cash from the pot.
  • Is it possible that Nicole is the mole? Do you think she's sabotaging on two levels -- the obvious and the subtle? Have we just missed the subtle ones?
  • Last chance for you to venture a guess this season -- who is the mole?

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