The Mole 5: Episode 1
Time for Mole thoughts. We'll see what format works best for these recaps. I'm going to start with separate sections for each player so I can make sure I cover all of them.
Marcie: It was clear she was not the Mole when she said she was happy that all the other players thought she was the Mole. Did she fall into an alliance with the wrong person.. perhaps. If Paul's strategy was to use Marcie to test out the waters, he was very successful in picking his alliance-mate.
Alex: I don't have a good feel for him yet. He didn't get a bag in the first challenge. He's also in an alliance with Paul, or a pretend-alliance or whatever.
Ali: She wasn't really focused on this episode except to when she told us about how she prayed she wouldn't die in the raft challenge. Under-developed character meant to me she's either extremely boring and will be executed quickly or they're waiting to develop her character.
Bobby: His lack of athleticism in the beach challenge reminded me to Rob from Season 2 when he couldn't get up the hill. Interesting. Bobby is a huge fan of the show, which makes me think he's a contestant and not the Mole. He's a good pick to be a suspicious contestant who plays pretty well and gets more than halfway through but ends up making a costly mistake before the final weeks. I'd say like Bribs. Bobby did get the bag in the first challenge, which he could have easily missed and blamed on his lack of athleticism and it wouldn't have been more suspicious than most of the others who missed. He couldn't be sure Marcie would pick him to jump for the fake money, so if he was the Mole, I don't think he would've gotten the bag after seeing surprising failures before him.
Clay: He's laying a bit low. Unlike with Ali where I'm unsure if her character will develop, I'm pretty certain Clay will be around long enough for us to get a feel of who he is. He didn't do anything stupid or outwardly suspicious, which means I still consider him as a possibility. He got the money, which he should have if he was the Mole, even though he would've guessed Marcie would choose him to get the money. Missing would've been too suspicious so early.
Craig: At first, I thought there is no way he can be the Mole.. he stands out too much. However, there are a number of things in this episode that may or may not be clues pointing to him. The host holds up journal 11 when he talks about the journals. Craig is the eleventh person in the intro sequence. I have also heard that he got the eleventh journal, which makes it seem too obvious to me, but hey, we weren't shown he got that journal. Maybe he didn't actually get it or maybe he did and we'll see it in a later episode when the clue isn't so fresh in our minds. Also, apparently he had a different helmet from everyone else in the first challenge. It wasn't as obvious as Victoria's green thumbprint red herring helmet.. some of the detailing on the front and sides were different. This might just be because he has a bigger head than everyone else. And I'm not making fun of him.. I have a huge head. Mine is filled with useless knowledge.. mostly about reality shows. Maybe his is filled with useful information. Also, choosing him as the Mole means he always has a good excuse for screwing up an extremely athletic challenge. More importantly, it means he'll be able to claim leadership roles when the challenges are obviously athletic and the leader or decision-maker doesn't have to do the task. Also, Craig's name and information is the only one not to flicker in the opening sequence.
Kristen: I don't think it's her. As a friend pointed out, two celebrity Moles were models. Would they really do another model. Not that I think many people really think back to the celebrity editions when looking at trends over the seasons. I just don't get the feel that she is the Mole. If I were her, I would have thought Marcie would pick me as someone to jump for cash and I would've messed up, especially after seeing Alex and Ali miss. Wait. That makes me wonder.. were the jumps in alphabetical order for the most part. Craig did not jump in the correct place if it was alphabetical. No never mind, I don't think it was. Just the first two.
Liz: I didn't think it would be Liz at first, but I'm more open to the possibility now. Especially when she got the bag. Oh look, the sweet old lady is a team player and she kicked ass. Excellent way to start off the show, with no one suspecting you. She knew there was no way Marcie would pick her to jump for the cash. A move like that would mean Marcie was too obviously sabotaging, which would make it obvious to everyone she was not the Mole. I think Liz knew Marcie wouldn't take that risk.
Mark: He was called fifth in execution. This is season 5. Something about him strikes me as a possible candidate for someone the producers would choose. Also, I'm leaning towards a guy just because 3 of 4 seasons have had female Moles. That's hardly anything to go on, though. Being a history teacher, he and the producers would have thought the selector, Nicole, would pick him to be an appraiser, or whatever the role was called. I need to get my terminology down before I write next time. Or as Bribs' mom Teri would say, "Get with the lingo." Mark stands out to me but I can't exactly say why. Maybe he's supposed to be edited to look suspicious.
Nicole: After her hissy fit, I thought no way would the Mole stick out so much in the first episode. Then, I thought, hmmm but that's what we've been conditioned to expect. We expect an UTR Mole, someone who hides behind other contestants' mistakes and quietly sabotages. Angie Everhart, although I dislike her, was brilliant in breaking the mold. She did what I thought no Mole would ever dare to do. She told Corbin, "I hope you vote for me, I really do." It's actually brilliant to blatantly sabotage and be annoying because everyone will just write it off as someone trying too hard to look like the Mole. Also, her fit was so completely unnecessary and played into the next day's game sooo much. I initially thought no Mole would isolate themselves on the second day, but more and more it convinces me that my beliefs on what a Mole would or would not do mean everything she's doing--if she is the Mole--brilliantly defies my brand of logic, and I'm assuming many other fans' logic as well. It could actually be brilliant. I'm interested in seeing how she behaves in the future. Being disliked will also put you in interesting positions for the challenges because people will often single you out. It could be the most bold strategy ever.
Paul: Paul is not the Mole. Paul just wants to set himself up to win the game. Which is smart until your actions are known by too many people. Then you seem too ruthless to be trusted, and also obviously not the Mole.. like Patrick from season 2. We'll see how far he takes it. His brand of strategy could technically be brilliant.. aligning with weaker players who will help you eliminate suspects as they themselves are executed. However, it's too bold if it's apparent to others what he's doing that it might actually come back and bite him in the end. There are different strategic facets of this game. One involves how you choose to play the challenges. Another involves how you choose to play the other contestants. Too bold of a play on the other contestants can often be a contestant's downfall. Although you never want to be too aggressive in acting like the Mole in the challenges, you also never want to be too aggressive as a quiz-strategy game-player. I think Paul will either tone it down and last long or go ballistic and get eliminated third or fourth.
Victoria: Victoria is not the Mole. Huge ass green thumbprint on her helmet. Way to go on the subtlety. I'm unsure about how far she will go though. She could be an interesting one. A lot of people have mentioned the fingerprint, which is what makes me so sure she's not the Mole. Too obvious. What position did she jump in, though? 8th. Yeah, means nothing to me. Mark jumped last and was the fifth called in execution. I do think the 11 means something more obscure though. Victoria is a tricky one to figure out. I can't say she'll definitely leave early, I can't say she'll definitely stay long. Tricky.
Who is most likely the Mole to me at this point: Craig, Nicole, Mark, Clay
Who is not the Mole: Paul, Victoria, Ali, Bobby, maybe Alex
Who does that leave me with: Kristen and Liz. Interesting.
Next to leave: Alex?