The Mole 5: Episode 2
I want to start off by saying I really appreciate everyone reading what I have to say, and I encourage anyone with disagreeing opinions to post responses. I think the beauty of this show is that it gets everyone to question everything, and everyone sees things differently. So I think the most effective way to go about figuring this out is with a lot of input from a lot of people. I know a lot of people are reading these Mole entries, so if you'd like to, I'd be really interested to know who everyone thinks is the Mole each week.
So here is my week 2 analysis. I'm still going to go person by person because we still haven't been given a particularly mentally-driven task yet. I'm going to use these episode summaries as a chance to analyze how each player is as a character on the show, and I'm going to focus less on the clues since I have a whole other post dedicated to that. I'm going to look at contestant behavior and interaction and try to develop a Mole profile. A big part of this game for me is trying to understand what the producers are thinking, what the editors are thinking, and how the production process might give us insight on who is the Mole.
Can I also stress that the key to doing well in this game is to focus on winning the game, not the money. The game in it's nature is a well-paying game. The winner will win a lot of money. That's guaranteed. If you focus on winning every single game, though, you're focusing on the wrong thing. Contestants make this mistake too often. That's one of the things I love about this game. If you're winning a lot of money for the team, you're not necessarily doing the best job at playing the game. In fact, most of the time, it would mean you're too obviously not the Mole, which, if the other contestants realize, will hurt your game in the long run.
Onto contestant discussion..
Liz: It became blatantly obvious this episode not only that Liz was not the Mole, but also that she had NO idea at all how to play this game, so much so that it really began to irritate me. I even thought she was going to stick around for a little longer just to irritate me with how clueless she is, but the friend that I was watching with saw past that and correctly predicted Liz's execution. What irritated me the most was the fact that this show finally returned after a long time of true fans thinking we'd never get it back. When it was announced that it was making a comeback, fans from all over applied to be on the show. So for all of us fans watching from home, I would appreciate it if all of the contestants would have prepared for the show by watching the previous seasons and making an effort to really understand this game. It is clear that Liz did not understand how this game is played. When Jon says to pick two people who are in for an uphill battle, with no knowledge of this being purely an exemption task, any person who understood this game would know immediately that the two people picked would have to either run or bike uphill. If you are Liz, you would not volunteer for this task, based simply on the physicality that is implied. It also really frustrated me when Liz had no idea what Paul was doing when he was shaking the pig and then ultimately when he broke it. Not only did she not figure out that there was an exemption inside, she still had no idea what was going on when Paul actually went through with his hunch and broke the thing. I call that complete cluelessness, and it was not something I wanted to see any longer on the show, so I'm glad she's gone. I don't mean to be harsh, but she had the opportunity to prepare for this show in order to increase her odds of doing well and she didn't make the effort to do so.
Paul: I give Paul a lot of credit for being a good contestant. However, I do have to say one thing about his obnoxious behavior towards other contestants. Any man who repeatedly questions another person's "manhood" or repeatedly tries to put down a strong and confident woman is a man who is self-conscious himself. I think the only problem with Paul's strategy is he's making it apparent that he's not the Mole. I think his personality just can't contain itself and he has to be loud and obnoxious. If he could hold back some, he's probably be an ideal player. Doing things with the sole purpose of throwing people off is actually pretty clever. I think Paul will make it pretty far. He thinks quickly on his feet. I definitely think he's an obnoxious person who I wouldn't want to spend time around ever, but I have to give him the credit he deserves for playing well so far.
Ali: She's not the Mole. I'd put money on it. She scored the winning goal. Also, she's just not doing much as far as the game goes, from what I see at least. I do think it's interesting that she stayed with Paul when he was fanning Liz during the race task. Well, not particularly interesting, but I had to find something to say.
Alex: I do give him credit for knowing that there was an exemption in one of the pigs. It just happened to be one that Paul was hanging out with. I think it's funny he left his notebook in the other room to go and serenade Paul with that strange instrument. What was that? It was kind of interesting. Where did it come from? If he actually purposely left it there with misleading information, then that could be pretty clever. However, nobody besides the Mole knows what type of information is actually misleading. He's sort of a wannabe Paul. He's everything Paul is, as far as being a player in this game, but to a lesser extent. He's obnoxious, but not as vocal as Paul. He's a decent player, as far catching onto how this game truly works, but he's not as strong as Paul. I still think he leaves fairly soon.
Bobby: He's either trying really hard to look suspicious or he thinks he's on Survivor and is only eating coconut and ants. I don't know.. he makes the show interesting. "We already know you think it's Nicole. We already know you're a moron." I loved that. I think Bobby's technically a strong strategic player, but I still think he'll get tripped up in the end. I have a hard time not comparing current contestants with past contestants because there's clearly a trend in how the players are cast.. he's Bribs to me. I don't think he's the Mole.
Victoria: Okay, she's not the Mole. You all can try to say VJG in the credits means she's the Mole, but until someone tells me what her middle name is, I won't consider that anywhere close to a valid clue. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I just can't see how any of her actions would make her the Mole. However, I do think she's hilarious on the show. Not particularly for anything she does, but my friend and I think she gets haircuts between the episode because she looks different in different shots. I was going to take a bunch of screen shots and put up a post about how I found a bunch of clues and had pictures to prove it and then just post a bunch of images of Victoria's hair looking different. I do like her for standing up for Bobby, though. I like her as a person.
Mark: Al, anyone? I want to say that his behavior this episode shows that he's not the Mole. He seemed too desperate. He's the player who tries to control a lot of the decisions, wants to be a leader, and gets frustrated when people don't follow his lead. Like in the pig challenge when he kept being useless and restating the obvious every five seconds. I think it's pretty apparent that if the pigs stay on the wrong side of the pen, they won't count. It's also apparent that if your group had gotten back more quickly, some of those pigs on the outside might already be inside. I don't like how he talked back to Jon. Whatever, Mark. Maybe he'll be gone soon.
Kristen: "I've got a wheelbarrow full of Bobby." HAHA I liked that. I think the exemption task showed that she's probably not the Mole because she kind of just went along with Mark. I don't know, she just seems very straightforward. Can I just say this game needs to pick the hell up? I'm tired of exemptions being given away. I liked the pig one, but I want some surprise exemptions. And I want more intellectual games, or strategic games. Not just athletic ones. As far as Kristen goes, I don't really have anything to say. She's not that interesting as a player. She was doing great at running up that hill, though, and I do believe if Mark had stopped being an ass and let her push the bike, she'd still have stuck it out like a champ. If you whine about the task, she says she's doing fine, you whine about it being harder to push the bike, she offers to push it, and you say no because you want to be in charge.. then stop whining.
Clay: Clay is one big mystery to me. He's hasn't stood for any good or bad reason ever. If this was an earlier season of the Mole, I'd be extremely suspicious of him. I don't think we've been told anything about him, though. I wonder why he's hidden. Is he leaving soon, or will his character develop all of a sudden later? I would still leave him on the suspect list because his character is such a mystery, but I haven't seen anything supporting the theory of him being the Mole.
Nicole: I think Nicole is hilarious and I think she's either really clever or she's still possibly the Mole. I love that she threatened to kill Paul and nobody did anything about it. I love that she said she wouldn't leave any forensic evidence. For her to switch her demeanor around so suddenly shows that she's either trying to confuse people, which is smart, or she's just a little crazy, which makes her funny. I think that like Paul, but to a lesser extent, she's sticking herself out there a little too much at this point. But she's still a possibility. If she's not the Mole, I can see her battling it out with Paul in the end.
Craig: Let's start with what ridiculous things he did this episode. He volunteered to be in the uphill battle group. I am willing to believe Liz had no idea what the task would actually be, but I would have expected Craig to know. This is interesting, though, because the task ended up being one that would lose money. Had Craig been riding the bike, I don't think he would've made it to the top first. I don't know if this means he's not the Mole, or if the producers didn't fully tell him what the tasks were. I will say I questioned this a little. Then he kicks the ball into their own goal, which nobody makes a big deal about. He does kind of save the day with the pig launcher, although I feel like they would've figured it out with more people there. And taking charge of the launcher takes some suspicion off of him, while it actually lets him control the success of the challenge. They did add money to the pot, but who knows if he purposely miscued some of them.
Mole: Craig, Nicole, maybe Clay
Not the Mole: Paul, Ali, Alex, Bobby, Victoria, Kristen, Mark
I do honestly feel like I can completely eliminate Paul, Ali, Alex, and Bobby. And I want to say Kristen completely, but she's been extremely neutral as far as players go, kind of like Clay, and I still question Clay, so I should probably still question Kristen.