Okay, you should all know what to expect here. I'm really pissed. What the hell? I will say I'm a little less angry knowing Mark won by 4, but I'm still mad about it. Actually, watching the reunion special and seeing them go through all the times Mark was almost eliminated and how Paul knew from the very beginning, I'm kind of mad that Paul didn't win. And the reason he didn't win was because of that dumbass easy exemption in the penultimate round. Ever since that happened, too, I've been wondering if Craig didn't kind of throw it to Mark. I can see how it was intended for Craig to win the exemption since he said he was given the answers. So I do give Mark credit for figuring it out faster than someone who already knew the answers. I think it just was a series of lucky moments for Mark.
So we found out in season 2 that Heather should have won and actually gave the win to Dorothy. I was okay with that because I liked Dorothy and not so much Heather. However, it's almost exactly the same situation if you make Victoria the Elavia of this season. Victoria missed one answer and thus Mark stayed in. Elavia took the bribe and thus Dorothy stayed. Also, a lot of people were suspecting Victoria, just like a lot of people suspected Elavia. As you see, I really like to make connections between seasons. Not because I believe in deja vu or anything, but because these shows tend to be edited in the same manner. It was very surprising when Paul left and then Nicole was left with an opponent who had been considered the "nice guy" for whatever reason. I do appreciate that Mark mentioned that he was being a big baby, and I do appreciate what he's doing for his wife, but I just don't consider him the type of player who should have made it to the end. A lot of it was luck.
I have always supported a more intuitive player because someone who takes too many notes makes it obvious really quickly that he/she is not the Mole. Ironically, that was Nicole's downfall. And I'm also not saying Nicole played a perfect game. It took her awhile to get to Craig as well, but I like her style of game play more, which is why I give her more credit. Paul, though, I give him props for calling it so quickly. It's a shame that such a good player was beat out by a stupid exemption. But, that's not to say I blame the outcome of this on chance or luck or whatever. Had Paul been thinking even an extra step ahead, he might have chosen the cell number with the exemption attached to it. Unfortunately, the Mole got that cell, as he was probably instructed to, and then allowed himself to be shot, giving Mark the exemption and costing Paul the game.
So I do want to take some time to talk about how I called Craig as the Mole from almost the very beginning. I did have a lot of suspicion towards Nicole in the first episode, and then Clay became a second to Craig once I dismissed Nicole as a possibility in the third episode. It was really the first episode clues, with the Alexander SelCRAIG thing and the hangman and the Titanic reference. I did not pick up on any of the bullshit clues that they planted. Did you see Paul make a face when they pointed out a tiny clue hidden in the intro? Yeah, I agree. That's a pretty vague and random clue. I did like the area codes thing. That was interesting. Also, I called the never choosing Craig during execution thing. They did that in season 3 of Australian Mole and once it had been four or five executions where Craig never came up, I began to wonder if they were doing the same thing.
So now that I've been typing for awhile, I'm less riled up. A lot of recent reality TV results have gone my way, so I should be able to just put this one on the shelf as a decent attempt at reviving one of my favorite shows with an ending that was not so desirable. Oh well. In the context of money making a difference, I think Mark's win will make a huge difference in his life and his wife's life. So something good will come from this. I have to say though, ABC, I'm disappointed with the editing for this reunion episode. As soon as you showed a door opening and people being really excited, I knew Mark had won and that started my angry ranting for the next hour. I knew that wasn't the Mole's reveal because of the way it was staged. So please don't spoil it so much next time. I already had this sinking feeling ever since Mark won that exemption, but the preview piece made it obvious.
I will say during such a short time in this one reunion special, I've come out of it really respecting Paul (not that I didn't before, I just didn't really like him before) and even liking him based on his genius game play. I still feel the same about most of the contestants except I found myself really not liking Ali. I feel like she perpetuates negative female stereotypes, and I don't mean by being a model.. I mean by talking bad about Nicole. And I'm not just saying this because I'm a Nicole fan. It's the way she says things. I think Paul does respect Nicole and so much of his "game" was directed at her because she was such a threat. I don't think Ali recognizes the value of having this type of character on a competitive television show and I don't think she ever came around to realizing that Nicole's inconsistent personality was due to her strategy and game play. Also, Ali is really a polar opposite of Nicole in so many ways in this game. Ali walked out of this game for money, which was a smart move for her because there was no way she'd come near any money otherwise. When faced with throwing the quiz and leaving to avoid having to deal with the men in the game, Nicole just couldn't do it. You can say her pride got in the way, but that makes it sound negative, whereas I believe the inability to sell herself short is what makes her such a strong person.
Anyway, I don't know if any of that made sense. It did in my head. I've enjoyed recapping this season and having so many readers. If any of the Mole contestants happen to be reading this, I want to say that I appreciate them putting themselves out there and letting us critique their characters on the show.