Celebrity Mole: Yucatan
1/28 Episode Recap--"Still Life with Mick Jagger on Drugs"
Welcome to the fourth Celebrity Mole: Yucatan episode recap. Today we will wine and dine on worms and engage in some of the finest in Yucatanian culture, as we decipher who the mole is. Get out your secret decoder rings, your journals, and your trusty compasses. Carefully inspect your clues, for he who hesitates is mole-meat. Actually, I think they eat slugs and other earthy varmints.
Speaking of slugs, I apologize for how slow this was to "go to print." I didn't create a Plan B for videotaping this week's episode, contacted the most-excellent FoRT administration, and found a Fed-exed package when I returned from Seattle last night. Thank you all for your patience. I hope it will be worth the wait.
The show opens with a few whispery in-the-dark confessionals. Keshia, through her hiccups, remarks that she suspects Tracey, since all her coalition members have been executed. Now, being that Tracey only allied with Stephen, I'd call this a hasty generalization. Tracey then confesses that she bought a new cute dress in town, "very islandy." While I would agree with most of you that this is not informative, the statement appealed to my Peewee Herman Sense. Do any of you remember that episode in which Peewee Herman had a party, and he pointed out his hors d'ouevres? He pointed to his pigs in a blanket, vegetables in a blanket, and blankets in a blanket. Picking up one of the blankets in a blanket, he chewed and said, "Mmm, blankety."
Angie brings up her skinny-dipping for the 3240294th time. Starting the show with "Maybe I'll go skinny-dipping again tonight" is a sure-fire way to keep the channel-surfer population focused. Mark lets us know that after tonight everyone will think he's the mole; even the mole will think he's the mole. Dennis Rodman, ever the philosopher, confesses that he will stay on for the duration, that "the focus is there" and "the desire and admiration is always alive." Now, I must add that in this episode I noticed that the producers have really been using marionettes as editors, string-pulling them into making foolish edits and featuring Dennis's words in strange contexts. In this one it sounds as if Dennis desires and admires the game, which I can't quite conceive of him saying, or maybe it's the mescal.
40 Bottles of Mole on the Wall
We are treated to another faux-astronomical view of the Western Hemisphere from space, the continents clearly defined atop a glowing blue ball. The view takes us through atmospheric layers and onto the Yucatan peninsula. Some guitar riffs play over the crash of ocean surf; the camera flies out over the water, a rowboat overturned on the shore, some palm trees, and finally a hut.
Ahmad welcomes us to the ecopark at Xcaret. He tells us that when we're "sunning and. . .funning in Mexico, there's nothing like a refreshing Margarita." Missing from the margaritas is tequila, to which Ahmad points from the other side of the lagoon. In the challenge aptly titled "Tequila Shooters," players must traverse a narrow bridge over the lagoon, put a bottle on a tray, and return to the other side without having touched the bottle. For each bottle successfully brought to the other side, Ahmad and his flunkies will add $500 to the pot.
"However," Ahmad warns, "three of the meanest nastiest banditos are trying to steal that potential money from you." The banditos, whoever they are, will pelt the players with big blue-green dodge balls, much like the big blue-green spaceship we pelt the galaxy with.
Ahmad introduces the contestants to their "enemies," who arrive in the form of none other than Ananda, Corbin, and Stephen, the formerly executed. A caption of "Los Banditos" runs under this shot, much like they're the News at 7. Ananda in her teeny-weeny polka dot bikini, Corbin in his Taxi Loco driver's hat, and Stephen looking nipply are back for revenge. It is a scene taken straight from the Mark Burnett school of reality TV.
Corbin moons the contestants from across the lagoon. Mark advises, "You need some sun, bro." Ahmad adds that each bottle that doesn't make it across the lagoon will then go toward the banditos's pocketses. He looks so cute in his Captain Jack's white brimmed island hat, which he no doubt mail-ordered from the J. Peterman catalog.
Corbin heads over to a giant slingshot and fires a practice dodge ball. Mark yells out, "Is that all you got, Corbin?" And, Tracey stretches her "Um-yeah" smile, and right then we know that she'll get the brunt of the pelting.
Stephen, in a voice that would rival the current Governor of California, screams, "Now we are the executioners!" Ahmad just leans back in his lounge chair, a cigar tucked into the corner of his mouth. He counts off and the game begins.
Angie, her hair up in two high pigtails, hops along the bridge, violins playing andante as she flails. On the return from the tequila collection, each bottle labeled "Mole," Tracey is hit first and again, even after they already knocked down her bottle.
The music phases into an upbeat Oktoberfest polka, accordians and clapping. Mark continues to screw up and he regales us in confessional with talk of his "size 14's" which wouldn't move quickly enough. This directly corresponds with another part of his anatomy which isn't moving as fast as he's wanting. In the next episode I fully expect Mark to formally apologize to the hotel staff for his excessive laundry service.
The players take 11 bottles across. With one minute left, Keshia and Mark opt out. Tracey balances across the bridge and Los Banditos hurl dodge balls at her head, a cash-register's "ding" sounding each time a hit is made. Stephen lobs a hard and fast one at her cranium, and she doubles back and falls in the lagoon. "True coalitions fade quickly when you're executed," she says.
Dennis crosses the bridge and adds the 12th bottle to the collection. He confesses, "They were out there for more than blood. They was out for revenge. They was trying to knock your head off." He then discusses his suspicions of Mark, who "wasn't even trying." Mark assures the players that he'll "make it up in the bonus round," and as you'll see in a moment, he won't.
Angie, if she hadn't gotten naked enough for us, turns around to reveal her backside, a faint bruise just above her gluteus maximus. A "war wound," she accurately describes. Triage nurses rush to her aid. Adjacent to her bruise is a tattoo of something I can't quite make out, but I paused the video, held my magnifying glass up to the screen, and discerned that it's a roadkilled mole. Be careful, everyone.
The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out
"Do people eat the worm just for the fun of it?" Tracey asks.
In this bonus challenge, contestants can double their money, which stands at $6000, if they "participate in eating the worm." Logistically, each player is given a glass of tequila, served up with a worm on a toothpick and a little pink cocktail umbrella. It is another cultural experience. Ahmad serves them their wormy drinks, and everyone freaks out.
Angie glares wide-eyed at the serving tray: "That's the biggest worm I've ever seen." I'm sure there's an obvious joke in here, but I'm partial to the interpretation of "really neat dragon," like the desert-coasting spice-eating ones in Dune, so I will smokescreen the obvious joke until you forget the original association ever happened. There--what were we talking about?
Keshia asks, "Can someone else eat this?" Oh, Lordy.
Tracey: "Can that be done?"
Dennis agrees to take a hit for the team, to eat all of the worms, now served up and wriggling inside all the glasses. Ahmad sharply indicates to Dennis that he wants to see the worm, that he wants to watch him swallow the worm. Dennis removes his gum, blots his lipstick, and re-applies his blue eyeshadow. I mean, no, look behind you--it's a Harkonnen!
Ahmad: "Wanna wash it down?" And that day dawned when Arrakis lay at the hub of the universe with the wheel poised to spin.
Dennis takes a single shot of tequila, and his wormy treats double the team's money for that challenge, now at $12,000. The pot increases to $105,000. Ahmad is now in the mood for a drink, and everyone follows willingly.
Fruity Drinks and Hijinks
The players sit down to a table of cocktails, each within a gigantic pineapple. This may sound like I'm describing a challenge, but I'm not. They all slurp their drinks out of their giant pineapple cups. That's it.
You Remember Rudy?
Okay, perhaps that scene is important--I'll grant you the conversational chatter. First the producers treat us to more confessionals. Angie bemoans how obvious Mark is. She seems to know that Mark is just pretending to be the mole, as is his plan. Tracey notes that Dennis takes no notes. Dennis fills us in on his choice of mole--Tracey. Angie tells us that Tracey could never be the mole, being that she's such a "good girl." Back to Dennis--he calls Tracey a "young little whippersnapper."
At this point the shot focuses in on Tracey amid the players amid the pineapple drinks. Her face resting on her palm, she looks up and askance.
Angie: "Somebody's gotta get naked in this episode."
Tracey: "Do it!"
Angie: "I already did."
Mark: "She's got a nice butt too."
Here the scene gets ugly. Mark tells the cast that he was there for Keshia's display. Keshia retorts that Mark did not see anything, being that she was in the water the whole time. Mark responds with having seen her "Gucci thong."
Mark: "You remember Rudy, but now's a whollllle different ball game."
Keshia: "What is wrong with you?!"
Mark: "That's right--Givin' It Hell Productions proudly presents Keshia's Thong. It's Keshia Gone Wild, like you've never seen her before."
Mark fiddles with his shirt, mimes exposing himself, states that he "woulda watched that video." Angie laughs, Dennis stays out of it, and Keshia rolls her eyes, wonders why she gets to be "the butt" of the joke. The crew then enrolls Keshia in Snappy Comeback 101 at Xcaret Community College.
Still Life with Mick Jagger on Drugs
The players meet in an airy room surrounded in sheer white curtains and plants. Ahmad drums up how special "this part of Mexico" is. Special in what way? Is it the way the peninsula perks up in the view-from-space sequence? Is it that special stomach-rumbling one gets after eating one too many burritos? Is it that the moon is full every single freakin' day? No, actually, it's the art and culture. Ahmad includes the cast in a continuation of Mexico's rich heritage. I then fear for that country.
Now this is yet another totally fun and creative challenge; I congratulate the storyboarders. This challenge, entitled "Still Life," takes place in an art gallery. In the center of the room, under glass, is a caricature. This so-called painting is typical boardwalk artist fare. You could contract one out on the Atlantic City boardwalk as you could at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. It is a portrait of Ahmad, his head gigantic and smiling brightly, as he flies a kite, which is the form of our favorite rodent, the mole. This "special painting" is worth $20,000 for the pot.
In this challenge are three roles: Child at Heart, Chatterbox, and Good Eye. Chatterbox Mark describes three paintings via walkie-talkie to Children at Heart Tracey, Keshia, and Angie. While Mark describes, the Children fingerpaint. At the end of the challenge, the Children pass their masterpieces to Good Eye Dennis, who will match their paintings to a collection of paintings in the gallery. He is to hang the fingerpaintings under the art work he thinks each fingerpainting depicts. Then he will push a button. If it buzzes, then he's incorrectly matched them. He must get all the matches correct before releasing the special $20,000 painting of Ahmad and his big head.
This is a sample of how Mark instructs Tracey: "The leaves are red. . .small. . .some buildings in back, maybe a farm. . .trees, red leaves, small buildings."
Tracey asks him, "Is it a farm, Mark?"
Now here their painting session goes awry. Tracey conceives of a big red barn. She paints the big red barn smack in the center of the painting and surrounds it with red-leafed trees. The painting is actually one of an aerial landscape, a silvery lake, surrounded by little houses each no more than an inch-high. Around the lake are also many trees in various stages of autumn. There are no happy, little clouds for Tracey's masterpiece.
Mark instructs Angie to paint a portrait, "Keshia with her hair down." The painting features a Mexican woman's face on the right side, a white lily on the left and, in the far background, a sunset.
He instructs Keshia to paint white vases, one with little flowers and ornate like it's "from Portugal." With Keshia he is the most descriptive. One vase looks like the top of a nuclear power plant. Beneath the vases are apples. On top of one of them is a bird.
Back to Tracey, Mark says that the buildings are white. Tracey tells him that he said it was a barn, that she went with red. Mark tells her, "Let's not interpret here." He says that the buildings "should be wee." Small, really small buildings, wee buildings, happy little clouds.
Having taken 24 minutes, Dennis has only 6 minutes in which to complete the challenge. The Children hand over their dripping wet paintings to Dennis, the Good Eye. No amount of good eyes could have helped the Good Eye to distinguish which paintings belonged to which work of art. Not even a many-eyed Spider-Human mutant could've succeeded in recognizing which was which. Keshia quickly describes her painting to Dennis, the vases, apples, birds. Tracey asks if they're allowed to let Dennis know what the paintings are supposed to be.
Cue the Miami Vice music and swivel the dolly around Dennis's confused form. Dennis holds each paintings, looks around the room, and matches and re-matches the paintings. He presses the button, which buzzes, and he tries again, until he runs out of time. Dennis only gets Keshia's painting right.
Mark: "I told Angie to paint a face. She painted Mick Jagger on drugs looking at himself in a broken mirror."
Ahmad asks Dennis how he matched up Keshia's painting to the right one. "Birds," he responds. A close-up on the fingerpainting reveals a little brown squiggly jumping furiously atop the vase. "This looks like a squirrel," Ahmad says. Indeed, it does.
Ahmad asks the group, "Where did we go wrong?" Tracey, flushed as red as a gigantic barn, shrugs, her arms outstretched. Tracey explains that Mark told her to paint a barn and, at the point he said the houses were smaller, she already had a "fricken big house there."
Angie notices that the woman in her painting looks like she has a beard. She volunteers it for the next Aerosmith album cover. Then, no scene is complete without a flirting session with Ahmad. "Oh, is that you?" asks Angie of the special $20,000 painting.
Ahmad brings his face close to the glass such that we are all invited to see the uncanny resemblance. He smiles and tilts his head. The others notice the mole in the corner of the painting. "Yes, there's a mole in there. And there's a mole in this room."
Mark sums up the event by saying that the challenge was good for him. He wants the group to think he's the mole. He also wants the group to think he's a pervert. Was it good for you, too?
A Toast, A Quiz
Over dinner Ahmad mentions that this is the first episode without an exemption. Mark writes feverishly in his journal. Keshia writes in hers. "One of you will not be with us tomorrow," Ahmad dictates. "A toast to whoever it might be." Toast, toast, toast. Clink. Drink.
Tracey: "I don't think until you see that person executed you feel safe about them. And that's the truth of this game."
Dennis: "This round is crucial. If I get past this round, I will win the game."
As we break for commercial, we are once again informed that this will be the "most surprising execution yet." Having said that in every episode so far, the producers lose circulation to their crossing fingers.
When we return, it is night over the Ruins of Tullum, the circular pool, the side of the hotel, its hallways lit. We are back for the quiz, which you can find at ABC's website. Also, don't miss the FoRT's homegame. Play along with us for a prize at the end of the season.
While taking the quiz, the players reveal their suspicions. Dennis suspects Mark for not bringing any tequila bottles across the bridge. Tracey carefully says, "If you do the deductions, Keshia is another person I've thought of."
Angie suspects Dennis of sabotage, since she believes he got the paintings in the right place "but not at the right time." Mark suspects Dennis and Angie. He says that he didn't tell Angie to paint "a moon on the side." Well, Mark, we didn't tell the producers of Celebrity Mole that the moon goes through a series of phases, but that didn't stop them from using the full moonrise segment in every episode.
Welcome to Your Fourth Execution
The full moon glides over. We see the large thumbprints, captioned by the players' names. Mark walks toward the wooden folding chairs, "Dead man walking." None of the players take a seat at the far end, which was the seat both Stephen and Corbin sat in when they were executed. "Superstitious," Mark says. "That's so ridiculous." He takes the last seat in the bad luck chair.
A cold wind blows. Dennis scratches his chin. Angie shivers. Ahmad welcomes them, congratulates them. They all know, given the lack of exemption, that no one is safe. There is a tie, which means that the person who took the longest to answer the quiz questions will be executed. Keshia says, "Oh, great."
Mark tells her, "My quiz took five minutes."
Keshia: "You're such a liar."
Dennis, then, in a moment so ill-timed that the producers must really doubt our savvy, slaps his knee and says, "Oh, boy, that's good." Now, "You're such a liar," as we all know, is the thing you tell someone when they try to get your goat and you resort to 6th grade politicking so as to rebuff your wisecracker. It's the thing you say when you're too embarrassed to have anything to say. It's by no means side-splitting, knee-slapping humor, and certainly not the kind that would crack up the cool Dennis Rodman. I've heard rumors of long 12-hour days in the editing booth, of slave-driven editors, who are poorly paid and not unionized, but this is preposterous. Even I could do better with Final Cut Pro 1.0 and a troubleshooting manual as large as the Oxford English Unabridged Dictionary.
Ahmad: "Are there any questions?"
Yes, Ahmad. Who is your milliner? I would like to give him a talking-to.
Dennis. Green. He rubs his hands together.
Mark: "This game is exhilerating."
Keshia: "Uh-oh, y'all."
Mark: "Uh-oh, Keshia."
Keshia. Red. Dennis stands up and walks around, sits back down. The players all do seem to sense when they're about to be executed, and I wish they'd apply that intuition to their quiz-answering.
Keshia: "Told y'all it wasn't me."
They all hug Keshia, and Ahmad escorts her through the large hotel lobby and out to El Taxi Loco. Meanwhile, on the wooden folding chairs, Dennis asks the group, "Who is the mole? Is it getting easier now?"
Tracey, with a sparkle in her eye, says, "I think I know."
The group memorializes Keshia. Dennis says that she was "steady as a rock." Tracey says that anytime someone tried to "ruffle her feathers," she didn't care. Angie quotes the concensus challenge, when Corbin insulted Keshia, and she told him, "You don't exist in my world." And, if the producers haven't gotten enough sexy shots of Angie's skinny-dipping appearance, we are treated to a replay of Angie swinging her bikini top. Angie confesses that she had the most fun with Keshia that night and mimics Keshia, "No, Angie. Don't take off your top."
Mark: "She was skinny-dipping in that little lagoon. My mind was really going through a lot of emotions at that time. Little Rudy nekkid. I called my momma after that. We talked. It was different."
Tracey, red-faced, buries her head in her hands and laughs.
At El Taxi Loco, Ahmad tells Keshia that she played a good game. Keshia responds that she did her best. The viewers collectively rejoice that Rudy has completely grown up so that we don't have to squirm. Rudy says, "Good luck, y'all," and the taxi carries her away to the Halfway House for Aged Child Actors.
Next on Celebrity Mole
Some sort of donkey challenge. Angie tells Mark, "Well, you wanted to see my ass." A tank of what looks like octopi. Tracey confesses to a "seriously hard time eating calamari again."
Then, the players take their seats in tiny desks in a miniature mock classroom, Ahmad at the big teacher's desk. Dennis stands up with his answer to a question. It's written on his little slate: "John Wayne."
Who will be the fifth person executed? Tune in for the "most exciting execution" so far. Pinocchio's nose extends from the Yucatan peninsula to Trinidad. Thank you for joining us on this, the fourth episode. See you Wednesday for more moling, sleuthing, and replays of Angie's skinny-dipping. Watch while the hotel maids cry out with "Que horror!" at the pile of stained towels and sheets on Mark's floor. They, too, have to call Mark's momma.
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