Hi Mole fans, welcome back. Let me tell you how relieved I am that Craig has made it to the season finale after I went out on a limb last week and declared him to be the Mole. We’re running out of suspects and folks are actively making the case for everyone left on the show, which is good. There was an interesting “spoiler” circling the internet showing Paul’s name in the Mole fingerprint icon which was dispelled with this week’s episode. As a show commentator, I’m very happy that there is no consensus prior to the finale, and that so many “spoilers” have been busted as foilers.
Pairs of Pairs
Now that we were down to four players, we have a couple sets of pairs. First we have two people who have been playing all out, trying to stack the pot, and whom I’ve never thought could possibly be the Mole – Mark and Paul, the Players.
Our second pair is the shiftier players who have haven’t always been going all out in the challenges – Craig and Nicole. These Slackers have been known to either flake out or make a joke rather than focus on the challenge and haven’t been giving 110% (a mathematical possibility, yet very popular with sports coaches). Slackers, I say.
Luckily for us, these pairs are paired up for our first challenge so we can discuss their performance.
The Players – Holla Atcha Boys
In this episode’s first challenge, one player is holding a camera and is the “eyes” for another player, who must try to complete some kids games, only their view from the camera is reversed. Mark is Paul’s eyes and they do quite well. We are treated to a testimonial where Paul states that he is glad that Mark is his partner because “he plays to win.” Paul, who was whining the entire time during the challenge, claims Mark cut off the first word in the final part of the walk the plank, but we were watching the camera feed and could see that Paul’s arm was blocking the only angle of the board that Mark could have. Quit whining already. Mark and Paul are able to get some prize money into the pot.
The Slackers- Anyone Seen the Nearest Mall?
Nicole nailed it in her quiz comments when she accused Craig of Mole activity by acting dumber than he is. Pot, meet Kettle. We got to see both of them putting in overtime in the art of under-performing. When Craig and Nicole were supposed to be the “smart” team answering logic problems in the vineyard (which Mark took over even though he was on a treadmill because he couldn’t bear the incompetance). Neither Craig nor Nicole is truly as clueless as they’ve sometimes acted.
Craig and Nicole are paired up again, and just like last week when they had problems in the “add it up” challenge, they aren’t doing so hot. Nicole is shaking around the camera and Craig is “accidentally” bumping into the table and spilling all the tea cups and then laughing about it. Remember last week when we talked about Craig’s use of “humor” to deflect from his acts of sabotage? Now I’m seeing that everywhere. If Craig isn’t the Mole, I’ll be shocked.
In a déjà vu moment from episode 2, we are treated to yet another shot of Craig launching a soccer ball in the exact opposite direction of his goal. I think we might see both of those clips in next week’s finale when they show us how Craig did it as the mole. Craig makes it across the plank suspended between the buildings. He did not make it across with the chalk in time to win the cash, but at least he didn’t nearly hang himself this time. He’s used the “I nearly died trying to win this challenge” method of deflection enough this game already.
Pairs of Pairs: Good vs. Evil
Craig titled our other set of pairs in this episode: the Forces of Good and the Forces of Evil. I remember from my kids’ baptisms when the sponsors were asked to renounce the forces of evil and all of their empty promises. I don’t remember Paul and Nicole offering up any tasty yet empty promises, except for Nicole’s promise to rid us of Paul much earlier in the season. For whatever that’s worth, Craig’s labeling has given me a dose of “you haven’t been to church in a long-time” guilt and also our second set of pairs for the episode. Personally I don’t think they’re evil – just annoying. I’ve been writing that Paul and Nicole are playing from the same playbook since Episode 3 when I labeled them as using being a pain in the ass as a strategy. FORT Smack-A-Mole Column - Week 3
Craig labels Mark (and himself) as the “good” people and dreads the thought of Mark leaving this episode and having to go through the final part of the show with just bickering Paul and Nicole. Paul agrees with Craig’s assessment of Mark as a good person (but not Craig’s assessment of Paul as being evil), stating that Mark is one of the finest people he’s ever met. Mark must be getting a slightly harsh edit, as the hard-driving task master we’ve come to know doesn’t really gel with Nicole’s description of the world’s least likely person to hit you with a paintball.
Despite Mark’s “good” label from Craig, he does manage to hit Craig with a paintball and earns himself and exemption and a trip to the finale. Did Craig let Mark hit him because he wanted to cost the pot the money they would have earned by Craig making it to the door? It’s so hard to know because Craig isn’t the fastest runner and even gun-phobe Mark had figured out how to aim by hitting all of them (but Paul’s paint capsule didn’t open).
Evil players Paul and Nicole commiserate over dinner that one of them would be leaving, and they suspiciously leave Craig entirely out of that conversation. That seemed pretty odd, unless you figure that they all know Craig is the Mole. It will come down to accuracy and speed on the Quiz. Nicole isn’t dumb, she just plays dumb on tv. Bye-bye Paul. We’re just starting to like you a little better.
We’re Paul-Free in the Season Finale, Paul-Free!
• Will good triumph over evil?
• Will we get to see the shots I’m predicting to see of Craig kicking the sand on the beach (and hiding the tobacco tin), Craig kicking the soccer ball into the wrong goal, Craig talking after the deadline in the Fruit of the Luge, Craig asking Nicole a question when she wasn’t supposed to talk, Craig giving Alex the opportunity to dress like a Conquistador, and other great Mole moments.
• Will Nicole become the next Omarosa?
• Will this show ever be produced again?
Some of these questions will be answered next week. We hope.