Hello, Mole fans, and welcome to our Mole Analysis column for episode 2. When I was first asked to write “mole analysis” I was concerned that I wasn’t qualified, as it sounded like something you should see a dermatologist about. I’m now however quite afraid of all licensed medical doctors, as Dr. Nicole has indicated that in medical school she learned how to “kill [Paul] in his sleep and leave no forensics evidence.” Yikes, and I thought people were being silly when they were afraid to see the doctor. But enough about her bedside manner (and the fact that forensic evidence isn’t needed if someone confesses their murder plans on a network television show), let’s look into who is acting Moley this week.

There Ain’t No Moles On Me.

Mark isn’t acting like the Mole. Despite the fact that he cost the pot $35,000 in order to win an exemption for himself and Kristen, he almost jumped out of his skin while watching the pig launching, worrying that they needed to work faster to get them all launched. Mark practically dragged Kristen away from host Jon when he offered them the cab ride in exchange of $5,000 previously credited to the pot. I think it killed Mark to cost the pot $35,000, but he’s such a competitor that he wanted to win the race up the hill (and win the exemption to assure he’d be around another week). Mark seems so competitive (especially while wearing his “state champions” t-shirt from the team he coaches, I’m guessing). I think it would be against his very nature to sabotage challenges. If he is the Mole, he’s hiding it well with his “I’m still nervous even though I’m exempt” paranoia.

Craig isn’t. He kicked a soccer ball into his own goal (and soccer phenom and team goalie Bobby didn’t stop it), but it didn’t cost his team anything. He saved the pigs in a blanket challenge with his excellent three-person sling shot skills. That would have been the perfect opportunity for the Mole to just sit back and let Alex smash all the piggy banks into the ground and get no cash into the pot.

Paul isn’t. He wanted that exemption bad enough to break open a piggy bank. The Mole doesn’t need an exemption. He and Liz caught more than half of the piggy banks launched, even though Alex was drilling some of them into the ground and they didn’t have a chance to catch them. He’s also going insane watching Bobby be incompetent at life. Who isn’t, Paul?

Nicole isn’t. Was she even on the first 50 minutes of this episode? So quiet and actually working with her team (albeit as a completely superfluous goalie on a team that only needed offensive players). Looking for piggy banks in all the right places, she helped her team and didn’t tip over any wheelbarrows (but mainly because Bobby was riding in one and not Paul).

If You Think I’m Moley and You Want My Bobby . . . please come get him

Bobby is acting Moley, but isn’t really the Mole. He wants people to think he’s the Mole, and is doing his darndest to block any money from making it into the pot. But he’s way too obvious to be the real Mole. He’s just a jerk who lets a woman 10 years older than him push him around in a wheelbarrow. Perhaps he’s doing research for his upcoming book: Traveling Latin American By Wheelbarrow by Bobby O.

Bobby is a “soccer expert” who somehow thinks that kicking the ball the farthest is the point of the game. I’ve never played soccer in my entire life. I don’t know the rules. I have no idea how to pass or dribble or whatever, but I do know that if my only objective is to score one goal, and it doesn’t matter how many get scored against us, that we focus all of our efforts on taking shots on goal. Who cares about defense? Be a sieve. Just take the ball after they score and get everyone focused on trying to get off a decent shot. Yet Nicole and then Bobby are acting as goalie for their team and thinking it is contributing towards their team’s success. Interesting strategy. Not successful, but interesting.

Only the Molely.

Alex has been acting very Moley. He was one of the scavengers who didn’t locate the teapot and the tobacco last week, and also missed his cash bag at the waterfall. He’s supposedly an experienced soccer player, but didn’t score a goal in 20 minutes of play and missed the first penalty shot. Then he looked like an all-star in using his Spanish language skills to locate all of the piggy banks that they could fit into his group’s wheelbarrow, but then he proceeded to smash them into oblivion while launching them with the sling shot before Craig came to save the bacon. Craig doesn’t think that Alex is the Mole, but does think that Alex isn’t that bright. Craig may be onto something, as he’s there and I’m not. However even a broken clock is right twice a day. Alex ends up costing the pot money at every single opportunity.

Victoria spent time hanging out with very Moley acting Alex in this episode. The two of them separated from the rest of their group when they all had maps directing them from the soccer field to the gondola launch. The wandering around and confusion may have cost their team the race and $35,000 into the pot, but who knows if Liz’ hot feet would have cost them the race anyway. Victoria was pretty disappointed about how poorly her soccer team performed, so she seems competitive. We’ll need to watch to see if she’s missing out on opportunities to win cash for the pot next week.

Clay has been flying under the radar so far, and that is a pretty decent Mole strategy. In his interviews, Clay spends his time discussing his thoughts on who is acting like the Mole (rather than just whining about other contestants, Paul). It’s like Clay is telling the viewers: “See, I’m trying to win, I’m not the Mole.” Sure thing, Mole. Clay said he thought it was suspicious of Paul and Ali stick around to “motivate” Liz to get to the gondola station. They all need to cross the finish together, so not riding on the weakest link is more suspicious than actually trying to get Liz to complete the task. Clay’s comments are not logical, and an attorney like Clay would usually be better at logic. Heck, it’s pretty much all they ask on the Law School Admission Test. Ah yes, good times: “If 8 people named A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H are riding on a bus and B is sitting ahead of F but behind D, does C have a window seat or an aisle seat?”

Those Rascally Producers are the Mole.

We started off the show with the contestants picking teams, and the producers gave them a switcheroo. It was logical for the group to want their best athletes on the 2-person “uphill battle” team. That logic cost the pot $35,000, because instead of having the best two players working for the benefit of the pot, it lead to an exemption for them at the expense of the $35,000.

In watching the clip of the vote for picking teams, Clay, Ali, Bobby, Nicole, Mark and Kristen wanted Mark and Kristen (the experienced runners) to take the Uphill Battle roles. It didn’t appear that Alex, Craig or Liz really did, and Craig and Liz had wanted to be the twosome. We’d all still be waiting if Liz and Craig had needed to ride that bike with the faulty chain up that hill. But the pot would be $35,000 richer, as they probably wouldn’t have even made it to the taxi-bribe point before the rest of the group caught the gondolas, especially if Mark and Kristen had been with the soccer group. Ah yes, my friend Alex, once again acting Moley.

Mole Countdown, Week 2

12 – Marcie – OUT

11 – Liz – OUT. I’m going to miss that “fluffy lady” Liz, as will many of the other contestants. It was pretty clear when she and Paul were catching pigs in a blanket that they were both trying their hardest, as they caught 28 of the 44 piggy banks that were launched. The Mole would have found a way to drop more of those pigs, just not be in the right area, bouncing them off the blanket, etc. The Mole certainly wouldn’t have been getting huge bruises from the flying pigs like Liz did. We’ll miss you, Liz.

10 – Nicole – what is her strategy this week? She’s strangely quiet for most of the episode, but pipes in at the end to threaten Paul’s life in the closing credits. Not that anyone is blaming her, mind you, as Paul can be annoying. But the point of not leaving forensics evidence is so that you don’t get caught. Having a confession on a television show pretty much takes care of that. Brilliant.

9 – Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, what are you doing? Riding in a wheelbarrow and complaining that your legs hurt while riding. He’s trying so hard to act like he’s the Mole that he may have convinced himself that he actually is. Don’t outmaneuver yourself, buddy.

8 – Ali is still getting her “mole edit” as she once again had a couple great camera shots of looking very suspicious, looking like she was leading her team the wrong way when returning with the pigs, etc. It didn’t end up costing the pot anything, however, as her team did arrive and all of their pigs were launched in the challenge. Ali scored the penalty shot in the soccer game, so she got them the gondola tickets. Not very Moley to me.

7 – Paul is a moron. First he picked Marcie for his coalition, and claims his whole game plan is shot due to that loss. Then he picks a fight with Nicole, who threatens to kill him in his sleep. Don’t tick off that woman, as she’s got all kinds of crazy in her, you fool. Paul worked really hard catching pigs in a blanket, and looked to be working hard at the soccer challenge too. He’s not acting Moley and I don’t think he really has a clue who is. Now that he’s lucked into one exemption he will be breaking open everything he can get his hands on to try to find another one. Don’t leave your personal belongings anywhere near him.

6 – Mark is having a coronary watching Craig and Alex launch the pigs, thinking that they might miss the opportunity to land some money into the pot. Yes, Mark cost the pot $35,000 this week by hustling up the hill with Kristen and the tandem bike, but he really gets testy if anyone else threatens the pot. My pot, back off. Hiss.

5 – Craig really saved the team’s bacon with his excellent sling shot skills. Any contribution to the team’s effort that Craig musters is hailed as a major victory, as he has “managed expectations” quite well with his fellow competitors. Craig has the “I really can’t run” believability factor that Bobby only wishes he could master. That is a good strategy, as is his super-nice personality, if he were the Mole. I’m just wondering why he would have stepped up and showed off his three person sling shot skills if he was the Mole – unless he was doing it to impress the ladies in the audience. This is what having The Bachelorette as a lead-in has done for this show, Craig playing up to the audience. You know the ladies love a man who can operate a catapult.

4 – Kristen didn’t act suspicious or Moley at all this week, but she seems quite bright and will likely make it far in the game. The Uphill Battle challenge was tough to judge Moley behavior because both a.) competitive players would want the exemption, and b.) the Mole would want to block the $35,000 from the pot, so they are both motivated to win that race. We didn’t get a clue how receptive Kristen was to the taxi bribe, as Mark pulled her away from there before Jon even got a chance to explain it. She hauled Lazy Bobby around in a wheelbarrow but didn’t get a single piggy bank, but I think her group was so far behind the other teams that all of the obvious ones were already picked up because the other teams had found 44 out of the possible 50 pigs.

3 – Clay continues to be in my top three because he was my first pick to be the Mole. He hasn’t done anything yet to convince me either way that he is playing to win or to sabotage the contests. I want to think that he’s laying low, waiting to jump into stealth Mole mode.

2 – Victoria really likes Bobby and defended him when Paul was going after him about why he was such a terrible soccer player. Victoria likes Bobby and is attempting to defend his lamest of the lame performances? No, really? Very Moleish behavior, Victoria.

1 – Alex – is trying his hardest to cost the pot money. Either he is the Mole, or he not really trying to win money because he doesn’t need money and hasn’t learned the value of a dollar yet. Why does he need money, as Mom and Dad are not charging him rent and keep plenty of groceries in the fridge. He gathered up tons of piggy banks speaking to the locals in Spanish, but then he proceeded to drill them all into the ground in a million pieces with his terrible slingshot skills. That is a good strategy (for a guy that many players think is dumb), to look like you’re working hard and finding piggy banks, but then never get them into the pot. For two weeks in a row, Alex is my pick as the Mole.

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