What has been the biggest surprise for Mole viewers all season?
• Was it Victoria’s elimination when many people had seen a spoiler showing her to be the Mole?
• Or Paul’s elimination just a week after his name had “appeared” in the green fingerprint?
• Or was it the fact that my pre-season pick Clay isn’t still there?
No, I think the most shocking revelation all season was the fact that they split the season finale into a two-week cliff hanger. Why are they leaving us all in a lurch until next Monday when pretty much everyone will be watching the Olympics? Great planning. Yes, it was vitally important to air that first episode of “Wanna Bet” for an hour right before the Mole rather than give it a decent two-hour contiguous finale. What a buzz-kill when we realized that we weren’t going to find out who won and who was the Mole. Drats.

This Challenge was Da Bomb

Not to let it spoil the whole episode for us, we were treated to two interesting challenges. The first was a very “spy-like” challenge where they needed to use a hidden map of time zones of the world (which Craig mysterious “found” without looking), a list of cities, and a fill-in the blank puzzle, as well as a spinning wheel which shined lights on letters scattered around the room. It looked like great fun.

As if reading their scripts, each contestant played their role as they have all season:
• Nicole was acting Mole-y and screwed up a number of the map coordinates so they didn’t have all of the right letters for the clue.
• Mark was hell-bent for leather in solving the puzzle, questioned everything that everyone else did, re-checked and found multiple errors in Nicole’s work, and still managed to drive in the win.
• Craig roamed aimlessly around until he saw that no-one else was finding the crucial hidden map, so he directed them to it and then did nothing else productive or counter-productive, other than delay enough to give Mark a coronary when they were at the very end.
• They wasted time and used an enormous tree-trimming device to cut a tiny wire with only seconds to spare, and managed to bank all of the money into the pot.

Wild in the Streets

In the next challenge, the Mark and Craig got the wrong scripts, and they were acting each other’s parts for a while, but Nicole was still the Fake Mole:
• Craig was surprisingly adept at finding locations and physically getting there by foot and was actually in the lead for some time in the challenge. Craig even has the game-sense to find a listing of theaters so he’s not roaming aimlessly through the town.
• Mark was inexplicably refusing to look at his map and spent what seemed like hours running around the city looking for a major city park, which would obviously have been on the map. Mark got on board with his own game plan later on (after he realized Craig was ahead of him) and did manage to pull it off. Then he did the typical Mark “I need to win at all costs” move of blocking $75,000 from the pot by opting to take the Mole’s briefcase – a move that I think all of them would have taken for various reasons.
• Nicole plays by her own rules and refuses to get a flag to hold in her picture with the statue. Instead, she sends multiple pictures of the top her head, silly sunglasses sticking out, and tries to flirt her way out of it with Jon, very unsuccessfully. Jon cracks me up. She then tries to cheat by attempting to pass off an ice cream sundae as dulce de leche. Um, Nicole, you realize you are being followed by a camera crew from the show, don’t you?
• I’m not sure Nicole’s ill-timed “strike” against the challenge rules this fits in with her game plan of trying to appear like the Mole, because 1.) the other contestants weren’t watching her, they were doing their own challenges, and 2.) the Mole and contestants who are interested in winning would all be trying to win this challenge to take the Mole’s dossier (Player Goal) and keep the money out of the pot (Mole Goal). It does, however, further her goal of appearing like Omarosa, Part Deux. Unfortunately for Nicole, the ratings for this show are quite lame and it’s unlikely she’ll be able to extend her 15 minutes into a full-time career of being a former reality tv show “personality” like Omarosa has. Doesn’t the world already have enough Omarosa as it is? I think so.

Is It Really a Cliff-Hanger If We Already Know The Ending?

I’m not saying that I’m positive about the ending, but I’m willing to bet a nice dinner on Craig being the Mole, and willing to bet a trip through the McDonald’s drive-through that Mark is the winner. Head to that drive-through now, by the way, as I read today that they’re going to be reworking the menu options soon to reflect the higher cost of food, so the double cheeseburgers for a buck may be a thing of the past for us Dollar Menunaires. Ok, I just shared entirely too much about my own terrible eating habits (and cheapskate dinner tastes).

I’ll tune in next week to watch the grand finale, catch up with the former contestants, and see all of those clips of Craig being Moley that I’ve been spotting for about a month now since I went back and watched old episodes on a rainy weekend. Join me then.

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