Well, friends, we made it. I can’t believe it myself. I’m still in shock that The Mole was actually revived in the first place. It was like Christmas, but in the summer, and instead of annoying songs and creepy Santas, we got anthropomorphic citrus and the irrepressible SmugJon.After a lengthy recap of the entire season, we are welcomed by Jon to the finale of The Mole, in what I can only assume is his gigantic mystery mansion. It would be so like Jon Kelley to host it on his turf. You know he’s got booby traps around every corner and a probably a werewolf stashed in the bathroom.
Everyone is there, including a very sour-looking Marcie.
“Was I even on this show?”
Of course, every reality show season finale is basically a glorified clip show, and this is no exception. We get a montage for each of the final players outlining exactly how suspicious they all are and how many missions they sabotaged, along with the added bonus of hearing Jon croon the phrase “dubious deeeeeds”. I like how this is one of the weird quirks of this game, that pretty much anyone could be a saboteur. At times, it seems like there doesn’t even need to be a Mole. People can just be really incompetent on their own.
But wait. Let’s break for a moment to fully admire Liz, who looks absolutely radiant in her bitchin’ Mole fingerprint earrings.
“I wear them to bingo!”
We then get an amusing montage about Bobby. We begin with his application video, where he brags bout his athletic prowess and runs up a set of stairs. Impressive lookalike robot, Bobby. We then get every single clip of Bobby being a superwimp and the requisite close-ups of his withered twig legs, culminating in his humiliating downfall into the dregs of a wheelbarrow. After it’s over and everyone has a good and hearty laugh at the expense of Bobby’s weakness, he attempts to explain himself by saying that he overdid it on the first day and that his body just crapped out from then on and he needed medication and blah blah blah. Everyone laughs some more, and Jon says “We kid because we love”. Ten bucks says Bobby hurled himself off the nearest cliff as soon as they finished taping this.
Bobby, moments before he because exhausted from sitting in the chair and plummeted to the floor.
Okay, enough of these wacky shenanigans. Time to get down to business. Mark, Nicole, and Craig are all locked in their own respective closets, and only Jon posses the sole key that may release the winner. Kinky, Jon. He slides the keys through slots in the doors, gives them the signal, and one door opens to reveal…Mark! Yay Mark wins yay!! He says that the reason he did this is so that his wife will no longer have to work and can now stay home with the kids, and then celebrates in typical Rain Main fashion, all awkward and adorable.
“This money will buy so many boxers from K-Mart!”
And now comes the really fun part. Jon hands Mark the key that will open up the door to the Mole. Mark uses the key, opens the door, and the Mole is…Keyser Soze! I KNEW it!
Oh no, sorry. The Mole is Craig.
And he got a heck of a deal at Men’s Wearhouse! You’re gonna like the way you look!
The other players all go apeshit, while Nicole sulks in her closet.
Uh, we seem to have lost the key, Nicole…sorry…
Craig says a lot of nice stuff to Mark about how he was built for this game and played it perfectly and totally deserved to win. Aw. Nicole is then released from her Fortress of High Bitchitude and sneers to Jon that the whole thing was…interesting. Ugh. Be gone from my sights, wench.
Oh, not yet. First a montage of how she became the Mole’s final victim. Nothing too new here, just a lot of “isn’t Nicole crazy” clips plus the now-beloved Death Threat. It then turns into the story of her and Paul’s rivalry, and we find out that Paul had Craig pegged right form the beginning, and used his gigantic mouth and supreme assclownery to distract the other players and divert them away from suspecting Craig. Nicole, on the other hand, always suspected the wrong person but was very quick with her quizzes, so she always escaped, only to be forced to rework her strategy each time. Eventually she targeted Kristen, Alex, and Craig, evenly splitting them until only Craig was left.
By the end, Nicole and Paul both knew it was Craig, and they tied on their last quiz together. And get this – she beat him by four seconds. Ugh. If, upon hearing this, Paul had suddenly whipped out a couple of machine guns and taken out the entire room, I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised. Instead, he just sits there and gapes, and you just know that this is KILLING him. Don’t worry, Paul. Lemonhead will always be there for you.
“GROW A PAIR, PANSY!”
Next comes Mark’s montage. And this is where it gets really painful. A few weeks in, Victoria was onto Craig, while Mark and Paul were targeting Victoria. But since Victoria mistakenly hit a wrong answer on the quiz, she tied with Mark and Alex, got the slowest time, and was executed. And here’s the kicker: if she had gotten that question right, Mark would have been the one to go home. GAH.
The week Kristen was executed, the same thing happened – she was in a tie with Mark, who, along with Paul, had been targeting her. After she was gone, they both switched to Nicole. That week, Mark tied yet AGAIN, this time with Paul, who had the slower time. After securing the final exemption, he decided to trust Paul when he said that he had gone 100% Nicole, which, since Paul was executed, would signify that Nicole was not the Mole. So he went balls out on Craig, and the rest is history.
Back at the reunion, Mark thanks Clay for being his rock, helping him to win, and for talking him down from the ledge. Alex then leans over and says “You should have pushed him!” Haha. Oh, Alex. I’ve missed your dulcet singing voice. Please, entertain us with one of your little Mole hunting ditties!
“I’ll be here all week! Try the veal!”
Jon smarms that the dossier only held the answer to one of the questions on the quiz, and both Mark and Nicole got it right, making the cost of $75,000 pretty useless. I thought now would be a good time for a maniacal cackle from Jon, but sadly, no dice.
And now it’s time to get the skinny on how Craig sabotaged the game. He says, rather obviously, that his strategy was to be the big teddy bear funny guy, so that now one would suspect him of being devious. In the first mission, the waterfall, he was told to drop the bag, which he did. And the players congratulated him for trying, like it was the Special Olympics or something. Hmm. I guess this says a lot about how society treats nice fatties. Hey sociology grad students: dissertation fodder!
He also covered up some items in the sand mission, and scored a goal for the other team in the soccer mission, which, again, the other players thought was just adorable. He also suggested that Bobby get into that infamous wheelbarrow, which I remember a lot of people saying was a huge clue pointing to Craig. He talked to Victoria after the finish line in the luge mission, and also assigned all those wacky modes of transportation that caused all of the players to opt out of that one mission (that was a pretty big clue, too, how he got picked for that – at breakfast, when he was the first one to mention the word “exemption”, that reeked of being instructed by producers to do so).
In the goggles mission, he asked Nicole a question and got her to speak, which I definitely thought was a Moley thing to do. He also had the answer to the doublet for the last exemption mission, but in order to not seem too suspicious, he didn’t do it right away, so Mark beat him to it. So he got shot instead.
By the way, the rest of the players are great to watch during all this. So much wincing and frustrated sighing. Jon, meanwhile, remains a rock.
“Wow. No, really. Fascinating.”
And for the clock mission, Craig had all of the answers, which I definitely noticed during the episode but thought that it made him less suspicious. UNTIL I thought about it later, and remembered from Season One that the Mole was given all the answers for the last mission in order to put a final chunk of money into the pot. That Mole failed, but Craig succeeded, and that was a big tip-off.
We close the segment with an awesome montage of all the players saying that Craig couldn’t possibly be the Mole and laughing hysterically, followed by a “You Can’t Do That On Television”-style stamping of EXECUTED across their faces. Nice.
Jon then touches on the thing that I had the biggest problem with: Craig passing out in the Andes Mountains. Craig confirms that this was all real, that he really couldn’t breathe and needed medication. AND that the whole time it was happening, the few people on the production team who knew that he was the Mole were really terrified. Yeah, they should be! That’s why you don’t pick a health risk as the Mole, idiots!
I’m a little bitter.
And now it’s time to reveal the hidden clues in each of the episodes. Many of them turned out to be waaay more obscure than any seasons past, which isn’t surprising now that we’re in the era of Lost fanatics, where average viewers are equipped with all sorts of TiVos and DVRs and other outrageous tools for deciphering the tiniest bits of information. There were a bunch of small words and numbers hidden throughout the opening sequence, as usual. And there were a handful of clues in the episodes, the most obvious of which were Craig physically delivering the Mole’s message in the Crusoe mission, and one where Clay was giving an interview and these little “i” sculptures behind them changed between shots from two to four, spelling out “four eyes” —> Craig is the only player with glasses. Plus, as pointed out by many people, Craig’s name was never called in any of the executions.
Oh, and then there’s this chestnut:
Commence the collective head-smacking!
Well, that’s it. But wait! There’s one more surprise! As Jon mentioned this earlier in the evening, I am hoping beyond hope that it will be announced that there will be another season. But nope, Jon tells Mark to stand and that someone is here to see him. Mark, adorable to the very end, quips “I hope it’s not an IRS agent.” Ha! Seriously, Mark needs his own sitcom. Anyway, the surprise is Mark’s wife. He tells her that he won, and that now she can quit her jobs and stay home for the kids. And she’s like, meh.
“That’s nice, hon. Are tacos okay for dinner?”
Mark closes with a very nice speech about how he is humbled and he was fortunate to play with such a great group of people. Awww. Jon says goodbye and thanks for watching, and throws one last smug glance our way.
“I sculpted this candelabra myself.”
Well, that’s it! It was a little obvious towards the end, but I’m the first to admit that I definitely did not suspect Craig for a large portion of the show. I did way back at the beginning, then he fell off my radar after the hypothermia incident. So nice job, Craig’s weakened lungs. You got me good.
Now devour an entire ham solely for my entertainment!
Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope you enjoyed these recaps as much as I enjoyed ripping SmugJon apart every week. And if you really are out there reading these, Jon, thanks for finding us. Your smugness was a beacon of hope in these troubled times.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, kids, and feel free to contact at email@example.com anytime. I do birthday parties and bar mitzvahs. That goes for you too, Jon, I’ve got some burning questions that I’m sure the ‘Gasmers would love to hear the answers to.
Until next time — keep praying that there will be a next time!