Hello again, folks. Again, apologies for the lateness, but now I am back from vacation and promise all sorts of up-to-the-minute Mole-y goodness. You don’t want to miss out on a single second of my completely off-base, totally wrong commentary.We begin this week with a Buenos Aires montage that – hey, there’s a giant clock that says “Paul” on it! I scream this to my living room. Viewing partner rolls his eyes. Moving on. SmugJon sure is at his smuggest today, and is also once again ready for a scuba expedition.
“Does my wetsuit turn you on?”
Jon points out that they are at an abandoned mill. I suppose that Lassie will arrive to save Timmy at any moment. After an unnecessarily complicated breaking-up process, the teams are Mark and Paul, and Nicole and Craig (again). Craig and Paul are to complete a series of simple tasks, but with one catch: Craig and Paul will be wearing some sort of fancy goggles, while Nicole and Mark will have video cameras and will be controlling what Craig and Paul see. Oh, and the images will be reversed. Oh, and they won’t be able to talk to each other. Oh, and they’ll all be on fire.
The first challenge is for Paul to play with a child’s toy, wherein he must put colorful plastic shapes into a colorful plastic box. And out of NOWHERE, SmugJon decides to bust out his very best Sesame Street voice. Rising his tone up into a register that only dogs can hear, he patiently and slowly recites the directions to the two, throwing in as much condescension as humanly possible. Oh, and he can’t resist throwing his smarmy head into the shot as often as he can. This is gonna be fun.
Once he’s done with his Elmo impression, he immediately drops back down into that booming baritone to blare “IT’S NOT AS EASY AS IT SEEMS!” Haha. Someone give this guy an Emmy. Meanwhile, Paul says in voiceover that if there’s anyone he would want to be his reverse eyes, it would be Mark. Yeah, I’ve often thought of who I would want to be my reverse eyes. I lose sleep over it nightly.
Paul begins the task, one that I’m sure is making the dyslexics in the audience weep with reckless abandon. Whenever he messes up, he blames it on some fictional feedback, which is a stupid strategy, but whatever. He gets all three blocks in and earns $3,000. Nicole and Craig are up next, and – dammit, Jon! Get out of the shot!
Jon “You Can Pry The Spotlight From My Cold, Dead Hands” Kelley
Nicole isn’t so good at aiming the camera, and complains that, as a laparoscopic surgeon, she would have been able to do this easily. Craig, meanwhile, is doing okay, but then asks if he’s on the right track and Nicole actually answers. Which means that they will only earn two grand instead of three. Hmm. A form of sabotage ripped straight from the pages of the Mole handbook. The evidence pointing to Craig is getting harder and harder to ignore.
A soccer challenge is next, and both Paul and Craig fail at kicking a ball into a net. Up next is a tea party, wherein Paul and Craig must pour four cups of tea, without spilling any onto the table or saucers, and must get the unidentifiable liquid up to a certain line. How very Double Dare. Jon ducks his head into the camera once again, and this time suffers the consequences, as Paul reaches out to grab his swollen-with-smug head. “DO NOT TOUCH THE HOST!” Jon bellows, flames shooting from his eyes.
“I WILL DESTROY YOU!”
Paul pours three cups but spills on the last one, so only gets money for two. Craig also pours three, but spills on two of them because he bumped into the table. Oh fat Mole, what crazy hijinks will you get up to next??
Finally, Paul and Craig must walk across a narrow plank of wood from one rooftop to another, pick up a piece of chalk in the middle, then write “The Mole Was Here” on a chalkboard. Paul freaks out a little once the camera is turned on, but he makes it across the plank and over to the board, where he writes “Mole Was Here”, then at the last second notices the “The” and writes it in. Weird thing: I thought the camera was in reverse? Yet in these shots the words are written normally. Jon, please to explain.
Next, Craig starts to make his way across, and his combination of vertigo and a fear of heights isn’t exactly helping him out. He’s way off on the chalk, keeps veering really close to the edge, and is overall just a gigantic failure at life. Eventually he gets it, but then takes FOREVER and is not able to haul ass to the chalkboard in time. I hope, when it is revealed that Craig is the Mole, he admits that he has no fear of heights at all, and is in fact an avid fan of high-rise window washing.
The next day, Jon reconvenes the players in an abandoned warehouse or factory or something. (Quick Lassie! Timmy’s trapped in the meat grinder!) Jon tells them that there is an exemption in play tonight, which Mark is thrilled about because he’s been talking about it nonstop. I hope for Christmas this year Mark just gets a bunch of boxes filled with little cards that say “Exemption”. Best Christmas ever.
Here’s how this mission, called “Cell Out”, works: The players will each be trapped in their own individual cell. They must solve a puzzle, a doublet – change “cell” to “mole” by only changing one letter at a time. The first person to solve it will become the sniper. That person must then shoot paintballs at the other players as they maneuver through an obstacle course and out of the building. For each player that makes it through, $15,000 is added to the pot. But the players will also be carrying cards, one of which is an exemption, and if the sniper shoots that player then the exemption is theirs. Mark starts going all Rain Man again when he hears this, bouncing and rocking and whatnot. Were he to start chanting something about boxer shorts and K-Mart, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.
“Fifteen minutes to Wapner.”
So the game begins. Mark solves it almost immediately, which makes him the sniper. Nicole and Craig aren’t far behind, but they decide to wait for Paul, who has experience with paintball. Paul, however, has little to no experience with the English language and may very well be illiterate, as it takes him fourteen whole minutes to solve the damn thing.
SOMEone failed out of the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good…
Once Paul is out, they strategize for a moment and jump into the obstacle course. Paul goes first, drawing fire from poor Mark, who is so desperate for an exemption but has never played paintball in his life. Paul, Craig, and Nicole do pretty well, all moving at the same time. Mark eventually shoots and actually succeeds in hitting Paul, but since the paintball doesn’t burst, it doesn’t count. Daaamn. That sucks. Mark almost loses it, and I think it would have been worth it just to watch him pump a few rounds into a nearby cameraman. Or Jon, even. You know he would stand there and take it, shaking his head patronizingly the entire time.
Mark gets Nicole, and she’s out. In the resulting confusion, Paul makes a run for it and successfully gets out the door, adding $15,000 to the pot. Craig, who has all the speed and agility of a drunken hippopotamus, gets shot not soon after. Now it’s time to find out who has the exemption. Jon puts on his gigantic bug eyes for the occasion.
“That’s a lot of middle fingers.”
The exemption was determined by the cell numbers that the players chose, so it is completely random. Nicole goes first, and her card is empty. So now the big question is whether Craig has it. He opens up the card, and it contains…a Clorox commercial! Why must they torture us like this??
After the break, Craig opens his card again to reveal the exemption. While Mark shits himself in euphoria…
“I have to change my pants!”
Paul throws a little hissy fit. He complains that they got this far by using their wits (HA) and to get an exemption at the last minute is like getting a free pass. Yes, Paul, one that Mark earned by using his wits and spelling skills, which have eluded you ever since the first grade. So silence, mortal.
Over dinner, Paul and Nicole sort of forge a truce, recognizing that they both played a very similar game and that’s why they’re both still in it. Craig sums it up nicely by pointing out that there is a good side and an evil side, and blah blah let’s just get to the quiz. Sadly, no fashion questions this time. Looks like Tim Gunn took the week off, probably to keep practicing at how to say “Holla at your boys!”
Paul is gunning for Craig, Craig is gunning for Nicole, and Nicole doesn’t say who she’s onto but pretty much accuses everyone. Time for the results, and the red thumb goes to…Paul.
Farewell, Captain Obnoxious. We’ll miss your…uh…we’ll miss Lemon Head.
Sooooo, I guess it’s Craig. Everyone seems to think so, and I must admit that there have been more than enough occasions where he has exhibited some blatant Mole activity. Then again, Paul was gunning for Craig, and he lost…? But that can easily be blamed on Paul’s stupidity. I still don’t think it’s Nicole, if for no other reason than that the producers couldn’t possibly have willingly endured her for this long. And I really really want Mark to win, because I think he’s The Shit and has played the game fantastically. Though there is a small part of me that hopes that he is, in fact, the Mole. Even though he is usually the one to put the most money into the pot and it wouldn’t really make sense, a surprise of that magnitude would just be absolutely groin-grabbingly awesome.
Thoughts? What sort of fruit shall we use to replace ole Lemon Head?