Greetings, fellow lovers of The Mole! Are you ready for some AWESOME MOLE ACTION?! MOLE!!! AHH!
Let me explain. I LOVE The Mole. I’m not sure there is a bigger fan on the planet of this show than me. It is my favorite reality game show of all time. I’ve seen every season, developed an unhealthy obsession with Anderson Cooper, and even tried to run my own Mole game with my friends (which had to end early due to some unforeseen circumstances, but was still fun while it lasted) (And yeah, I’m a nerd, what of it?). I cannot convey through words or interpretive dancing or even shadow puppetry how much I adore this show. Even the celebrity versions, which, while not quite as intriguing as the others, were still awesome. Why? Because the GAME is awesome. The game is solid. The game is sound. When it went off the air I cried for days, and when I heard it was coming back I cried for weeks. I suppose I should seek medical attention.So why, you may ask, if I want to have sex with this show, is this recap so late? Well, it’s not because I was too busy sobbing, if that’s what you’re thinking. Let me explain. When the premiere aired last week, I was on vacation in Ireland. This may sound delightful, and it was. It was truly magical and lovely and, as the tour guide screamed ad nauseum, “ABsolutely GOOORgeous!” What was not magical was the flying portion of this little journey. My first flight was delayed five hours, causing me to miss the connection to Dublin and require an emergency couch-crashing session in Newark, New Jersey. So I had to fly out the next day, and THAT flight was delayed for another four hours, finally leaving at around 1:30am. Then I drank some Guinness and pranced around with some leprechauns and stole a sheep and whatnot. Fine. Fun. Coming home. I planned to get in last night early enough to watch the show, write the recap, and then crash for the next 24 hours. But then, in a not-even-shocking-anymore turn of events, the plane was delayed for two hours on the runway and when I got home all I could do is crawl into bed. And I could barely do that. I think I woke up half on the floor.
So after a grand total of ELEVEN HOURS of delays, here’s the plan. For this week and this week only, I will be doing an abbreviated, liveblogging version of a recap. I apologize and wish I could have done a full one, but the travel gods or St. Christopher or possibly Satan himself had other plans for me. So enjoy this one, and tonight’s episode and every one after that will be chock full of Moley goodness.
Okay, let’s do this. I’m creaming my pants in anticipation.
8.51am: Limited commercial interruption makes me want to purchase some Listerine. It IS 8.51am, after all. (Fuck you, jet lag.)
9:00am: Okay, so the ABC Full Episode Player likes to crash my computer. Thanks, ABC!
9:01am: Oh my God, the green satellite images zeroing in on a location in South America. The CTU noises. The eerie Mole music. It’s really happening! I’m so damn excited I just spilled juice all over myself.
9:03am: Some dude in sensible khakis is walking toward the edge of a waterfall. Judging by the smugness of his voiceover, I think I prefer that he keep on walking to his doom.
9:06am: After an intro of the players that leads me to conclude that the casting directors of this show really love gigantic necks and the ability to snidely nod at the camera, they get out of their vans and meet the host, Jon Kelley, who is a sports journalist, apparently. Apologies for my ignorance. I don’t do sport.
“Hi, I’m smug.”
“Is that Barack Obama?”
9:15am: Okay, the internet REALLY hates my computer. Restarting.
9:24am: We got it now. The players have all voted by secret ballot and the majority think that Marcie is the Mole. Marcie, a stay-at-home mom, is fine with this, as she now gets to make decisions for the rest of the group for the next 24 hours. Her first decree? Oversized novelty hats.
9:26am: Jon explains the history of the waterfall and says that it gave him a great idea for the first mission. Like this dude has any say whatsoever in the production process. Just say the lines and be smug, JON.
9:30am: The mission is for Marcie to pick six players to raft over the waterfall and grab for a bag of money, while the other five will be diving for nothing. Alex, a musician, explains that his biggest fear is falling from a great height and drowning. That’s so incredibly specific, Alex. Even more specific than my fear of being eaten by a two-headed panda while doing the Lindy Hop.
9:33am: Alex misses and everyone yells “He’s the Mole!” So, not the sharpest tools in the shed here. Also, I would KILL to do this challenge. It looks so fun. Why do people who willingly sign up for these adventure reality shows always piss and groan about doing tasks that any normal adventure fan would positively relish?
“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over my boobs.”
9:39am: After a series of successes, the Token Old Bag named Liz grabs the bag and says that she was happy to have the chance to “show my stuff”. Cut to a shot of her hanging spread-eagled off the waterfall. Thanks, editors!
That’s quite enough of your “stuff”, Liz.
9:43am: The Token Likable Fattie named Craig worries about the crane not being able to hold him. He goes over the falls and everyone freaks and cut to commercial! DAMN YOU MOLE!
9:43am: I’m happy that former President David Palmer from 24 is finding work with those Allstate commercials, but every time I see them I just really want him to carjack a truck containing the ambassador of Unnamed Terrorist-Supporting Country and careen it out of a building.
9:46am: Craig is fine, but almost got hanged by the harness in the process. Safety first!
9:50am: Out of the six bags caught, only two of them (caught by manly history teacher/soccer coach Mark and manly attorney Clay) have real money in them, adding $20,000 to the pot and proving that Marcie is sexist, ageist, and biased against skinny, whiny restaurant owners. Looking at you, BOBBY.
The dangers of taking on Uncle Moneybags as a client.
9:51am: A group of rainforest natives stare at the heap of crushed rafts in the river below, and shed a single tear.
9:56am: Marcie gets to pick where the players sleep tonight, and it looks like Nicole, Liz, Craig, and Bobby are sleeping outside in the cold. Nicole, rather than pitching a tent, pitches a fit.
9:59am: Nicole the OBGYN declares that since the rules state that she only has to sleep outside, she’s going to stay inside and remain awake all night. Everyone scoffs while she settles in for a sleep-deprived night in her ivory tower.
“Mustn’t frost the loins!”
10:03am: Craig breaks a chair. He’s so FAT!
10:05am: The teams are instructed, via Jon via a camera phone thingy, to go to the beach and dress accordingly. I really hope someone breaks out one of those old-timey swimsuits with pantaloons.
10:07am: Okay, now I really hate Nicole. Jon asks them to pick the biggest whiner, and when they all settle on her she says in interview: “I just voice my opinions. What’s wrong with being smart and gorgeous at the same time?” Who said anything about beauty, Ohmarosa Jr? Shut it.
10:11am: Jon gives a book report on Robinson Crusoe. And what did you bring for show and tell?
10:12am: Fun challenge! Nicole, or Dr. Whiner, as she now prefers to be called, picks the teams. Six scavengers have to find items scattered around the beach and bring them to the three appraisers, who must figure out which items Robinson would have had on the island in 1704. Two timekeepers have to scoop up sand from the beach and refill a giant hourglass in order to give everyone else enough time.
10:18am: Trainwreck! The scavengers are out-of-shape idiots who keep bringing back things like hairdressers and vacuum cleaners. I do, however, enjoy the goat.
10:21am: The challenge ends. The team gets $15,000 for three correct items: a musket, a bible, and the adorable goat. No credit for a revolver or – get ready for this – blue jeans. Seriously? BLUE JEANS? Nice work, history teacher and neurosurgeon. Our nation’s youth and our nation’s stroke victims are in serious trouble.
10:24am: Nicole gets left alone on the island for the night, ironically now being forced to sleep outside. Well, if she gets lonely, there’s always the goat.
10:30am: The team has dinner with Jon, and vague hypotheses are bandied about, along with a healthy dose of boring chitchat. These dinners don’t get fun until a few episodes in, and really only if Anderson Cooper is present. I really miss him! Do we think we could helicopter him in for an episode or two?
10:32am: Mark cries about the fact that his wife has worked two jobs while raising three kids, and he wants to win the money so she won’t have to do that anymore. Then maybe you should learn when blue jeans were invented, idiot.
10:35am: Quiz time!! Standard questions. I love the really tricky ones. Who was wearing a hat at the beginning of the Crusoe mission? Me, that’s who. Sombrero all the way.
10:42am: The team is released from their alien-infested gazebo.
To quote Sir Will Smith, “Now THAT’S what I call a close encounter!”
10:43am: The team sit down for the first execution. Nicole joins them via video from the island and is told that since she is not present, she has earned the first exemption and cannot be executed tonight. Pretty sure video cameras didn’t exist on Robinson Crusoe’s island in 1704.
10:45am: Jon explains the rules of the execution process, and Paul shakes his head in disbelief, as if he had no idea that this was coming and is thoroughly disgusted. You know what disgusts me, Paul? Your face.
10:46am: I see we’ve upgraded into the 21st century and gone with a touch-screen format for the quiz results. I personally prefer the painstaking typing-into-the-keyboard process. Anything to showcase Anderson Cooper’s impressive secretarial skills.
10:48am: This quiz result computer must be running on Vista, as every name is taking a minimum of five minutes to display the happy green thumb. Just get to it. I don’t know how much more of Jonny Smugface I can take.
“Only I may touch the Screen Of Fate.”
10:50am: Marcie gets the red fingerprint! Haha. So everyone’s first gut reaction as to the Mole’s identity was completely off base. We sure do have a crack squad of savvy gumshoes here this season, kids. Marcie is led off the premises by Jon while the rest of the team reminisces about her and her snippy qualities.
So, yay Mole! Too early for any suspicions, I’d say, but I’ll tell you one thing. I’m so happy this show has retained its format and stayed true to its humble beginnings. This is one of the very first reality game shows that came out (right after Survivor, I believe), and I was worried that they’d update and throw in all kinds of stupid shit to dumb it down for the kind of people who enjoy Don’t Forget The Lyrics. But it’s still awesome. (I realize that talking about “dumbing down” a reality show has its own brand of irony, but let’s just look past that for the moment. I’m jet-lagged, remember.)
I’m beyond psyched. What do you all think?