Official "The Mole 5" Season Finale Summary
"How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Screwed Paul out of $420,000"
...In honor of mysticwolf, who is the awesomest person ever.
This season, on The Mole: The Next Next Next Next Betrayal!
...Look, if you haven't been paying attention this season, then you're watching the wrong show. You would've been executed weeks and weeks ago. If this is your first episode, then welcome to the reality show equivalent of "Columbo." Just think about that analogy for a moment.
Jonderson: "Welcome to the finale of The Mole. Tonight, we're going to find out who wins the $420,000 grand prize as well as revealing who's been sabotaging the games all season. We've trapped the final three contestants into department store dressing rooms, where they await the quiz results and various shoplifting misdemeanors. We've also reunited the 9 other contestants in a last ditch attempt to humiliate them. And by 'them,' I mean Bobby."
(Bobby looks nervous)
Jonderson: "But first, more recapping. Here's a video montage of the Final 3 players failing at life."
The montage plays, and it's pretty much stuff we've already seen before. It's become clear by now that The Mole is trying to overthrow Big Brother for the key "Most Recapping per Square Minute" category. We learn that Nicole is a double-apple-vision sufferer of logic deficiency order, Craig is a chatty luge exemption-face, and Mark is a modest cyclist exemption-face. Like we didn't know that already.
Jonderson: "Before we reveal who actually is the Mole, we're going to faff about for another ten minutes. And by 'faff about,' I mean 'humiliate Bobby.' Let's roll the tape!"
New montage! Bobby billed himself as the biggest fan ever, arguing that his fandom would give him a leg up in the game. In fact, he bragged about his physical prowess in his audition video. On paper, it looked like Bobby should've been an unstoppable force in the game. Then South America happened, which happens Bobby's one and only weakness. As we all know, Bobby lost his ability to walk, rode around in the infamous wheelbarrow, and eventually got a mercy execution from the producers.
Jonderson: "So, Bobby. How are you feeling?"
Bobby: (grimaces) "I hate you."
Jonderson: (ignoring him) "What's the medical diagnosis? Why was it so hard?"
Bobby: "Well, I just tired myself out too quickly. When we got to the beach, I was sprinting really fast and building lots of sand castles. Then my muscles started cramping up, and Craig secretly fed me doses of nerve toxin."
Jonderson: "But what about the wheelbarrow incident?"
Bobby: "What part of 'nerve toxin' don't you understand?"
Jonderson: "Well, it was great having you on the show. You know we pick on you because we love you."
Bobby: "I hate you."
Thankfully, we're saved by a commercial break. During the commercials, Paul attacked Bobby, Victoria giggled incoherently, and Alex consumed three bottles of wine. You know, the usual stuff.
Jonderson: "Now, it's time to reveal who has won the $420,000 pot."
(Pot-smokers around the country giggle at the number, and then take another hit.)
Jonderson: "I've got three futuristic-looking card keys in my hand, and I'm going to give one to each player. Whoever's card key opens their door is the winner."
(Jonderson slides each card key into their door slots.)
Jonderson: "Players, try to open your doors."
Each of the players try their card key, and eventually one of the doors opens. The executed players look on in excitement, constituting five separate suspense shots for the audience at home. And finally, Mark jumps out of his closet to wild applause.
Jonderson: "How surprised are you to win?"
Mark: "I'm shocked and humbled. Shocked that I won, and humbled that I didn't win a real reality show. I did this so my wife wouldn't have to work anymore, with the new baby coming and all... And now I can finally push her out of the workforce. That's good for the economy."
Jonderson: "Quiet, you. It's time to reveal who the Mole is. Mark, since you know who it is, go put this card key in that slot over there."
(Mark obediently puts the card key in, and the door to the Mole's room opens.)
...And then a commercial break. Those bastards. The viewers at home watch the commercials, making sure to never, ever buy any of their products again.
The Mole's door has opened, and it gives the audience one last moment to second-guess themselves. I mean, It's pretty obvious that Craig's the Mole, but couldn't it be possible that Nicole has pulled off the biggest double-bluff of all time? Many players thought Nicole was too obvious... Which would just be the perfect front... It would be risky, but no one would ever believe the Mole would try it... What a brilliant Mole strategy... Man, that would be so crazy... Everyone on the message boards would be shocked. That would be so cool... Mmmmm, these Cheetos are delicious...
Finally, Craig steps out of the shadows, crashing this stream of consciousness fantasy into tiny pieces. Craig showers some praise on Mark's awesomeness, and Jonderson finally remembers that Nicole's still trapped in her room. He begrudgingly opens the door.
Jonderson: "Here's a look at the way Nicole played the game."
Nicole's montage begins.
From the beginning, Nicole's strategy was to harass her way to the top. This would hopefully lead to a mass suicide-execution of the other players, and only she and the Mole would remain. Maybe even only her. It was working pretty well too, as she was immediately voted "Biggest Whiner." It also made Paul her mortal enemy.
Ironically, Paul was playing the exact same strategy. Since people are afraid of New Yorkers, Paul decided to act the part. And, according to Paul, that part is a loud-mouthed sociopathic jerk. He quickly figured out Craig was the Mole, and spent the rest of the time making the other players' lives hell. His frequent fights with Nicole and subsequent death threats caused players like Ali and Kristen to question Nicole's sanity. It almost worked on Nicole, as she seriously considered quitting the game, and going with the nice men in white jackets to the lovely place with the padded rooms.
At first, Nicole mistakenly thought Bobby was the Mole. Bobby left because Paul's a jerk so Nicole switched to Victoria... Followed by Kristen... Followed by Alex. Basically, if Nicole thought you were the Mole, then you were pretty much screwed. When Craig survived this curse, she finally figured it out. From there, it was a matter of beating Paul at his own game, which she did. But she couldn't overcome Mark's obsessive note-taking. Not even Craig could've beaten Mark on that quiz.
Jonderson: "Nicole, what was it like having to endure Paul for five weeks?"
Nicole: "It was terrible. It was like hanging out a horrible New Yorker version of myself all day."
Jonderson: "Paul, how does it feel to have pegged the Mole from Day 1 and still not win?"
Paul: "It feels great, Jon. Thanks for asking."
(Paul pulls out baseball bat menacingly. Security snatches it away in a violent struggle.)
Paul: "On Day 1, I got a Sharpee marker and wrote the word 'Mole' on Craig's forehead. Just from reading his face, I knew he was the Mole. Craig tried to convince me it was Mark, but nobody's stupid enough to believe that."
Jonderson: "Ali, do you still think Nicole is crazy?"
Ali: "Of course I don't. Having dissociative identity disorder is totally normal."
Nicole: "Gold digger."
Mark's montage is next. We already know that Mark's family was a huge motivator for him, and that his strategy was to form a coalition with another player. That player was Clay, and they both suspected that Victoria was the Mole. Victoria got executed, though, tying both Alex and Mark for the lowest score. As she rushed through her quiz, she hit a wrong answer. If she hadn't have done so, Mark would've been executed that night. This version of events is pretty impossible to prove, so we'll just smile and nod and believe the producers' story. It sounds better anyway.
They targeted Kristen next (bye Kristen!), and finally settled on Nicole. Alex also suspected Nicole, so he left. This should've tipped them off that Nicole probably wasn't the Mole, but Mark had to learn the hard way. And by "Mark," you know I mean "Clay." Mark watched as Clay got executed, pretty much proving that Craig was the Mole. He won an exemption at a crucial moment to buy time, and beat Nicole in the head-to-head showdown. And the whole world let out a giant sigh of relief.
Jonderson: "How does it feel to have been so close to execution so many times?"
Mark: "If Kathy Griffin can win that way, so can I."
Jonderson: (shuddering) "Don't ever mention those seasons to me."
Mark: "Okay, well actually I knew it already. When Clay left, I knew how wrong I was this entire season, and I had no idea whether I would beat Nicole."
Nicole: "To me, it was pretty obvious you won. You had six volumes of encyclopedic notes on Craig versus my numerous doodles of Paul dying in horrific accidents. Besides, you had that dossier."
Jonderson: "Well, actually, that dossier had the quiz answer to one question in it, which you both got right. So it didn't matter. But it ended up costing Mark $75,000."
Mark: "Yeah, but I'd spend $75K to win $420K any day."
Jonderson: "But you didn't need to. That's the point."
Mark: (nodding to self) "It's a good investment."
Jonderson: (disgustedly) "Whatever. I'm done talking to you."
Mark: (still nodding) "It's a good investment."
Jonderson: "Craig, how did you keep Mark off your trail for so long?"
Craig: "It was easy. I became his friend. I acted like Mark's protege the whole time. No one ever suspects someone who looks up to you. That's why short people make such good spies in the James Bond films. Remember that Oddjob guy? That guy was awesome."
Alex: "Hey, why aren't you asking me any questions to me, Jon?"
Kristen: "Yeah, me too!"
Liz: "And me!"
(Jonderson snaps his fingers and Alex, Kristen, and Liz are ushered away by security.)
Jonderson: "Victoria, how does it feel to know one second cost you the game?"
Victoria: (giggling incoherently) "One game didn't cost me the game. My poor clicking skills cost me the game. But still, I probably would've screwed it up eventually anyway, so it's really a moot point."
Craig's montage is next.
Craig's strategy as the Mole was to be the fun loveable type. He feels that overweight people tend to be underestimated and not viewed as particularly smart or talented. Therefore, Craig decided to fail spectacularly in the challenges, thereby furthering this tragic stereotype. This is the part where they go over the individual sabotages, but you know them already. The only thing new we learned was that he actively hid two of the "Crusoe" items from the other players. Craig actually thought his cover was blown after his "Travelers" sabotage. He couldn't believe he got away with that one. Everyone ended up trying to figure out who opted to quit the mission, instead of pointing the finger at him. Besides, if they would've, Paul would've just smacked their hands and blamed Nicole anyway.
Craig Paul did such a good job diverting suspicion that no one (except Paul) voted for Craig until Week 7. To illustrate this, we’re treated to a mini-montage of the executed players laughing about how great Craig is and how much he tries. It’s also one final attempt to humiliate Bobby, which is always worthwhile.
Jonderson: “Craig, do you have something to say to the players?”
Craig: “Thanks for being good sports. Some people are upset after being so thoroughly owned on national television. Like all those New England Patriots haters out there.”
Jonderson: “What do you think made Craig such a good Mole, Mark?”
Mark: “He’s an affable guy. His charisma brainwashes you into believing everything he says.”
Craig: "I've conned them all out of so much of their money."
Jonderson: "From the pot, of course."
Craig: (shifty eyes) "Of course, of course."
Jonderson: “Victoria, I obviously have some sort of odd crush on you, so I’m going to continue throwing questions your way. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate Craig as the Mole?”
Victoria: (giggling incoherently) “Probably a 100. Fun people aren't the Mole. People like Nicole are the Mole."
Jonderson: “Craig, there’s just one loose end we have to tie up. Did you fake that whole ambulance ride?”
Craig: “Oh, no. That was just the ghost of Bobby temporarily possessing me. That, and I wanted to screw with the producers, who were all making nervous looks at each other when it happened. A quickie exorcism cleansed me of Bobby and I was good to go.”
Jonderson: “Marcie, here’s a stupid question. Did you even suspect Craig at all?”
Marcie: “Of course not! And even if I did, Paul would’ve squashed those suspicions anyway.”
Finally, it’s time to reveal the hidden clues that were in each episode for the viewers at home. They range from being ridiculously simple to baffling cryptic. Because these clues are created directly for the fans, it should be the fans’ responsibility to evaluate how full of crap they are. Therefore, we will be using the Crap Factor. A score of “1” denotes a legitimate clue, while a “10” will be reminiscent of Season 1’s clues.
Episode 1 – During the “Crusoe” game, Craig brought over a sign written by the Mole to the players. Being the Mole himself, Craig has literally “delivered” the message to them.
Crap Factor – 6. It’s tough to call this clue legitimate when a much more logical clue, the green thumbprint on Victoria’s helmet only, turned out to be a red herring. It's sad to say that such a specious correlation would still score a six... Then again, this is a show that centered an entire season's clues around the number "7."
Episode 2 – In the opening map graphic, the destinations contained the letters “NOT ALI,” stating that she isn’t the Mole.
Crap Factor – 11 (my scale goes to 11). We understand the logic that the show has done two models in a row and to eliminate that fear. But such a tough clue to eliminate one player? Especially a player who gets bribed in the following week’s episode? I want my six hours of sleuthing back, producers.
Episode 3 – In the intro screen, one of the graphics displayed the number “619262312,” which represented the Area Codes of the Final 3 players. “619” for Craig, “262” for Mark and “312” for Nicole.
Crap Factor – 10. Even after knowing who the Final 3 is, I couldn’t tell what this clue meant when they showed it. I mean, how likely is this scenario to happen?
Mole Guy: “Look at these 9 digits I found amongst all the other scrambled crap in the credits! It has to be a clue!”
Mole Girl: “9 digits? They must be the area codes of the final three players! It’s the only thing it could possibly be!”
Mole Guy: “Hey, and I just happen to know Craig, Mark, and Nicole’s area codes off the top of my head!”
Mole Girl: “That means they must be the Final 3 players!”
Mole Guy: “But this clue still doesn’t prove who’s the Mole!”
Mole Girl: “You're right. Let's make out.”
Um, yeah. Tons of people definitely had that conversation.
Episode 4 – Three audio clues, alluding to the Final 3 players. Mark is represented by a school bell ringing during Craig’s medevac, and Nicole (as an OBGYN) is represented by a baby’s cry at dinner. Later, we randomly hear Craig’s distinctive laugh, despite him not even being present at the moment.
Crap Factor – 2. It gains a Crap Point for being another clue that doesn’t directly point to the Mole. Otherwise, it’s pretty solid. Each sound effect passes by pretty inconspicuously, but none really make much sense in the context of things. Curse you, post-production sound mixers.
Episode 5 – During the “All For One” mission, the letters “CRG” can be seen on the wall behind Mark, which is an abbreviation for “Craig.”
Crap Factor – 1. It pointed directly to the Mole, and still managed to be missed by the viewing audience. It’s the kind of clue that makes you feel stupid for not noticing it at the time. Even Corbin Bernsen would’ve spotted this clue.
Episode 6 – They recapped all the previous clues and then added a new one in the map graphic. The latitude and longitude coordinates in the bottom left correspond to the Mole’s hometown, San Diego.
Crap Factor – 4. The only person who solved this clue was Craig’s ex-girlfriend who’s been stalking him for the past three months.
Episode 7 – While Clay speculated on the identity of the Mole, the background was different than other scenes. The four I-shaped statues is a play on the expression “four eyes.” Craig is the only person who wore glasses.
Crap Factor – 2. A nice solid visual clue, although a bit on the obvious side. It's not like the producers interrupted Clay's confessional to setup two I-statues. Even if they did, Clay (and therefore Mark) probably would've still voted Nicole anyway.
Episode 8 – In one of the show’s graphics, the words “roja corbata” is hidden. Translated from Spanish, that means “red tie,” which Craig wore in that episode.
Crap Factor – 6. C’mon, were we really supposed to fervently inspect every single commercial bumper for clues? And those words were totally tiny and blurry. Not all of us has HD television sets, you know. This clue propogates an elitist bias.
Episode 9 – During each of the executions, you’ll notice that Craig’s name was never entered into the computer. That’s because, as the Mole, he had no chance of leaving.
Crap Factor – 3. It’s something you notice, but you’re not sure if it actually means anything. Well, um, Alex was the only player in the Final 6 to not receive an exemption. That's because he didn't need an exemption, right?
Nope. Red screen for Alex.
Episode 10 – During a commercial bumper, audio distortion can clearly be heard. When played backwards, you can plainly hear the words, “Craig buried Paul.”
Crap Factor – 2. I tried putting my TiVo on a backwards-revolving record player. The needle scratched it all to hell. Screw this clue.
Anyway, Jonderson has one more treat for us. They have brought in Mark's wife from the parking lot, so Mark can tell her that he's won the game. She looks happy, but not particularly surprised. It's not like they're going to drag her on camera to reveal that Mark finished 2nd. We're greeted to one tender moment between the two of them, and Jonderson thanks us for watching this season.
Due to the low ratings, this looks like the end for The Mole. Which would be such a shame, since it's one of the smartest shows on television... Including the scripted shows. Against just the reality shows, that competition just wouldn't be fair. But maybe the American public don't deserve to have shows like this one. After all, you've seen the ratings for "Wipeout." Those Nielsen families love that show. If America loves shows like those, then America deserves those show.
Ah well. There's always hope for an actor's strike.
Hopefully, it's not time to retire this siggie yet!