. More than any other reality show, The Mole inspires and encourages paranoia in contestants. Watching these people become more and more frazzled week after week is, perhaps oddly, incredibly enjoyable. Then there’s the fact that we get to travel that road with them every week, looking for the tiny hints and clues, and wonder about everything, absolutely everything, we see. What could be better summer fare than that?

I’m still on a little bit of a high this week that Bobby is gone. He just rubbed me the wrong way. Of course, he rubbed a lot of people, like Paul, the wrong way too. Craig actually talked about liking him and Victoria said Bobby was the only one she trusted in the game. I wonder what they saw that we didn’t.

For the first task tonight, the contestants moved to Argentina and everyone had to divide into two teams – the selfish and the selfless. The teams would have to carry 200 gold bricks (or as many as they could manage) up a mountain. The team that made it up to the top first would get an exemption. Each brick that made it to the top would add 250 bucks to the pot and, funnily enough, the selfish team took far fewer bricks than the selfless team.

Throwing a wrench into my "Mark is the mole" theory, he recognized that his team (the selfless ones) had Craig and that with Craig they would be slower and couldn’t possibly get the exemption. He figured that they should therefore grab as much gold as they could and increase the pot more. But, when the team had to grab a 20 pound scale halfway up the mountain, and Mark dropped bricks to do it, I breathed a sigh of relief. Mark was also very happy when Craig had to stop during the trip as the whole team had to arrive, in time, together.

While the selfish team made it to the top with plenty of time to spare (and 23 bricks), the selfless group just barely made it (but with 34 bricks). The selfish team wound up with one little issue though – only one of them could get the exemption, not the whole team. After some discussion, it went to Clay, ensuring his safety this week.

Once it was all said and done though, Craig ended up with hypothermia and altitude sickness. Medics had to be called in. Happily, he was released later that day and seemed fine. As I doubt that the producers would have had that happen on purpose, or faked it in order to dissuade us from considering him, I think we can safely say at this point that Craig isn’t the mole. Plus, he didn’t participate in the rest of the episode’s events (save the quiz), and I don’t see how the mole could have skipped a task and still be the mole.

At dinner that same night, Jon took all the players’ journals from them and left the room. Awesome. I was a little disappointed that he brought them back untouched, but what he did do was to write down a bunch of comments from them. The next task had begun. Jon would give a single player a comment from a journal, and if the player could figure it out cash would be added to the pot.

Despite the fact that the players weren’t allowed to signal one another, Nicole certainly signaled Kristen when Kristen was asked about a quote (Nicole was the author, something Kristen should have known anyway). Very happily, Jon caught Nicole and at the end of the mission he took back the money for that answer. Nicole’s not the mole, she’s too obvious every time she costs the group money, she’s just plain annoying.

After a delicious-looking crème brulee, the contestants all took a lovely trip outside into the brisk night air. Jon, standing in front of a fire, asked one person to volunteer their journal. Alex volunteered his and everyone assumed it was going into the fire. However, it was Alex’s journal, the volunteered one, that was the one book that didn’t get burned to a crisp that night.

That perturbed my mole candidate mightily. Mark, who, we’re told, wrote everything he possibly could in his journal, went from well and truly angry to near tears. And then, he disappeared. Everyone was ready to go home for the night, but Mark was nowhere to be found. I figure he was getting mole-instructions from the producers and he did reappear eventually, never saying where he had headed off to. Mark was even more angry that Craig, not being at the dinner, didn’t lose his journal.

This week also brought the first tie in quiz results this season. Ties mean that the slower player, who was only slower in answering the questions by five seconds this time, goes home. It’s a tough way to go home, tougher than a regular loss, but them’s the breaks.

Despite the fear caused by losing his journal (allegedly), Mark was not eliminated this week. Victoria, however, was. It’s sad, I kind of liked her, not enough to see my choice for mole go, but I liked her.

Questions, questions, questions:

  • What was up with Paul’s lemon face mascot thingy at the beginning of the episode? Where did that come from? Where did that go to? Why didn’t we see it again?
  • What did Victoria mean that it was suspicious that Clay wanted the exemption, how did wanting the exemption make it more like that Clay’s the mole?
  • Only seven mole candidates left, who are you voting for?

The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews – it’s about time.

Posted by:Josh Lasser