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The Mole or not the Mole, That is the Question

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The recently resurrected (though probably only for one season) ABC series The Mole is down to the final three contestants.  Last night they performed their final missions and next week we'll discuss who the mole actually is.  The big problem?  People just don't seem to care.  The ratings are not good, and, as is the case with too many reality shows, at least one of the remaining contestants is hugely annoying. 

In this case, the culprit is Nicole, but it's not as easy as just identifying her.  The real question becomes, as this is The Mole that we're talking about, if she is the mole.  Nicole has been incredibly obnoxious and certainly the most annoying player throughout the competition, but if she's the mole is that a mitigating factor?  What if that's not her real personality, what if she's just hamming it up as a part of her sabotage? 

Let me first say that I don't think she's the mole, at least, I hope she isn't.  She has repeatedly tried to stop the rest of the players from completing tasks, but she sabotages in the most obvious of ways.  She says things that everyone knows can't possibly be true as a way of slowing down the group on missions. 

The problem, if she is the mole, is that she fails at these terribly unsubtle subterfuges.  One could argue that she's actually operating on two levels, that she's trying to ruin tasks by doing obvious things (which she purposely gets caught at) and that she's actually succeeding in ways that are harder to identify.

While possible, I just don't buy that as a notion.  I don't believe she's that smart, I don't think she can operate on more than one level, I don't think she has it in her.  Which means that if she is the mole, she just might be the worst mole ever.  Consequently, I'm hoping she's not the mole, it would just be a disappointing way for the show to go out.

Hypothetically though, if she were the mole, I think it would be a mitigating factor in her obnoxiousness.  I would then hate the character that she has been playing over the course of the season, but not (necessarily anyway) her.  That would be a shame, because I really do want to hate her, I really, really do.

Next week we'll get our answer, but I kind of doubt that the ratings will be any better for the finale than they have been thus far.  If someone hasn't been watching all season, I don't know why they'd be curious about the ending.  Unless, of course, they've recorded all the episodes and are going to watch the last one first (kind of like finding out whodunit in a mystery and then going back and reading the rest of the book).  But, let's face it, that's a pretty ludicrous way of watching a TV show.   Also, the Olympics will be on, so I don't see a huge lookie loo tune-in factor when the Olympics are on across the dial.  There may be a small bounce, but it's not going to make the finale into a huge deal.

It's actually a shame, because the show is really fun.  The tasks the players have to do are interesting, the guessing game the players are taking part in (figuring out who is the mole) is also one that the audience can participate in.  I'm not surprised at the low ratings for the series, just kind of disappointed, I think that if people had given the show a chance they would have enjoyed it.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.