T.V. Series Review: The Mole Season 2

The Mole Season 2 Trailer

The Mole Season 2 Summary

Season 2, Episode 1

Born Leaders: The 14 players were all blindfolded and taken to Castle Taraspin Switzerland. Once there, they were instructed to remove their blindfolds, meeting each other for the first time. Immediately, they were charged with selecting two players who seemed to be “Born Leaders”. Those two players would then choose who would take part in the next three challenges, as well as how much each challenge would be worth: One challenge would be worth $40,000, another $20,000, and the other $0. None of the other 12 players would know how much each challenge was worth until after all three challenges are completed.

Bike/Crossbow Biathlon: Three players would ride a bike down a steep incline to retrieve two arrows, then return up the incline to the starting point where an archery target was located. Using a crossbow, each player would have to shoot an arrow into the center of the target (marked by the iconic thumbprint). If both arrows missed, the player would have to get two more arrows. If all three players hit the target in less than 30 minutes, the game was won.

Pulse Rope Walk: Four players had one hour to traverse a tightrope suspended high off the ground. Each player was hooked up to a heart monitor; whenever the player’s pulse rate exceeded 130 beats per minute, the player had to stop immediately and wait for his/her pulse to lower in order to continue. The last player to cross had two different sets of ropes to traverse; the second set was narrower and higher off the ground. The game is a success if all four players complete their portion in under an hour total.

Swing for Life: Five players were required to swing by a rope off a bridge spanning over a raging river. Only if all five players completed the swing was the game considered a success. An exemption was offered to the last player if he/she refused to swing.

Burn Bags Burn: In the hours before the challenge, the players were given journals and an opportunity to interview their fellow players to gain personal information on each other. Afterwards, they were taken to a bonfire, where they discovered that their knapsacks – containing all of their belongings – were dangling over the fire. Four players were nominated, and asked questions taken from their fellow players’ contestant applications. If the team could get all eight questions right $40,000 would be won and the luggage would be safe. If they even get one question wrong, no money would be won. If four questions were answered incorrectly, the luggage would be lowered into the fire and destroyed. It was later revealed in the next episode that the bags were fakes, and their belongings had not been destroyed.

Season 2, Episode 2

Clothesline Game: The players had to select two women with the most fashion sense, and a man with need of fashion advice. These players then secretly assigned a variety of outlandish outfits – from a rabbit costume to a G-string bathing suit – to each of the other players. These players were brought in pairs to the clothing area, and were charged with changing into the designated costume and wearing it to a nearby train station, where all 13 players would have to meet to catch a train to St. Moritz. For each player who kept their costume on the entire time until reaching the Schweizerhof hotel, $2,000 was added to the pot. After the 5 couples were sent on their way, the three players who picked their outfits were given the choice to double the value of the challenge by wearing a baby bonnet, pacifier, and diaper to the station.

Ali and Bribs acted as if they had been given exemptions by refusing to get on the train during the first challenge, but this turned out to be a prank. It did, however, end up costing the team $2,000 during the challenge, as Darwin removed his rabbit ears when he believed the challenge would be a total loss.

High Roller Game: The players had to pick four players, one a gambler, one with a cool head, one person who’s good with numbers, and one who is a selfish brat. Each of the players were dressed in formal attire, and escorted to a casino. There they played blackjack using $20,000 taken from the group pot. The team had one hour to play, with $1,000 minimum bets for each hand. If they managed to double their $20,000 stake, the challenge ended as a win. But, if the money was lost, it was deducted from the pot.

Blueberry Game: At dessert that night, each player was served a piece of cake. All but one piece was topped with a blueberry (coincidentally, one piece was left over after everyone had a piece; this piece was missing the blueberry). The player who ate that piece – along with her roommate – were given the chance to earn an exemption by each luring one other player into their hotel room, even though the producers had explicitly told them to stay in their rooms after dinner. The group was penalized $2,000 for the summoned players violating their curfew.

Season 2, Episode 3

Journal Switch: At the start of the round, each of the players were required to pass their Mole journals four seats to their left, after being instructed to choose a number between one and eleven and choosing four, around the dining room table.

Neutralizer: One player was recruited for being the most trustworthy of the group. That player was then given a photograph of a nearby landmark, and was given 60 minutes to find the landmark and retrieve an envelope there. That person was Myra. The envelope contained a Neutralizer, which the player could use to prevent any other player from earning an exemption for the remainder of that round and add $10,000 for the group pot.

Little Jon & Little Jane: One player was selected to be a “matchmaker”. That player’s job was to pit each of the other players against one of two opponents in a pugil stick battle over a small stream. The available foes were Little John, a heavily built man; or Little Jane, an average-sized woman. At least three players were required to square off against Little John. Each player that won their bout and successfully crossed the stream earned $5,000 for the group pot and earned the chance to compete for an exemption. Once everyone had completed their bout, the matchmaker then pitted the players against each other until one remained. That player fought against the matchmaker for the exemption.

After the game was over, several of the players converged on Anderson and pushed him into the water. Bill, who had led the players in advancing on him, also fell in. Jokingly, Anderson said he would remember it. One of contestants retorted that it was payback for the Burn Bags Burn game.

Exemption to Spare: The winner of the exemption in the above challenge was later told that he had earned a second exemption, which he could award to any other player for any reason.

After the airing of this episode on Friday October 12, 2001, ABC pulled Mole 2 off the air. It was put on hiatus, and returned in May 2002.

Season 2, Episode 4

Rappel Lock: One person volunteered to be the most trusted, and four others volunteered as players who “just want to hang out”. Each player took turns rappelling down a dam. Located at four points on the dam were signs that posed mathematical questions about the other players (ex.: “Darwin’s Age – Heather’s Age”.) The answer to each problem served as a number in a combination lock which, when opened, would release the prize money. Players had a maximum of 10 minutes on the dam, and could not rappel a second time if they reached the bottom early. Once at the bottom, the player would radio to the trustworthy player their guesses on the questions they had seen. Unbeknownst to the other players, the last player was briefed about the four questions after the other players had already gone. The last player then had to rappel face-down towards the chest that guarded the money and had only one attempt to solve the combination.

Morality Game: While on their way to their next destination, the group was stopped by a pair of beautiful ladies, asking for help with a flat tire. Later on, an elderly lady also stopped the group with a flat of her own. If the group helped to fix both flats, they would win $30,000; if they were to help only the beautiful ladies, $10,000 would be deducted from their running total.

Dumb vs. Smart: The six players who did not take part in the first challenge had to split up into two groups of three “Dumb” and “Smart” players. The “Dumb” group were presented with a series of eleven different brain-teaser questions, and needed to select five to present to the “Smart” group. The “Smart” group then had 30 minutes to solve the five problems for $10,000 apiece. If the team guessed a problem incorrectly, they were given one minute to come up with a second guess. If the “Smart” team was unable to solve all five problems, all three “Dumb” players earned an exemption; if the “Smart” players got all of them correct, however, they would earn the exemptions.

After switching the journals in the previous round, Patrick borrowed his original journal from Katie, ostensibly to copy some material into his new journal. It was later discovered that Patrick had ripped out several pages of the journal. For vandalizing a player’s journal, the group was fined $5,000.

Season 2, Episode 5

Think or Sink: Three players volunteered as the group’s best runners, three as the best swimmers, and one as the biggest talker. The swimmers and the talker were taken to a swimming pool, where the swimmers would have to tread water for as long as possible. At every five-minute interval, one swimmer would have to carry a 500g weight. Meanwhile, the talker communicated by phone to the three runners, each of whom was responsible for finding the answer to a question located somewhere in the town they were in. Once those three questions were correctly answered, the talker used the letters marked in specially-marked blanks on the answer key to form a fourth answer. If the fourth answer was correctly unscrambled before the three swimmers gave out, the challenge was won. This challenge gave viewers one of the most memorable moments of the season, as Katie (deemed the talker) neglected to transfer a lone “G” from the original three answers to the fourth one, resulting in a loss.

Get the Key: The three players who did not take part in the above challenge were taken to a dungeon, where each of them were locked in their own separate cells. The key to open their cells was tied by a string around a light bulb in the center of the room, which served as the room’s only source of light; breaking the light would be necessary to release the key, but would result in the room going pitch dark. The team had 3 hours for one of them to retrieve the key and release themselves from the cell. The player that did so was then offered an exemption by leaving the other two players in their cells overnight. No money was at risk, but leaving the players in their cells would prevent them from having a previously-arranged video chat with a loved one that night.

Season 2, Episode 6

Pizza Chefs: Three players volunteered as those who hate to cook; naturally, they were given the cooking challenge. They had four hours to find 14 different pizza ingredients by going door to door in Barga, Tuscany and begging the townspeople, then baking three 12″ pizzas for the rest of the team and delivering them to the church where they would be eating in four hours. Each ingredient had to be donated by a different person. It was also mentioned that these pizzas were to be the only food the players could eat that night. $20,000 was at stake, as well as food for dinner.

Wine Delivery: The three players who love to cook, as well as the three who didn’t care, had 1 hour, 45 minutes to ride two bikes in varying states of repair along an entirely uphill road. Players were able to switch out bike-riding roles as desired, with the other two members of their group following along in a van. At the midpoint, each team was given a bottle of wine to take to the church. $10,000 was awarded if both teams arrived, and $5,000 for each unharmed bottle of wine.

Exemption Confession: Each player entered the Chiesa di San Salvatore the following day and were asked to write down a list of their fellow players, in order from favorite to least favorite. The player who garnered the most “least favorite” votes was asked to come inside the church. That player was then given the choice of adding $5,000 to the pot (to perhaps earn some redemption) or accepting an exemption (to annoy the other players further). If the player opted for the exemption, the offer was then increased to $10,000, and finally $15,000.

Two rules were broken: First, Heather touched one of the bikes before starting the Wine Delivery challenge, even after being expressly told they were unable to do so before they decided on which bike each team would ride. Second, both Bill and Darwin partook in some ice cream at a local cafe after the pizza dinner, even though the pizzas were supposed to be the only food available to them that night. The team was fined a total of $10,000 for these infractions, and were warned that further breaches of the rules would incur a $20,000 penalty. Myra, who was executed, was the first name Anderson entered into the computer. It was the first time in the American series that the first player to be entered into the computer came up with a red thumbprint.

Season 2, Episode 7

Gladiator Battle: Five players volunteered as those who would prefer to see the movie Gladiator. Four of them would serve as guards to the fifth, who served as Caesar. The players then engaged in a mock sword fight against five gladiators in the Lucca Amphitheater. Each fighter had an egg on their chest; if the egg broke, that person was dead. If the group could slay all five gladiators before any of them slayed Caesar and removed the crown, the team won. One player – who had randomly chosen a predesignated “Brutus helmet” – was given the chance to earn an exemption. If the other guards were slain, either by the gladiators or by Brutus, the player had to betray Caesar by slaying her and taking her crown.

Gnome Home: Three players volunteered as those who would prefer to see the movie Romancing the Stone. They were given 30 minutes to transport a garden gnome through a series of obstacles. At each leg of the relay, they would have to apply a generous amount of grease onto the gnome to make it slippery. Hidden inside the gnome was a plaque awarding an exemption to the player who broke it; however, players were not told this element of the game, only that an exemption was somehow involved.

During dinner, Anderson asked the players to rank their fellow players in order from most to least favorite on a dollar bill. It was the second time the players ranked each other, and for the second time, Elavia was nominated as the least liked. During the execution, she was offered $50,000 ($49,992 in a suitcase, and the eight one dollar bills with the rankings) to leave the game immediately. After consideration, she accepted the bribe, and withdrew, thus eliminating the need for an execution. Anderson played with the contestants by tricking them into thinking that another player was going home, saying “Let’s continue with the execution. In a minute I’ll begin entering your names into–Just kidding!” It was later revealed that Dorothy scored the lowest on that night’s quiz, and would have been executed if Elavia did not accept the bribe.

Season 2, Episode 8

Relative Disguise: Each player was informed that a loved one had been brought to their location, and that each of them were in a nearby courtyard. Players had 30 seconds to describe that loved one to another player; that player then had 2 minutes to survey the courtyard through a window and identify the loved one. Each correctly spotted person won $5000 for the pot, as well as the opportunity for that loved one to join the team for dinner that night.

Relative Bungee: Each loved one made a video-recorded prediction as to whether or not their player would go through with a bungee jump. If the player’s action matched the prediction, the group earned $10,000 and the two of them could remain together until that night’s execution. If the prediction was incorrect, that player would have only five more minutes with his/her loved one until that person was sent off.

During dinner in the evening, Heather’s boyfriend Nathan proposed to her. However, the two broke up at some time following production.

Season 2, Episode 9

Neutralizer: The last person to leave the breakfast table that morning was secretly chosen for this game. That player had to place a thumbprint sticker inside the journal of another player at some point during the afternoon. Doing so would neutralize that player, preventing him/her from earning any exemptions offered in that round. If the player failed to place the sticker, however, he would be neutralized instead.

Wine Stomp/Wine Wager: Two players volunteered as those who liked to drink wine. They had 90 minutes to make five bottles of wine the old-fashioned way: by stomping on the grapes and squeezing the juice into the bottle. Each player worked in 15-minute shifts, while one stomped, the other was given the chance to sample the vineyard’s wares. Afterwards, the players had a chance to wager $5,000 each by pouring three glasses of wine and carrying them on a tray to a nearby table. (Naturally, both players were quite inebriated by this point and failed miserably.) They were then given a chance to redeem themselves by convincing the other players to drink one bottle of their “foot wine”. However, they were not allowed to tell them that doing so would recover the money they had lost. During the game, Anderson partook in several glasses of wine, becoming somewhat inebriated himself, and offered considerable ridicule to the players and their wine smelling like feet.

Assembly Line: The other four players have two and a half hours to transport Anderson’s car, an odd-looking 1950s Citroën, into a greenhouse. However, the greenhouse door is only partially opened; a combination lock is preventing the door from being opened fully. Once the time is up, the car must be completely intact, and must be able to start upon ignition. Tools are provided if the team decides to disassemble the vehicle and carry it inside by hand. Little to the players’ knowledge, a clue had been given at breakfast, and another on the odometer, of the combination.

All-Night Ball: The six players were awakened in their hotel rooms shortly after midnight and taken to a room where a tetherball was suspended from the ceiling. The players must keep the ball in constant motion until 6:00 a.m., hitting the ball in the same order every time. At two different points during the game, one player was allowed to return to bed. The third player to volunteer to go back to bed was offered an exemption by hitting the ball out of turn and forfeiting the game.

Season 2, Episode 10

Buy and Sell: Two players (Dorothy & Heather) volunteered as those who liked to shop and went to a flea market at the Piazza del Duomo in L’Aquila. Given one hour and 200,000 to spend (roughly $100), they were instructed to buy at least ten unique items, with the direction to drive as hard a bargain as they could. The three other players (Al, Bill, & Bribs) were then given two hours to sell the very same items the first two players bought and turn a profit of any sort.

Morality Game: In the midst of the selling portion of the above game, a townsperson stopped at the group’s tent and dropped a book, with 20,000 sticking out. If the team successfully returned the money (rather than use it in an attempt to aid their bottom line in the challenge), they earned $10,000.

Evader: The players took a vote as to which player other than themselves was most deserving of winning and which player was least likely to be the Mole. The deserving player (deemed the “Evader”) was given a chance to earn an exemption by retrieving five out of nine thumbprints hidden along the streets of the small town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio within 30 minutes. The least suspicious player (deemed the “Tracker”) was charged with finding that player and catching her, earning $50,000 for the group pot if successful. The other three players (deemed the “Spotters”) could scout the evader and relay her movements to the Tracker, but the Tracker could not begin pursuit of the Evader until visual contact of the Evader was made. It was later discovered that the Tracker would also earn an exemption if he could successfully catch the Evader. Two rounds of the game were played, both for either $50,000 or an exemption for the Evader. In the second round, the Tracker was switched and informed that if they caught the Evader, they would not also receive an exemption.

Season 2, Episode 11

High Card: The players were taken to an unusual house in Calascio dubbed “Anderson’s Funhouse”. Each player started the game with a $25,000 “chip”. Players were then dealt one playing card. Whoever had the highest card had the choice of either adding the $25,000 chip to the pot, or eliminating another player from the game. The last remaining player was allowed to leave and spend the night in the hotel; the others had to stay in the funhouse, and participate in one of three rooms. One room had a large python inside, and would go dark after a certain period of time; another contained a small cage from which cockroaches would drop onto the player, and would also go dark towards the end of the player’s stay; and the third was a brightly lit room containing a bubble machine, a bed frame (but no mattress) and a speaker system that played Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles” repeatedly and in varying manners (slow, backwards, sped up, stuttered, etc.) Each player had to remain in their rooms for a specific amount of time; leaving the room would forfeit the money earned in the card game.

Truth or Lie?: The player who had spent the night alone in the hotel (Bill) interrogated the three players (Al, Dorothy, and Heather) about their experiences in the funhouse. Two of the players were instructed to lie, and one was to tell the truth. The truth detector was shown a video clip of two of the three rooms, but not who was in them and no other details. If the truth detector could correctly guess which player was telling the truth, he earned an exemption into the final round; otherwise, $50,000 was added to the pot.

Season 2, Episode 12

Three Questions: Each player filled out a questionnaire about the other two players. Each player took turns hiding inside a local residence in Calascio while the other two searched for him/her by predicting how the player answered three of the questions. If the duo answered all three questions right, the group earned $10,000.

Top Secret: Each player must race to a secret location. To get there, each player must locate a GPS, found in three different locations, which the players chose off a dessert menu. The first player to find their GPS and reach the secret location is given the choice to see a dossier of sensitive information about the Mole, or refuse to look at it and instead add $100,000 to the pot.

The remaining players took the final quiz at the Castle of Rocca Calascio, and the winner was to be revealed the following week.

Season 2, Episode 13

The final episode of the season crowned the winner, and revealed the Mole. A new format was used this time to reveal the final results. On their last day of filming, the three finalists took the final quiz, however, none of the three were informed of the results. They all went home not yet knowing who won.

About three months later, all of the previously executed players were reunited to watch the unveiling. The three finalists (who still were unaware of the results) were each placed behind a locked door. A key was inserted through each door, but only one key would open a door, that which belonged to the winner. After Dorothy’s door opened, she was revealed as the winner. She then slipped a second key to the door belonging to the Mole, and Bill emerged. Heather settled for the runner-up position.

As was tradition, the remainder of the episode was spent detailing the various ways the Mole had sabotaged the team, as well as explaining the clues littered throughout the episodes that home viewers were to use in order to figure out the Mole’s identity.

Heather had first suspected Elavia as the Mole and formed a coalition with Katie. After Elavia took the $50,000 bribe to leave the game, Heather and Katie moved on to their next suspect, Dorothy. They tied for the lowest score on the next quiz; Katie finished 11 seconds slower than Heather and was executed. Shocked, Heather realized Dorothy could not be the mole and moved on to her third suspect, Bill. She tried forming a coalition with Dorothy during the “Buy and Sell” game. What Heather did not know was that she was one of Dorothy’s top suspects. After convincing Dorothy that she would not backstab her, they targeted Bribs. Heather lied to Bribs about being the mole. She managed to confuse Bribs enough to split his vote on the quiz thus executing him. Afterwards, they targeted Al, who was beginning to suspect Bill as the mole. Dorothy pretended to hesitate adding $25,000 to the pot during the “Anderson’s Fun House” card game, enraging Al. Al then split his quiz between Bill and Dorothy (but claimed he suspected Dorothy during that round) and scored the lowest on the quiz. After Al was executed, Heather began to regret forming a coalition with Dorothy because she now knew she was up against a well-prepared opponent. She broke down during the “Evader” and “Top Secret” games. Dorothy and Heather both took the final quiz and both correctly identified Bill as the Mole. Dorothy bested Heather by one question.

The Mole Season 2 Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This season was back and ever harder than the first but from the context clues from season 1, I had my suspicions and I was right.

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