The Mole

ABC (ended 2008)


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  • Season 5 Episode 11: The Mole 3.0 Finale

  • This episode revealed hidden clues that pointed to the identity of the mole. However, unlike in past seasons, a few of these clues pointed not just to the mole, but to the final three.

  • Mark was nearly executed three times-- having come out as the victor in three of the game's ties. He only targeted Craig in the final quiz. The mole's dossier given to him in the penultimate episode only revealed the answer to one of the questions on the final quiz, which Nicole also answered correctly. Mark earned a score of 17 out of 20 on the final quiz, beating Nicole's 13 out of 20.

  • Mark is the winner of the $420,000 pot. Craig is the mole and Nicole is the runner-up.

  • Season 5 Episode 10: The Mole 3.0, Episode 9

  • During the first mission (Tick Tock Boom), Nicole, while reading the Time Zone map, incorrectly states that Greenwich and Paris are in the same time zone. That is never the case. Paris is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time during the winter, and 2 hours ahead of it during Daylight saving time (a.k.a. summer time). Ultimately, this mistake does not effect the outcome of the mission, though it may have contributed to the contestants' not being able to fully solve the final puzzle that provided them with the clue directing them to which wire to cut.

  • The final quiz contained twenty questions as opposed to the ten that have been featured on all other quizzes this season. Additionally, this final quiz contained questions related to events that took place throughout the season and not just in this episode.

  • Challenges and the Pot: Up to $125,000 was at stake in this episode's two challenges.

    Tick Tock Boom: The players were placed in a room and told to defuse a bomb within one hour or $50,000 for the pot being kept inside bulletproof glass would go up in smoke. They were given no other instructions, but the room contained various items to help them solve a puzzle. By finding a hidden map of time zones, they were able to solve a series of puzzles with then were used for a word puzzle containing a set of letters that, if properly found and unscrambled, read out as a clue that told them exactly what to do to defuse the bomb. Though they did find all of the correct letters, they were able to find just enough to figure out that part of the clue was "red + blue." They correctly deduced that they needed to cut the purple wire and did so with only a little more than 20 seconds on the clock. Thus, they added $50,000 to the pot. (The correct clue was "Cut wire that is red + blue.")

    Three to Tango: The players began this mission in front of Casa Rosada (the Pink House, where the Argentinian president works.) They were each given a set of three clues, randomly assigned. Each player was sent to different locations by the clues. Players first had to figure out a clue and then phone in to Jon when they believed they had figured out the location. If correct, they were assigned a task that they had to complete and take a picture of themselves doing before moving on the the next clue. Upon completing all three clues, they were directed to the final destination-- the Calatrava Bridge. Mark was the first to arrive at this final destination and as such, faced a choice once Craig and Nicole both arrived. (Nicole did not complete her third task and was sent for by car.) Upon their arrival, Mark was given the choice to either add $75,000 to the pot or look inside the mole's dossier, which could contain information that might help him do the best on the final quiz (assuming he wasn't the mole.) He chose to look at the mole's dossier.

    FINAL POT: $420,000 (Host Jon Kelley rounded up to this amount from $418,500.)

  • Season 5 Episode 9: The Mole 3.0, Episode 8

  • Challenges, the Pot and Exemption: Up to $109,000 was at stake in this episode's two challenges.

    How's the View?: In this challenge, host Jon Kelley asks two players to choose themselves as being "Young at Heart." Craig and Paul chose this and then were paired respectively with Nicole and Mark to form teams. Craig and Paul then had to wear Myvu goggles which made everything look backwards and were connected to cameras operated by Nicole and Mark. They then faced an "obstacle course for kids." In the first test, they had to insert shapes into holes in a box. They had one minute to complete the challenge. Mark and Paul got a perfect score of three out of three for $3,000. Craig and Nicole initially scored perfectly as well, but were penalized for a violation of the rules. The players holding the cameras were told not to talk and Nicole talked at one point, so they ended up with two out of three for $2,000. In the next challenge, the Young at Heart players were given the chance to kick soccer balls into a goal for $4,500 each. Both teams went zero for two on this challenge. The next challenge was a tea party, in which the Young at Heart players could fill up to four teacups up past a line with tea for $2,500 each. If at any time they spilled any tea whatsoever, the cup did not count. Paul and Mark got two out of four for $5,000, whereas Craig and Nicole only got one out four for $2,500. In the final challenge, the kid games were abandoned for a much more harrowing test. The "Young at Heart" players had to walk high above the ground and pick up a piece of chalk on the middle of a plank, at which point they had one minute to make it to the end and copy down a message on a chalkboard- "The mole was here." Paul and Mark completed this challenge for $10,000, but Craig and Nicole did not. In all, $22,500 was added to the pot in this mission.

    Cell Out: Each player was locked in a numbered cell containing a puzzle. The puzzle, called a "doublet," required them to change the word "cell" to the word "mole" one letter at a time. Mark completed the puzzle first (in 53 seconds) and, as such, earned the right to be the shooter in a paintball course. By shooting at the other three players as they made their way through the course, he had the opportunity to earn an exemption that one of them was carrying. If he did not shoot the player with the exemption, then nobody would earn an exemption. Additionally, any player that made it through successfully earned $15,000 for the pot. Only Paul made it through, so $15,000 was added to the pot in this challenge. Craig was shot, and since he carried the exemption card, Mark won the exemption.


  • Eighth Player Executed: Paul (Note: Paul's name was the first entered.)

  • Season 5 Episode 8: The Mole 3.0, Episode 7

  • Challenges and the Pot: Up to $80,000 was at stake in this episode's two challenges.

    Go Figure: In this challenge, the players had an all-or-nothing shot at $30,000. They were split into two teams -- the Dumb Team (consisting of Craig and Nicole) and the Smart Team (consisting of Paul, Clay and Mark) based on their personal choices. The Dumb Team had to solve puzzles to come up with five numbers, but each of the numbers was either two or three digits. The Smart Team only had to solve three puzzles, but was dealing with four and five digit numbers. They had seventy minutes to solve the puzzles, based on things that could be found in various areas of Mendoza. Both teams had to be present to enter the codes. Both returned within the allotted time and entered the codes, however, two of the digits were wrong on one of the Dumb Team's codes. The clock was reset to twenty minutes with only one remaining chance to get it right. Additionally, only one member of the Dumb Team could be sent back to try to resolve the puzzle. Nicole was sent, but returned with a number that was obviously incorrect. Clay, on the other hand, figured out that it was a mathematical puzzle and came up with the correct number. Therefore, $30,000 was added to the pot in this mission.

    Ticket to Ride: In this challenge, players were given the opportunity to spend time with members of their family. They each had to pick one other player that they said that they trusted. Mark chose Clay, Paul chose Mark, Craig chose Clay, Clay chose Nicole and Nicole chose Mark. Each player was given three minutes to fill their chosen trusted partner in on the answers to a series of thirty questions, from which Jon would ultimately select five to quiz the trusted player on. Regardless of whether or not answers were provided, all thirty questions remained in the mix to be chosen for the possible five. In order for each player to see their loved one and earn $10,000 for the pot, the trusted partner had to answer three out of the five questions correctly. Ultimately, all players succeeded at this challenger, earning $50,000 for the pot.


  • Seventh Player Executed: Clay (Note: The quiz results were a tie, meaning that the player with the lowest score who also took the longest time answering was sent home.)

  • Season 5 Episode 7: The Mole 3.0, Episode 6

  • Challenges, the Pot and Exemption: Up to $130,000 was at stake in the two challenges featured in this episode.

    The Grapes of Cash: The players were sent to a vineyard where they had to find seven bottles of Malbec wine stashed within the fields. In order to do this, they were split into two teams -- the Thinkers (Craig, Paul and Nicole) and the Runners (Alex, Mark and Clay). Paul was designated as the Best Communicator and Mark was designated as the Best Runner. Craig and Nicole were given a series of multiple-choice puzzles to solve. Each correct answer would provide coordinates for a wine bottle, whereas incorrect answers would provide incorrect coordinates. Paul, as the Best Communicator, relayed these coordinates to Alex and Clay through a cell phone, who had to enter them into a GPS device and then search for the bottles. As the Best Runner, Mark was placed on a treadmill. As long as he could keep running, the game would keep going, but if at any time he stopped, the game ended and no money would be put in the pot. Mark was allowed to help answer the questions, but Paul could not. All seven wine bottles were found and Mark remained on the treadmill (over 50 minutes), so the full $70,000 was added to the pot.

    Swing Out: The players were given the opportunity to bungee jump and while doing so were given a bag of maté to throw at a target. The bulls-eye was worth $10,000, with rings heading outwards decreasing by $2,000. Additionally, the players were given a chance at an exemption. Before jumping, they were asked to make an estimate as to how much money would be put into the pot in this game. The player that came the closest without going over would win, assuming that player chose to jump. All players jumped, but only one, Alex, so much as hit the rings, adding $4,000 to the pot. Additionally, all of the players went over on their estimates (Mark's was the lowest at $10,000), so no player received an exemption.


  • Sixth Player Executed: Alex (Note: Alex's results were the first ones checked.)

  • Season 5 Episode 6: Take a Closer Look

  • During the bumpers heading into commercials, the usual text "take tonight's Quiz at" appeared, even though this was a recap episode and therefore did not technically have a quiz associated with it.

  • Season 5 Episode 5: The Mole 3.0, Episode 5

  • Following the burning of all but two contestants' journals in the previous episode, those contestants who had their journals burned were given fresh, new journals to write in.

  • Challenges, the Pot and Exemptions: Both of this episode's games were closely tied to exemptions. Up to $55,000 was at stake in the two challenges.

    All for One: The players were chained by their ankles to steel bars. The goal was for all of them to free themselves from the chains, but only one could do it at a time. The players had to agree which player, if any, would be allowed to move forward to a window that contained both a key and an exemption. Up to $25,000 was at stake, but if at any time a player took the exemption, that player was freed but everyone left had to sleep for the night chained together, using provided sleeping bags if they so desired. No player took the exemption and all were freed, so the $25,000 was added to the pot.

    Travelers: In this mission, the goal was to travel 5.5 miles to the Cerro de la Gloria statue in 45 minutes. This is a statue celebrating Argentina's independence from the Spanish empire. The players were split into three teams. One player was assigned to be the transportation captain. Host Jon Kelley determined the captain by picking the first player to say the word "exemption" at the morning's breakfast, which was Craig. Each team that made it within the 45 minutes would receive $10,000, meaning that there was $30,000 at stake. The twist was that if no team made it, Craig would receive an exemption. As transportation captain, Craig was given the choice to determine how the players would be traveling. He told Alex to dress as a conquistador and bring along a donkey (which he couldn't ride) paired with Mark, who would be wearing a scuba outfit with flippers. Clay was assigned to ride a unicycle and paired with Kristen, assigned to stilts. Finally, Nicole was told to be the head of a llama costume with Paul bringing up the rear. No player chose to even attempt the mission, so no money was put in the pot and Craig received the exemption. Though it was called a "collective decision," Mark was the first to suggest that they shouldn't put themselves through this.


  • Fifth Player Executed: Kristen (Note: As with the previous week, the results on the quiz were a tie, meaning that the player with the lowest score who also finished the slowest went home. In this case, the difference was less than one second.)

  • Season 5 Episode 4: The Mole 3.0, Episode 4

  • Journals: All of the contestants' journals except those of Alex and Craig were burned in this episode. Jon Kelley asked the players if anyone wanted to take a risk by handing over their journal to him, making a statement to the effect that sometimes players had to risk something in order to gain something. Alex was the only one who chose to take the risk and thus was given back his journal, whereas the others were burned. Craig was allowed to keep his journal as he did not participate in this event, having been told to rest for his health. Jon stated that the fact that he was not present to make observations helped to balance the advantage he gained by being allowed to keep his journal.

  • Exemption: The first team to reach the summit in the Midas Rush game was given the opportunity at an exemption. What they were not told until after the challenge had been fully completed was that only one exemption was available. They had to decide amongst themselves who should receive it or nobody would receive an exemption and no money whatsoever would be earned for the entire challenge. Ultimately, it was decided to grant Clay the exemption.

  • Challenges and the Pot: Up to $64,000 was at stake in the two challenges.

    Midas Rush: The players were given 50 minutes to carry a maximum of 200 gold bricks from 7,200 ft. to a summit of 10,000 ft. Each brick weighed five pounds. At the beginning of the challenge, the players were split into two even teams of four, the "Selfish" team and the "Selfless" team. These distinctions were generally arbitrary and carried no meaning other than what the players assigned to them. Additionally, an exemption was at stake for the first team to reach the summit. As an added twist, teams were given a scale to carry as well when they reached the halfway point. The first team to arrive was allowed to choose between the two scales, one weighing ten pounds and one weighing twenty pounds. They were told to choose only on sight and picked the ten pound scale. Both teams reached the summit within the 50 minute time limit. The Selfish team arrived first with 23 bricks for a total of $5,750. The Selfless team arrived with 34 bricks for $8,500.

    Who Said That: At the start of this mission, the pot stood at $143,250. To keep it a more round number, Jon added $750 for a total of $144,000. Additionally, Craig did not participate in this game as he had earlier suffered a medical emergency and was told to rest by the doctors to help him recuperate. In this game, Jon Kelley first asked the players to pass him their journals. He kept them for several minutes before returning them and then revealed that he had written down various observations from the journals. For the game, the players were to each take turns guessing who wrote down something that was said about them. Each correct answer was worth $2,000. They were warned at the beginning of the game not to make any sort of signals towards each other. The players got five out of seven correct, but Jon felt that Nicole had given signals during one of the questions and thus deducted $2,000. Therefore, $8,000 was added to the pot in this game.


  • Fourth Player Executed: Victoria (Note: Quiz results were a tie, meaning that the player who scored the lowest that finished the slowest was executed. Difference in finishing times was only around five seconds.)

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cultural phenomenon, pop culture references, extraordinary situations, facing danger, weekly elimination