What to do about the Mole?

I’ve always loved the Mole. Instead of embracing the stupidity that is reality TV, this show actually requires you to think, and lets everyone at home play along as well. It’s always been a favorite of mine, though I do miss Anderson Cooper dearly. So why is this season not as much fun?

Well, the simple answer is that everyone’s figured out the right way to play the game. Sabotage a mission, and everyone thinks you’re the Mole. Then they all fail the quiz and lose. Simple enough. The problem is, when everyone does that, they end up with no money. And so now the strategy has changed. It used to be “win the most money, figure out who isn’t doing that.” and now it’s “Throw everyone off the right trail”. This, in the end, means you won’t make as much money as they used to, but it’s now a Prisoner’s Dilemma. If everyone were to agree to make the most money together, they’d be awesome. But there’s a huge incentive for someone to sabotage it, so that everyone will vote for them on the quiz.

I’m not sure I like the new direction of the show, but it’s really nothing a producer can control…once people figure out the optimal strategy, players are going to run with it as far as they can.

My current thoughts on the Final Four:

Craig – If he’s the Mole, the producers must have been freaking out when he had to go to the hospital. What would’ve happened if he couldn’t come back? Show’s over! Not that this changes anything. Just an interesting thought. He could be, but it seems too easy of a choice. His natural inability to do anything physical caused a lot of money to be lost, but is that because he’s the Mole, or because he simply can’t keep up?

Nicole – She better not be the Mole. That’s all I’m going to say. It was a woman Mole way too many times, we need a guy to do it.

Mark – I really hope he is the Mole. He’s my pick, I suppose, but the only thing that’s holding me back is that I can’t find any evidence of sabotage. Can anyone name a game he took part in losing? And I’m not counting their “We’re not going to play this one game” revolution. That was everyone’s fault.

Paul – I would love for Paul to be the Mole. He’s all talk, he’s very strong in his personality, and I don’t think anyone’s ever thought it was his fault a game didn’t go right. But his explosive personality might not have been the best choice for Mole.

Oh, and for those interested, I was pouring over Clay’s math after last night’s show, to figure out what the hell he was talking about. I got it. Clay said “1947-1492. Add 8 to 1492 to make it 1500, subtract that to get 447, then subtract 8 out of it, 439.” That seems to make sense, but then you look at the problem again and see 1947-1492 clearly ends in a 5. So what happened? Well, when he added 8 to 1492, that was actually subtracting an extra 8 from the problem (subtracting 1500 instead of 1492). So in the end, he should have added 8 back in, not subtracted, giving you 455, the correct answer. God that was driving me nuts.

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