Onto Episode 2, fresh off the departure of Long Hair James. More shenanigans should be afoot thanks to the soothing, yet still mysterious, voice of Grant Bowler.
The first challenge, which the show takes NO DELAY IN GETTING TO, is a race around this new town, where the roads have been closed off specifically for them. Maybe this was in response to the police not especially getting the show last week.
The group needs to divide themselves into 3, with a driver and two mechanics in each, like it’s the Grand Prix, only with two 60’s racers and a 3-year old buggy built from scratch.
Linda, Patrick and Bev will be the navigators. Linda and Patrick, yes, I can see that, from their last episode performance. Bev??? Alright then.
The other six will be pit crews to the three cars, and will swap out rear wheels. The first three I mentioned will be telling the drivers what to do. Already, though, Josephine is questioned for not knowing a thing about putting wheels in, and should be navigating. Two for two on troubling starts for Jo.
This is a pretty technical challenge, as the course needs to be run exactly one way, and the tires need to be replaced exactly one way, so it’s very technical and relies on everyone doing their jobs properly. As this is The Mole, everyone won’t.
Of course, watching Jan and Josephine try to be the pit crew is pretty amusing, as they’re both kind of pathetic, even while Rocky’s trying to stay optimistic.
The whole time, Patrick and the driver are just sitting there, waiting patiently. After a beat, Patrick goes to the driver ‘what else do you do on a Tuesday?’
Patrick’s direction giving is very straightforward, very concrete, i.e. ‘left in about a kilometer, fork up ahead’, etc. Bev is very flowery and she meanders before the actual direction. Not good when you’re low on time.
Grant, VO: “Above all, the navigator must ensure that they don’t get lost.”
CUT TO: Bev: “Turn left…right…where are we?”
Bev slows the team down a lot, but a really nice drive by Linda is helping them pick up the pace and stay within 35.
Of course, Ben and Abby struggle with the tires, to add another on the pile of ‘Abby is the mole evidence’.
Great moment. As Ben and Abby pull out with an astronomical miracle left to go, Linda sits in the passenger seat, and goes “…no pressure’. She smirks, knowing it’s impossible.
Of course, Linda takes the driver past the course’s all time record, to the money. She even says to the driver “if you have to, run over the cameraman.”
Grant actually gives some eerie foreshadowing, that the group’s luck would change after winning 3/4 challenges (and…having the fourth taken out of their hands by the law.)
What convinces me that it’s not Beverly is, in her confessional, she says that she’s going to have a horrible time over the next week, and of course they’re all going to think it’s her, and she says it so remorsefully that you can’t help but feel bad for her. True, this could be strategic by the editors to throw us off, but she seems like a very genuine person with some bad luck so far.
Great moment at the top of the second challenge. Grant asks if anyone in the group hasn’t played golf before. Josephine raises her hand…and Grant tells her to go back to the hotel. She shrugs and leaves.
The rest of the group have to capture, on camera, footage of people in town laughing and being happy, which is going to be important later in a way we, or they, aren’t told how.
I’ll say that people like Rocky and Jan excel at this one. Even Rocky says that “I can make people laugh just by having them look at me.”
Josephine’s challenge will be to play the 18th hole at the Launceston Golf Club, and she’ll have to do it in 15 strokes.
Teacher: “The object here is for me to teach you enough about golf for you to play a hole.”
Josephine: “….what’s a hole?”
It is pretty fun to see Bill the Instructor’s frustration towards Josephine, especially when she tries putting the club in the caddy with the wrong end facing inwards.
Now, the big group has to do the entire first part again, only the people they’re filming cannot know they’re being filmed- it has to be completely candid. That’s a nice little wrinkle there.
This is actually really nice stuff- Rocky, Ben and Abby stage a huge argument in the middle of an open area, with Bev secretly filming, complete with an angry shirtless Ben. Alan, Jan and Linda start making monkey noises in the middle of the Launceston Zoo.
Linda does have to give Alan a talking to because the camera’s not getting anything while the mice are, as the laughter has to be seen AND heard to count fully.
This part eventually does get harder as the entire team gets tired. Patrick eventually stoops to the level of just telling people about the camera, which Alan gets on camera…which is ironic, because Alan barely got any laughter. Rocky ends up trying the same thing himself, but it’s caught by the camera crew.
Now, back to Josephine, whose fifteen strokes will be earned by the others answering a series of questions about very thin topics. Josephine decides who answers what question, and how much each question is worth.
Josephine’s first question is a tennis question for Ben, which, thankfully he answers easily…only the stroke doesn’t even touch the ball.
Alan’s question about the Environment is one he gets wrong, one he’s absolutely flabbergasted by- I mean, it’s technically more about weather patterns than the actual environment.
Abby’s Psychology question is one about the inventor of the Id, Ego and Superego, which she has no idea about, and just guesses Freud at the last second…thankfully that’s right, and every 18 year old who’s taken Psych should know that.
Josephine weighs a question about sex at 5 points…to Rocky, which he certainly gets a kick out of.
Jan: “Josie, you know your stuff!”
Of course, Rocky’s question is about which gender is able to bear children, which warrants a QI-esque pause from him, wondering if it’s a trick question.
Jan gets the hardest question, a fitness question about naming the largest back muscle…in Latin, which she thankfully squeaks past.
Josephine’s down to her final shot, on the green…and she drives it way too far off the green, costing the team the 10,000, and cementing her status as either the mole, or one of the clumsiest people to ever be on reality TV.
Grant also reveals that the laughter challenge was a failure as well, as two people tried to cheat and the two camera people were atrocious.
So, pre-quiz, and it’s a lot tougher to tell who was on their way out, as the editing was a bit more even this episode. I’ll say that Ben was a lot more likable here, and Josephine eventually got the whole team behind her, but people like Patrick, Alan, Abby and Josephine still had pretty poor displays today.
Who do I think goes home tonight? Josephine. Followed by either Patrick or Bev.
Ben: Green. Yeah, judging by the edit he’s far from finished.
Abby: Green. I still think she’s the mole, so I doubt she’s leaving either.
Patrick: RED. Wow. Even though I listed him, I didn’t actually think he’d be headed home so soon.
Yeah, if it wasn’t already evident from last week, Patrick was a great character and game player, but this week his game took a gut punch, especially in the laughter challenge- he was just getting tired and out of it, and this week’s execution makes sense in that context. Sad, but warranted.
Overall: A much quieter episode, with a pair of challenges that didn’t exactly give the players a lot of room to talk, though a lot was done to bolster the characters of Josephine, Linda, Rocky and Alan. Not as good as E1, but still important, and with a rather sad boot at that.
Best Game Player- Linda again, as her drive saved the asses of everyone on the one task that they won.
Best Character- Josephine, whose patheticness was both alarming and at the same time charming- if anything, the episode was hers.
Who do I think is the mole? Abby still.