The Mole (U.S. Season 2)
season_name = The Mole: The Next Betrayal
show_name = "The Mole"
country = USA
network = ABC
September 28, 2001
August 6, 2002
num_episodes = 13
prev_season = The Mole (2001)
"The Mole: The Next Betrayal" (also referred to as Mole 2: The Next Betrayal) was the second season of the American version of "The Mole" produced by
Stone Stanley Entertainment. The second season featured a team of 14 players, one of whom was the Mole.
The season debuted in September 2001 on Friday nights on ABC. However, after three weeks, it was put on hiatus, with disappointing ratings in the wake of 9/11 and the
Friday night death slotto blame. The producers later admitted that airing the program on Fridays was "a big mistake." The show returned in June 2002, restarting from the beginning, as a summer replacement series on Tuesdays. Anderson Cooperreturned to host, and often had a playful rapportwith the contestants. In one episode, he jokingly feigned tears when a contestant made a dramatic speech; in another, the contestants decided to throw him into a river following a task. During meals, and in one of the games, it was not unusual for him to join the players in consuming large amounts of wine and becoming inebriated. As it had been in the first season, Cooper was unaware of the Mole's identity.cite news
title =Anderson confirms that once again he didn't know the mole
publisher =Reality TV World
accessdate = 2008-01-08] On the final day of filming, he accidentally learned the identity of the Mole when he overheard a conversation by the producers.
During its summer 2002 run, "Mole 2" aired opposite the first season of "American Idol".cite news
title =ABC revives 'The Mole', new non-celebrity edition to debut in summer
publisher =Reality TV World
accessdate = 2008-01-08] Its ratings were considered a success, and thus two celebrity editions of the show were created. "The Mole" returned in the summer of 2008 with a third season of non-celebrity contestants, and a fifth season overall.cite news
title =The Mole will return to ABC this summer with a “simplified” format
accessdate = 2008-01-08]
"The Mole 2" was filmed over seven weeks, from
June 2to July 16, 2001, in Switzerlandand Italy.cite news
title =Life on Whidbey: Doctor plays a mole, but only on TV
accessdate = 2007-12-28] cite news
title =“I Don’t Think I Avoided Suspicion at All!" – An Interview with The Mole 2's Bill McDaniel
publisher =Reality News Online
accessdate = 2008-01-10] The reunion show, as well as a retaping of the second execution, was recorded in
Los Angelesin October 2001, shortly after they pulled the series from the air. It was not until that time that the show participants discovered the results of the final quiz, and thus the winner. Winner Dorothy Hui did not receive her cash prize until after the final episode aired in August 2002.cite news
title =An Interview with Mole 2's Winner, Dorothy Hui
accessdate = 2007-12-28] The Mole Bill McDaniel received a separate flat compensation for his role.
The show followed nearly the exact same format as the first season. The maximum possible pot attainable was again $1,000,000. However, a few minor changes were made. The most noticeable change was the expansion from 10 contestants to 14. The season also expanded from 9 episodes to 13 (due to the expanded cast). "Exemptions" (from execution) were part of the game's basic strategy from the first episode, and more prevalent, where in the first season, they were introduced later. In addition, a new aspect was added, with the introduction of the "Neutralizer", which would prevent a player from being eligible for an exemption on that particular episode. The quizzes were of the same mold, however, each quiz consisted of only 10 questions (season one had 20 questions apiece), and the television viewers were shown all ten of the quiz question, rather than just a few selected highlights. The contestants were given Journals: in the first season they kept notes in a variety of formats, primarily on loose sheets.
The second season traveled only once during the gameplay, whereas the first season saw four locations. Like the first season, most of the nights were spent in lavish four and five star hotels, and the players dined on multi-course meals and fine
During the game, Bribs's tote bag was embroidered with the name "Michael" (his actual first name), but he covered with a piece of tape and wrote "Bribs" (the nickname he went by).
Born Leaders: The 14 players were all blindfolded and taken to Castle Tarasp in 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 relax 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 (Elavia) if 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 - was 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, they won the challenge; if the team missed four questions, however, not only did they lose the challenge, but their bags were lowered into the fire. It was later revealed in the next episode that the bags were fakes, and their belongings had not been destroyed.
Note: When "Mole 2" returned in May 2002, ABC started the season over from the beginning. The first week (Tuesday
May 28, 2002) of the second run, featured a doubleheader of Episode 1 and Episode 2 reruns. The second week (Tuesday June 4, 2002) saw a doubleheader of the Episode 3 rerun, and previously unaired Episode 4. It marked the first new episode airing in almost eight months.
Rappel Lock: One person was volunteered for being the most trustworthy player, four others volunteered as players who just wanted to "hang around". 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. Unknown 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. The player then had only one attempt to solve the combination.
Morality Game: While on their way to their next destination, the group is stopped by a pair of beautiful ladies, asking for help with a flat tire. Later on, an elderly lady also stops the group with a flat of her own. If the group helps to fix both flats, they win $30,000; if they were to help only the beautiful ladies, $10,000 would be deducted from their running total.
Dumb vs. Smart: Three players - of those who did not take part in the first challenge - were considered to be "Dumb" players, while three others were deemed "Smart." 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. Patrick's move angered the players, and by that point he had fallen out-of-favor amongst the others. He became the fourth player executed.
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 the group's emperor. The players then engaged in a mock sword fight against five gladiators. Each fighter had an egg-shaped target on their chest; if the egg broke, that person was dead. If the group could slay all five gladiators before any of them killed the Emperor, the team won. One player - who had randomly chosen a predesignated "Brutus helmet" - was given the chance to earn an exemption by betraying the Emperor at the end of the game, 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. He quoted "Lets 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.
Buy and Sell: Two players were selected to visit a local
flea market. 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 were then give 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 thumbprints hidden along the streets of a small town. 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.
Anderson's Fun House: 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 fun house, 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 (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 left the fun house (Bill) the night before now interviewed the three players (Al, Dorothy, and Heather), two of which were lying about their experiences in the fun house. If the interviewer could correctly guess which player was telling the truth, he earned an exemption into the final round; otherwise, $50,000 is added to the pot.
Three Questions: Each player filled out a questionnaire about the other two players. Each player took turns hiding inside a local residence 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
dossierof 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, and the winner was to be revealed the following week.
The final episode of the season crowned Dorothy as the winner, and revealed Bill as 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 executed players were reunited to watch the unveiling. The three finalists (who still were unaware of the results) were placed behind three secret locked doors. A key was slipped to each one, but only one key would open a door, that which belonged to the winner. After Dorothy's door opened, she was announced 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 is 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.
Born Leaders: Knowing that he would be chosen as one of the leaders given his age and his background as a former Admiral, Bill's first task was to assign players to the next three games that were most unsuited for those challenges. He drafted Bob and Rob, who both admitted to not being very athletic, to the demanding Crossbow Biathlon. In addition, he assigned Al, who had been suffering from an upset stomach all day, to take part in the Pulse Rope Walk. Although Bill's choices all had relatively subpar performances, none of them did badly enough to prevent the team from winning the money.
Clothesline: When Ali and Bribs went missing, Bill was sent out to find them; he located them quite quickly in a nearby pub. But rather than immediately bringing them back, he joined them for a drink at the bar, and then planted the idea to play the situation off as if Ali and Bribs were offered an exemption to throw the challenge. They did indeed manage to convince the team for a short while that they would refuse to get on the train, which caused Darwin to remove the rabbit ears from his costume in disgust. This resulted in the team losing the $2000 bounty associated with leaving Darwin's costume on for the duration of the game. In addition, Bill refused to put on the diaper and bib that would have doubled the value of the challenge, even though both Dorothy and Elavia were up to the idea.
Journal Switch: Most players exhaustively recorded the details of every game and every encounter they had with the other players in their respective journals. Bill, however, took minimal notes, as it was technically unnecessary for him to do so. When he was informed by the producers that the players would be forced to trade journals the next day, Bill scurried to fill his journal with content. He wrote a heart-felt, emotional but mostly fictional, love letter to his wife, about his experience so far in the game. He wrote that he lacked confidence in winning, and expected to be executed soon after. Bill's journal ultimately went to Lisa. She read the letter, and was convinced of its sincerity, and eliminated Bill as a suspect to be the Mole. Not surprisingly, Lisa was the next player executed. Though there was no money removed from the pot, Bill succeeded in feigning a player's attention, which directly, and swiftly, led to her execution.
Think or Sink: Despite boasting about being fairly talented at swimming, Bill went out less than ten minutes into the challenge. He chalked it up to the fact that he was not indeed swimming, but rather treading water. Darwin and Bribs were left to pick up his slack, and failed the challenge while Katie searched fruitlessly for one missing letter she had failed to transfer to the final puzzle. Bill received some suspicion, but as his actions were considered "too obvious" by some players, who thought he was simply pretending to be the mole.
Pizza Chefs: Initially, it appeared Bill would have little problem sabotaging the game, because after an hour, the team had little to show for their efforts. However, they unexpectedly met up with a boy who helped them complete the task with ease. Since he was not able to foil the game itself, after dinner, Bill noticed a nearby trattoria selling ice cream and bought some (eating it very quickly), complaining he was still hungry after the less-than-satisfying homemade pizza. Darwin, spotting Bill with the frozen treat, was interested too. Bill gave him some money, and he bought some ice cream of his own. This was a violation of the rules regarding the pizza challenge, since players were expressly informed that the pizza they ate for dinner was to be the only food available to them that evening. While Bill scarfed down his ice cream almost unnoticed to everyone, Darwin saved his and ate it in front of the other players. The other players saw him with food, but ultimately dismissed it as a honest mistake. Later that evening, the players were informed that a $5,000 penalty would be assessed to the pot due to the food violations. Players were suspicious, but put more emphasis on Heather's mistake in the Wine Delivery game that same day. Bill succeeded in sabotaging a game with minimal suspicion.
Gnome Home: Bill figured that the way to earn the Exemption was to break the gnome, so he volunteered himself to work the middle leg of the relay, which involved a rather difficult bicycle obstacle course. After forgetting to take a picture with the soccer goalie he had just scored against, he hurried through the bike course, dropping the gnome and breaking it.
Assembly Line: Bill was aware of the fact that the combination lock would need to be opened in order to move the car into the greenhouse, so he tried to keep everyone's attention focused on dismantling the car in an attempt to fit it through the narrow opening left by the door. He was able to waste considerable time by having the team dismantle unnecessary parts (such as the seats), even though they would not have made the car smaller. He even tried to coax the team into removing the engine, which would have undoubtably doomed the test. Unfortunately for Bill, Dorothy figured out the combination on her own. The last few minutes of the challenge was spent scrambling to put the car back together before pushing it into the greenhouse, an effort that Bill was unable to stall. At the same time, Bill had been selected to play the secret "Neutralizer" game, and targeting Dorothy was his obvious choice. The only positive for Bill was that, once again, Dorothy mysteriously figured out a difficult clue in the last minute, which led many players to suspect she had foreknowledge of the answers (and thus thought she was the mole).
All-Night Ball: With the foreknowledge that the third player to admit to being "the most tired" would have a chance at an exemption, he began lying down and almost missing the ball several times as soon as Heather, the second person to be excused from the game, left. When offered the exemption, Bill immediately ended the game by hitting the ball out-of-turn. However, it was later discovered that Darwin had much earlier in the night persuaded Dorothy to hit the ball out of turn, and Bribs had hit the ball back-to-back as well, which eased some of the suspicion from Bill.
Buy & Sell: Although Bill admitted afterwards that it would have been nearly impossible to turn a profit with the bizarre assortment of wares they were forced to sell, he did little to help matters, spending more energy making a spectacle of himself than being a salesman.
Three Questions: When Bill's turn to answer the questionnaire came up, he made it a point to answer the questions using the most illogical reasoning possible. For example, one question asked whether Dorothy or Heather would be more likely to be alone ten years from now. While the two girls went with Dorothy on account of Heather being recently engaged, Bill said that he had chosen Heather since nearly half of all marriages now end in divorce. In addition, the producers secretly slipped Bill the answers Heather and Dorothy wrote. When it was his turn to search for them, he used that knowledge to make sure they got at least one answer wrong, because a single incorrect guess foiled the round. None of the three rounds of questions ended successfully, but in Bill's case the other two players missed on all three of his questions.
At the start of each episode, host Anderson Cooper encouraged viewers to keep an eye out for a hidden clue to the Mole's identity. One clue was revealed in each episode, ranging from straight-forward references to Bill's background to highly esoteric wordplays. Some clues were presented to the players, while others were available only to the home audience
*"Burn Bags Burn": All outdoor shots of the night sky were absent of stars, except for one digitally-enhanced shot. This shot, taken outside the cabin where the players stayed shortly before the next game, featured the constellation Pisces, Bill's
Zodiacsign. Viewers could have used Bill's biographical information on the ABC website to deduce this.
*"Pre-Execution": In the opening montage, two pictures of Zodiac signs are shown. The first is Virgo, Ali's Zodiac sign, and she was the Mole's second victim. The second sign is Pisces, a reference to episode one's clue.
*"Journal Switch": A journal written ostensibly by the Mole was planted for the other players to discover and read it. In it, the Mole explains how eliminating his first victim, Bob, was "too easy", as he had spent all of his time "schmoozing the ladies". This should have ruled out any female from further suspicion.
*"The Telegram": Upon arriving in Italy, the players are welcomed with a telegram sent by "La Talpa", which is Italian for "The Mole". Patrick thought there was a clue to this (although he couldn't figure it out), and he was correct. There was a fake telephone number given at the bottom, 0024-5500. When using a telepone kepad as a decoder, the line reads "BILL". When decoding the numbers preceding the name, 843-665347, the sentence reads "THE MOLE IS BILL".
*"Think or Sink": Anderson talks about how many believe that
William Shakespearewas a "scoundrel" for plagiarizing the story of Romeo and Julietfrom a local playwright. (The Italian translation of the play's title, "Giulietta y Romeo", served as the solution to the game.) This was to point out that the Mole was a scoundrel, and Bill's real name is William.
*"Wine Delivery": At the midway point of the course, Anderson would hand the rider a bottle of La Mole wine, while eating an apple (first to Al, and then Elavia). The apple was a the official symbol of Bill's home state,
*"Player Ranking": Prior to execution the player were each (again) instructed to rank their fellow players in order from favorite to least favorite on a dollar bill. This was intended as a clear reference to the name of the Mole, Bill.
*"The Quiz": No picture were featured in the other quizzes except for this one. In the back, there was a portrait of a large schooner was prominently shown on the wall, refering to Bill's former background as a Navy admiral.
*"Opening": During the Matrix-like grid of letters that flashed on the screen during the opening title sequence, the word "AdMiRaL" is displayed in the top-left corner for a split-second. The clue is a reference to the clue in episode 8.
*"Morality Game": A local man visits the the team's table and leaves behind a book and money. The book was "Romeo and Juliet", a reference to the clue made in Episode 5. Both Al and Bribs noticed the coincidence, but neither made the correct connection from it.
*"Post-Execution:" After Bribs is executed and leaves, Anderson asks all the players if they are the mole, and they all deny it. Then, the viewer sees each person, one by one, along with a word of the question "Who is the Mole?". Bill is shown when word is Mole appears.
*"Anderson's Fun House": A montage of three model ships were shown as lightning flashed, refering to episodes 8 and 9's clues.
*"Pre-Quiz Dinner": The players are treated to a dinner consisting of fast food from
McDonald's. Anderson mentions the dinner is a "courtesy of 'Mickey D's'". Mickey D's is a nickname for the fast food franchise, but it also serves as a clue to Bill's last name, McDaniel.
*"Opening": Much like the clue in Episode 9, a message is concealed among the letter grid in the opening title. This time, however, the message is far more blatant, as "Bill is the Mole" is spelled out along the top of the screen.
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