The most intelligent “reality show” is back on the air.

I love ABC’s The Mole because the premise creates a mystery for the audience as well as the players to solve—Who is the mole? It’s not quite as good without Anderson Cooper as host, but I’m hoping it will live up to previous seasons.

I suspect if we were aware of who the mole was right from the start, the show would lose a lot of its charm. One of the best parts of watching this show is arguing for who you think the mole is, based on people’s behaviour and things that might be clues. Previous clues have included messages in code (e.g., a telephone number from which the mole supposedly sent a message to the other players could be translated into a sentence using a phone’s keypad as a guide) that the players themselves were privy to, but also clues directed solely to the television audience.

Monday night, in the season premiere, for example, when the introductory voice over posed the question “Who is the mole?” for the first time, what had been a sequence of shots of all the players stopped on a closeup of one player for the briefest of moments at the word “mole”. That’s probably a bit too obvious, though.

I noticed at the very end of the episode, during a sequence of seemingly innocent shots to set the atmosphere, they focused a lot on images of the Virgin Mary. Does this mean the mole is a virgin? Does it mean the mole is a woman? Maybe a Virgo? Clues have shown up in these types of shots before.

For the record, my first suspect, based on very little thinking, is Paul. But I already don’t believe that. If I knew if any players were a Virgo, I’d have a much better answer already. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

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