Belgian Mole 2019

Sundays from March 10th,
Vier – official site

And so we come to the highlight of the year (and it’s only March), as Dutch Mole finishes Belgian Mole begins. And this time: there is no Mole.

At least not at the very start, one will be chosen through a challenge. And this year Belgium’s Smartest Man Gilles de Coster has taken everyone to Vietnam.

Who are our ten contestants?

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Axel – 40 years old and a pilot.
  • Bas – 32 and a headhunter.
  • Bruno – 54, a business manager.
  • Elisabet – 34, a doctor.
  • Eva – 28 and a lawyer.
  • Ingrid – 46, sells blinds.
  • Joeri – 32, a team boss.
  • Kaat – 22, physiotherapy student
  • Liesbeth – 41, a consultant.
  • Martijn – 23, a facility assistant

An average age of 35.2, slightly younger than last year (38) but still pretty old for this sort of thing.

As of right now we have no idea if there are going to be English subtitles available anywhere – if not I expect we’ll muddle through but miss out on a lot of context. We ask our international friends not to spoil episodes until the English subs have gone up.

I’m intrigued to find out how they’re going to do the hidden clues if they don’t know who the Mole is going to be at the start. Do they have ten sets ready? Add things in post? I look forward to finding out.

Direct links to episode discussion:

165 thoughts on “Belgian Mole 2019

  1. Tom F

    Not wanting to be the voice of doom and gloom, but I can’t really see how having the “no mole” twist is going to add anything to the series. For the payoff of that “gotcha” moment (that we’ve now seen in the trailer), they’re surely going to have a much less prepared and effective mole, and so a much less challenging game for the other players, no?

    I once thought that if you wanted to revive the spirit of the mole without making the same show, you could do something like CBBC’s Trapped (which this also reminds me of) and have the role change hands each week.

    Also, will the mole get a fee (since they’re giving up a 1/9 chance at ~E20k?), or will we have some weird prize-for-the-mole-based-on-how-well-they-mole payment system? Or is getting to go to the end of the road enough payment in itself?

    Anyway, I think I should stop worrying. Belgian Mole is a class act so I’m sure they’ll handle it great.

    Reply
  2. Natália

    Hi. Yes, I’m subtitling again. Just a note: His name is Bas, kind of like boss in English, and some other names are actually Eva and Kaat 🙂 I wrote what everyone said in their introduction video on YouTube, and the trailers with subtitles are on my Dailymotion channel.

    As for the mole, Gilles said that they didn’t pick whoever their favorite was before leaving. I personally hope it’s Martijn. It’d be funny if the year that half the cast is from Antwerp, they pick someone from West Flanders again. And the name Martijn sounds really Dutch, so he’s automatically the least trustworthy, except for his strong accent and Flemish slang, ha.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Brilliant Natalia, thanks!

      I will sort out names when I’m at my desktop, I suspect Google Translate error.

      Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Right, incidentally, if you’re wondering where to watch this I don’t want to be too obvious because I know Vier are a bit hotter on copyright on Youtube or whatever but I imagine looking up https://www.dailymotion.com/widmbelgie and maybe following a link and the on screen prompts would be a good place to start. You might want an ad-blocker if you go the Open route.

      Reply
  3. Tantusar

    Man, I forgot just how much I loved the visuals and sound design/soundtrack on the Belgian version.

    Reply
  4. Joseph M.

    De Mol is truly just the finest form of this show out there, if you ask me. And it’s only fitting as its the home country of the game. Everything about this reboot since 2016 has felt just absolutely right. It’s exactly what an updated, modernized version of the game we all fell in love with in the early 2000s should feel like.

    As for this season, I do love that they didn’t just go and recycle the WIDM 2009 mechanic of selecting a Mole. Using the whole first episode to cover the selection process felt fitting and decidedly appropriate. I also liked how much of the episode seemed dedicated not only to selecting a Mole but /testing/ The Mole.

    I saw someone comment that the No Mole to Start twist potentially leads to an unprepared and potentially somewhat unchallenged or somewhat transparent Mole (see WIDM 2009). However, I feel that the Belgian season this year might have a theme of pushing The Mole and testing their abilities to make it slightly different from just another Mole season with a cool opening twist. I say this because of the clips in the season preview showing Gilles sneaking about at night to brief The Mole. Of course, I could be totally wrong about this but I think either way, we’re in for a lot of quality.

    No Mole suspects yet, of course, since yet to see them in action. Excited to see the game proper get underway!

    Reply
  5. Brig Bother Post author

    Yep, stylish starter ep before itgets going properly next week.

    However I know it was windy, but the shots were so shaky in the tower I was beginning to feel a bit sick! Come on Vier you can afford Steadicams now surely.

    Reply
  6. Clicky

    My early read, based on reactions… is that Kaat is the mole. Just a gut feeling. They have shown her reactions quite a few times to Mole comments though, so it may be intentional editing.

    Reply
    1. Dale

      Same, she was playing serious too good and handled the interrogation really well. She is at the top of my list too.

      Reply
      1. Clicky

        They made a point of showing her reaction in the car:

        The guy next to her made a comment that they’re going to have a really good Mole this year.
        Her reaction (which obviously none of them could see but the camera) was very giddy.

        And in the preview for next week her reaction to the execution scene read to me as Mole.

        It could just be clever editing. But if she is The Mole it’d actually be a really cool concept to be showing us these intentionally and it’d almost give us the feeling that we’re in the Mole’s shoes this time (even if we don’t know it).

        Reply
  7. Natália

    Hi guys. Okay, so I personally don’t care about hidden hints, so I forget they’re a big part of watching the show for a lot of people. I realize they’re harder to follow if you don’t speak Dutch though, so I’ll try to pay more attention this year. I’ll write about this when I upload the next episode, but I’ll go ahead and say it here:

    The big theory after the first episode comes from the end of the episode. When Gilles said we’re sitting with a brand-new mole, just chosen, it sounds like he said Bas chosen in Dutch.

    The problem that I have with this is that all of Flanders heard it, and Bas is #1 in every poll I’ve seen. The argument for it is that if they’re going to do something so blatant, this is the only episode when they could get away with it. Plus, on Café De Mol, last year’s mole said that they suspect Bas and would have done what he did in the van. He said that the mistake that every mole makes at first is that they’re so scared of getting caught, they try to make it as clear as possible that they aren’t the mole and accuse other people.

    Reply
    1. TVs Michael Harmstone

      That’s interesting. I’m personally not leaning towards him yet, but noticed some interesting phrasing from Gilles that makes me think it’s a hint.

      Reply
    2. Brig Bother Post author

      I always loved the hidden clues that were in plain sight like the Mole wearing slippers to an elimination, which elicit a ‘how did I miss THAT?’ response at the end of the series, in these days of Internet nerds that wouldn’t fly because they’d get spotted too easily. The result of that is that they’ve had to become convoluted so that they’re there, but always feel rather underwhelming when revealed. They also can’t NOT do them because it’s so expected (and I suppose certain segments of the audience find them fun to work out even if many times they read something that isn’t there).

      I too think Bas is too obvious from the editing.

      Reply
      1. Brandon

        Even back in 2001 with the UK version , loads of people on the Internet figured out the clues and that made the reveals a little bit disappointing. But there’s some clues that you would never get, which makes me think they put in clues for each contestant (or most of them) and only highlight the right ones in the reunion show.

        Reply
        1. Matt Clemson

          I didn’t watch the first UK series at the time, but I’ve a nagging feeling that I’d heard people were surprised about the clues on that. The second series, though, I recall a website clue that was a dead giveaway (something like – rot13ed – vs NG NAL gvzr lbh fubhyq svaq lbhefrys va n fcva, lbh fubhyq vzntvar jung gur zbyr jbhyq qb. ); later in the series having had that tipoff there was a clue onscreen that I was able to deduce, and I managed to guess what was in the tube as a result of these. I get the impression they went a wee bit too obscure for the first series and too obvious for the second.

          Reply
          1. Brig Bother Post author

            The clues in the second series “were there to be solved,” apparently, but I did think once someone cracked them I was a bit annoyed it had been spoilered for me (even if it was my own fault for reading the thread at the time). I preferred the morse code one and the slipping in James Bond references and the buck air freshener, something that looks completely innocuous but when revealed make me go “woooooow.”

          2. John R

            I was 12 years old when the UK Mole was on TV, I remember reading the discussion forums on my 56k internet connection!

            Quite a few clues were set up in such a way that you would have to remember what you had seen or heard earlier in the series, which back then involved a VHS player rather than YouTube so nobody really cottoned on to those like they would these days.

            Glenn’s introductions were clever and must have taken quite a lot of effort to come up with, especially in the second series ‘Is there some trick and no-one your answer’ only the smartest of the fans had that cracked before Episode 8! (Looking back now it feels kick yourself obvious!)

            On a side note and back on topic I did love how Ep 1 of Belgian this year copied Ep 1 of UK series 1 by starting proceedings with Gilles doing his introduction from Day 21!

          3. Brandon

            I didn’t watch either UK series until several years later when they were uploaded to YouTube, and I remember seeing a site where someone had solved a couple of the second series clues a few weeks before the reunion episode, and several people on that forum accused him of being a member of the production team.

          4. David B

            Re: Matt’s post, that kind of stuff is meat and potatoes to attendees of Puzzled Pint these days!

  8. Daniel Peake

    The Suspect List Belgium 2019 is officially open!

    Each week – split 100 points between the remaining candidates. Anything you put on The Mole will be your final score.

    You can submit using this form each week – so please bookmark it:
    https://goo.gl/forms/BOsbkSB24GwCJzmk2

    I’ll leave the form open throughout the season, just upload a new Suspect List each week and I will tot up all the scores at the end. Success!

    Reply
    1. Matt Clemson

      This one feels kind of like the Dutch series (Japan?) where the very first game was a test and execution before any actual games took place. I have so little to go on!

      Reply
      1. Clicky

        I feel like we have a LOT to go on. We got to see the reactions of 3 people getting told they COULD be The Mole. On the flip side, we also got to see 7 people’s reactions to being told they’re not The Mole. And get to watch all 10 asked questions by the host, knowing that 3 of them being asked questions to gauge whether or not they’ll be selected as The Mole.

        And we get to see their reactions/interactions after The Mole is just told they’re The Mole. I actually think there’s a lot more to read into here than any normal first episode!

        Reply
  9. Matt Clemson

    Random thought: If they want an unprepared Mole, are they looking more at the ones who *did* learn to juggle, or those who didn’t but felt they could probably blag it well enough? The latter trait is arguably closer to what they’re actually aiming for this season, surely?

    (I guess there’s also a caveat that some of them would *already* know how to juggle!)

    With the next time trailer including Gilles sneaking into a room to give a briefing, I wonder if we’ll be getting bits of this narrative popping up throughout the season; I remember a big focus of last year’s reunion being on the Mole learning various skills that would prove useful through the season, it may be that this time around that information – depicted in a one-sided manner – might be interspersed throughout the episodes this time.

    Reply
    1. TVs Michael Harmstone

      I think the people to watch are the ones who were able to control which ball fell – it’s all well and good being able to juggle, but having the focus to be able to control which fell and make it look (in some cases) accidental is more of the skill there I think.

      Reply
  10. Joseph M.

    I fucking love this show. The Mole diary snippets? The peek into the briefing of The Mole? Excellent. These are the little touches that separates this year’s De Mol from WIDM 2009 where aside from the opening, the twist of an “unprepared” Mole never really came into play. This year, it permeates everything that we see. From the suspicions of the players (them knowing that a Mole must have been briefed SOMEHOW during the night) to the presentation of the snippets of the Mole’s briefing. The challenges were nicely layered as they usually are on Belgian Mole and the Vietnamese setting contrasts nicely with the Mexican urban landscape from last year!

    Reply
  11. Brig Bother Post author

    Ah! So good, I love how nervous Gilles was before secretly briefing the mole the first time, the understanding that if it goes wrong the whole series is blown.

    Also loved: Joeri the sweaty bear and his intensity whilst making towers with chopsticks. And the idea of cooking by chinese whispers. And a team working out the weakest link clue.

    Great stuff!

    Reply
  12. Clicky

    Loved the mole diary at the end – very spooky!

    Also Joeri told people to “stay calm” like 10 times… lol.

    Reply
  13. John R

    I am convinced one of these Dutch/Belgium seasons Marieke or Natalia will turn up at the final and announce they are actually the mole…after all the only way to get these subtitles up so damn fast must be to get a tape from the producers!

    The paranormal activity diary twist at the end was just downright creepy too…wonder if that is going to be every week and end up forming a clue that will have everyone scratching their heads all season

    Also, I was wondering how they’re going to cram this all into the usual 8+1 episode format without the week 1 elimination but reading the YouTube comments it looks like this year it is actually 9+1!

    Reply
  14. Tantusar

    This week in things I love in Belgian Mole: Doubling the previously on segment as the dramatis personae which would be held for a formal intro in something like the Dutch version.

    Reply
    1. John R

      I love the silent green screens so when the red screen finally pops up it genuinely makes your heart jump! Especially if wearing headphones

      Reply
  15. Brig Bother Post author

    I’ve just discovered that the “typing in the names” elimination music is the same as the one used in the original Belgian Mole 20 years ago. Nice!

    Reply
    1. John R

      I’ve always wondered too if the presenter had free choice on which order they type the names in or if that is decided by the production team

      I remember one of the American seasons had a bit of a naff clue in that the Mole’s name was never entered during the executions, towards the end I think one of the contestants had even picked up on this as they asked the host for the Mole to go first (the host ignored the request)

      Reply
      1. Brandon

        I’m sure one time, I can’t remember what country’s version it was on, the host spelled a contestants name wrong and the computer still accepted it. That made me think it’s in a certain order, but now that I think about it it could work a different way.

        Reply
        1. Tom F

          IRRC, in the English interview Gilles did he mentioned that they have it set up so that after the first 2 letters he can press any keys and the correctly spelled name will still appear on the screen.

          Reply
      2. TVs Michael Harmstone

        I’d suspect it’s predetermined, both for clue reasons and trying to heighten the tension.

        It’s potentially a different story for Gilles as he also acts as showrunner.

        Reply
        1. Carl D

          For the dutch version I would certainly think it’s predetermined. But when I watched the Belgian version I was a bit shocked that Gilles was just offering the chance and he actually obliges with the first one who raises their hand.

          Reply
    2. Carl D

      One of the best tweets I have read this week (in dutch) was a fan being so stressed with Gilles that he should’ve learned how to type fast the 4 seasons he has hosted this.

      I know it’s for tension but it is indeed really bothering how he types the names so slow.

      Reply
  16. Daniel Peake

    I too loved the ‘we’re about to brief the Mole’ and the ‘so how was it’ interview afterwards. Very innovative – I do hope we continue to get these parts because this is a journey into the unknown for the Mole too, this is a journey for them as well!

    I must say, aside from some prep skills learning, I think all future Moles should go into Day 1 not knowing anything, and then adapt based on the briefings or – heaven forbid – just go into an occasional challenge blind.

    Reminder – The Suspect List for Belgium can be found here:
    https://forms.gle/pLFPSomiwXxrbDrt9

    It’s the same form each week, so bookmark it. Submit a new list each week and give it the appropriate episode number. Success!

    Reply
  17. Chris M. Dickson

    The invention and cleverness of the games in just that one episode came close to matching that of the whole of the Dutch show. As ever, there’s a mixture of surely-practically-impossible-but-just-not-quite challenges and other challenges which make the contestants look heroic for taking them on, but with cute twists in the right places to reward clever gameplay in a way that we haven’t seen since The Genius. I think the show only really works when it’s played at the boundary of people’s comfort zones, which can make it an occasionally tough watch for faint hearts like mine, but it’ll be exciting to see just how close to the line the production team can play things… and whether, maybe, just maybe, they push the extent of the Mole’s trickery so hard that the gaff gets blown, which would be exciting and authentic and unpredictable in a way all of its own, and wouldn’t quite kill the series outright.

    (How good could a series of The Mole by the The Genius production team be?)

    Reply
  18. Joseph M.

    This fucking show. I can’t even. I can’t fucking even with how good it is. Again, we see how well thought out and threaded the idea of starting with no Mole is this season. It’s not just a start-of-game episode 1 Netflix twist. Instead, it’s a constant motif that is significant to the viewers, the players, and the game. Fucking excellent. The first challenge was delightfully layered although very much leaning towards failure (as is the case for most self vs group games). It pays off though with some hilarious moments in the cabins especially with Kaat & Eva yelling their heads off. The addition of the option to see the others tested about lying about rabbits was a great little twist.

    The stone game was simple and sometimes you just need a game that requires a little elbow grease. I liked that Mr Thim provided a clue via the bottle opener and the scene with them having dinner was quite charming and compelling.

    The vovinam game was filmed like an epic battle scene right out of Game of Thrones. Mix that with the Weakest Link money tree mechanic and you have a great looking challenge that played out incredibly tensely especially with the at-the-buzzer victory.

    Then the bombshell cliffhanger. AND THEY HAVE RABBITS TOO. Beautiful subversion of the first reboot season’s first episode challenge. Plays off the contestants’ knowledge of the show only for the rug to be pulled right out from under them with the reveal that Eva is not the lowest scorer. Brilliant.

    Best season ever so far? I mean that across all international versions. Might just be. Much will depend on the reveal.

    Reply
  19. Carl

    I was so happy about Aflevering 3 as well. This show just keeps on delivering! The challenges were entertaining and the sound bites they got from the kandidaten was so funny as well. I was on the look on the “lie” that Gilles will say – I thought it would be that the animals in the room were just fake (until they were real) and that Vovinam Opdracht took my mind out of it until the last minute.

    My predictions on what will happen next week:

    – Group thinks Eva is in a “Ruth situation”, then she calls and explains it.
    – If task is successful, no one gets eliminated and Eva wins Vrijstelling/Pasvragen (or money for the group’s pot?), though I think the dilemma here is giving Eva a big advantage (and probably yourself) vs letting it flow and proceed with elimination if you’re confident enough.

    Reply
  20. steve

    All i can say is i love this show sooooooooooo much and the belgian version is just so damn good.

    Reply
  21. John R

    My head is still spinning, is Eva safe from elimination next episode? As in, is it either nobody gets eliminated or the person with the lowest quiz score gets eliminated rather than Eva? (unless of course she did get the lowest score, but I’m thinking in terms of her being mole who of course never goes home!)

    I was so engrossed with the race I literally totally forgot there were 3 other candidates doing the other challenge until it switched back to them!

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      As I understand it, Eva is perfectly safe and has the opportunity to save the actual eliminee or not by being helpful or not – whether there are other implications remain to be seen.

      More brilliant challenges this week – found the race to be extremely funny as everyone began to twig how they were being played against each other. Also the comment that she’d rather sleep with the pig instead of Axel because of his snoring – loved the set up of that challenge, the tension of waiting for the light to go out and then the comedy tension of almost touching the massive fucking spider (why would you have chosen arthropod, I mean really?). Agree with Joseph, love that the surprise Mole has been worked into all corners of the show, not just an exciting episode one thing. I actually wondered if Gilles might have lied to the Mole in one of the briefings regarding the animal that might be selected, to allow some proper surprise.

      Were the Vietnamese rowers doing it with their feet? Blimey.

      I loved both of the challenges with the monk. A good old Mole engineering challenge (“what are the balloons for?”) and the epic fighting, very video-gamey the way that was set up. Also suggests you can rule out Axel if you haven’t already for correctly pointing out you might as well bank each time at that point. Could Bruno deliberately have looked weak just to get them to bank early?

      The first name typed in never goes so not surprised that that was the lie. I CANNOT WAIT until next week.

      I really like this group.

      Reply
      1. Dale

        I had the same thoughts about Bruno as well because he seemed to hold his own in the round following the banking. I was like it would be hilarious to find out in the finale if he is a black belt or something.

        I am wondering if the mole was eligible for this weeks cliffhanger, since technically they are never at risk of elimination and can just click through the quiz super fast. It just depends on how the game is setup and if/how money earning is involved.

        My biggest question is that is it to the advantage of the mole to try to sabotage the success of the challenge or to let no one go home? I guess it just depends if money will be offered in sparing or eliminating someone. It will be interesting to watch to see if they believe her that someone else is the true eliminee.

        Reply
      2. Carl

        I don’t think Bruno can fake being weak on that challenge, he really looked like he is on the cusp of being defeated but he was giving his 100% on defending the ball. And I don’t think he can really sabotage that much on that challenge – the money is controlled by the boat people and all he can do is to break a streak. Besides, it seems like he volunteered to do it because Axel was the one being pushed by the group until he said he wants to do it, unlike Bas and Joeri who were already established as the “strong guys” and cannot say no. And also, with him helping Ingrid on the chained hike task as well as giving his best in Vovinam, I bet everyone has ruled him out as the mole already at that point (though it would be amazing if he were the mole and he just used the first 2 episodes to build himself up as the hero.) Bruno is at the bottom of my mole list now.

        Reply
    2. Dale

      She is safe she didnt score the lowest from what Gilles said. Someone else in the group will go home if the next assignment fails.

      Reply
  22. Chris M. Dickson

    Very very very good episode. If you’re going to have a “contestants put in physical pain but look heroic” episode this is a much better and more organic way of doing it than the ones they’ve used for the last couple of series.

    I thought the lie was that there wasn’t going to be an elimination at all, so… sort of, potentially. Very tempting to wonder if there’s a paint grenade beneath the table next to whoever the true would-be eliminee is, rather than in the car as in a couple of seasons ago.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I think the graphic at the end suggested that, although I also suspect they can’t say WHO it will affect because it rules them out of being the Mole.

      Reply
    2. Matt Clemson

      Arguably the setpiece a couple of series ago didn’t work in part because it was framed as “The eliminee is eliminated, but you can bring her back”; that led the remaining contestants to be less inclined to help out; great drama, not a great game. Reframing it as the person in the car being safe and giving the contestants the fear of elimination instead gives them *much* more motivation to co-operate

      But then there’s a corollary: I’m considering the possibility that the lie is, in fact, everything that we heard at the *end*. The eliminee *is* the eliminee, the paint bomb is in the car.

      You’d still get very much the same psychological effect that was missing the first time around to motivate the team to play the game as intended, it remains true to Gilles’ one lie claim, just the lie was that it wasn’t the lie he said it was. And there’s a fun side-effect which is that if they are successful and defuse the bomb, the eliminee doesn’t end up with the extra information that their test contents were wrong.

      (That said, the eliminee clearly can leave the car in the next time trailers, so if my theory is correct, there may have to be a mechanism to force them to be present at the climax. Or they paint bomb an entire courtyard and terrify some bunnies.)

      I’m curious what – right now – the contestants think Gilles’ lie was. They haven’t been privy to what we heard, so they’re still in the dark about it. Given that circumstance, I wonder if they might start putting together theories… particularly when they don’t hear anything more about the ‘fastest test’ bonus.

      Reply
      1. Chris M. Dickson

        That is genius and would be so, so satisfying if it were the case… and yet, if it’s not the case, it’s still a very exciting situation. How would it work, though, if the remaining contestants were to do whatever to let the would-be-eliminee survive? Would it be the case that they would have to be eliminated anyway? (Might it actually be impossible to let the would-be-eliminee survive? Might the mole be briefed to make sure they don’t survive?)

        Reply
  23. Brig Bother Post author

    I think something that Belgian Mole does really well is doing complex challenges in such a way that they’re actually not difficult to follow. The boats, for example, if you were to try and describe that challenge to somebody there would be no way of doing that without the other person getting very confused. However Belgian Mole *layers* its challenge rules – I suspect the contestants know most of them before starting but for us the true nature of the challenge builds as it goes on, and when a new layer gets introduced the contestants naturally spell out the implications for the slower viewers. It’s all very clever.

    Great direction can really help with complex ideas, which is something I’ve always thought.

    Reply
    1. Joseph M.

      Another benefit of the layered challenges is that it makes assigning blame to any one contestant more difficult. Every player typically has some kind of role to play and there are multiple points for the group to potentially sabotage. It muddles techniques such as follow the money.

      Reply
  24. Andrew, the Yank

    Getting caught up on episodes 2 & 3, the fact that they included breakfast with the players chained together is such a brilliant, hilarious touch.

    Good use of the Passion Pit song “Take a Walk” during the hiking challenge. Love that song.
    Also the shot after the challenge of the whole group on top of the steps flying above them was astonishing.

    … crap I can’t watch episode 3 yet, I need to go to bed as I work tomorrow. So I’m submitting my suspect list selections (after missing last week) without even knowing who’s the second person eliminated, let alone seeing more mole actions.

    Reply
  25. Carl

    Yet another strong episode! I love how they keep increasing the number of people getting blasted by paint. I bet by next season they will blast paint in the first episode to all the contestants. I was guessing that the paint will only be sprayed on the Afvaller as I have thought they would have predetermined seats in the table, but as Gilles said to Hans in Season 5, you can only get eliminated officially in De Mol by seeing a red screen.

    For this episode I am also ruling out Joeri as the mole, given that his situation with the ladder was very mole-able but he really pushed to get into the boat. He had every reason not to get on successfully on board (missing rung, takes extra strength to push yourself up) but he did and he won 4,500 euros. And the mole’s dagboek says that the mole did try to mole. Axel was the most suspicious during that challenge – letting Martijn inflate his vest and also dampening the torch. But I still feel he’s just putting suspicion towards his way rather than actually mole-ing.

    Eva was on the top of my suspect list but I’m replacing her with Kaat. But I’m still suspicious of her – the rabbit task was a way to deflect the suspicions on her. She acted like a contestant and went for pasvragen (while also losing the money) and not go the “mole’s path” of keeping as many people as possible – as everyone thinks the mole will do. At this point, I would just focus on Kaat and Eva, with Axel as the soft mole (I am reminded of what Sinan did in WIDM 19 in a way).

    But please please surprise us with a “Bruno is the mole” ending. Haha.

    Reply
  26. Joseph M.

    I find it surprising actually that there’s so much suspicion going around Kaat when in this episode she seemed to really act in a way that assured me she’s a contestant. For one, she chose to actively try to play the bomb game even though an easy Mole tactic would be to let them kill time not even trying to play and joining the dissenting voice. In this, Elisabet was far more suspicious. Also, if Kaat were the Mole, why even bring up CPR during the first part of the musical beach challenge? Elisabet sits at the top of my suspicions still even though if she were The Mole, choosing to stay on the boat might have made Mole-ing a little bit harder?

    Now, to my typical analysis of the games.

    The bomb game was a gorgeous subversion of the Ruth game from the 2016 season. The graphic revealing the bomb beneath the contestants was practically Hitchcockian. It reminded me of his old saying that suspense is showing a bomb under a table and characters at that table, not knowing it’s there. I wouldn’t be surprised if that quote directly inspired the design of this game. That being said, this particular challenge was practically designed to fail in the same way that the Ruth game from 2016 was as well. Too many factors relying upon the players fully cooperating that just don’t seem plausible with a Mole in their midst. Sabotaging this is as simple as lying about the gender you selected on the quiz. Made for great TV but it seemed pretty unwinnable.

    The pair of beach games were all pretty simple on their own but the fact that they were bunched together as part of ONE challenge segment is what differentiates De Mol from say WIDM. In WIDM, any one of those games (matching the fish, plus all three music beach minigames) might have been a segment all on its own. The fact that they merged FOUR distinct games altogether is a testament to the show’s creativity.

    Finally, what’s there to say about that last challenge? Fucking. Gorgeous. To open it with the “I will now brief The Mole in front of all of you” was an excellent twist and another rich callback to the theme of the season: pushing and testing an UNPREPARED Mole. It’s almost like doing the twist is only worth it when it’s a running, continuous theme (I’M LOOKING AT YOU WIDM 2009). But to add on top of that a wonderfully complex, thrilling, and physically challenging escape room type game and you have what might be one of my absolute favorite Mole challenges of all time. Escape room games on Mole are complex enough to be difficult with just the mental factor but throw in the swimming and climbing aspect and you have a whole new level of greatness. Joeri playing the hero by pulling himself up and doing it for his children? That’s great television. What a whopper segment and a real testament to the non-Mole players that they pulled it off because that challenged looked fucking IMPOSSIBLE. Surprise, surprise, another amazing episode from the best version of the greatest reality show on earth.

    Reply
    1. John R

      When Elisabet got a green screen in the first part of the episode there was a very strange sound to accompany it, might have just been there to build tension but considering as I mentioned the green screens are normally fairly ‘silent’ the other week it seemed a bit unusual

      Reply
    2. Carl

      My reason for suspecting Kaat as the mole is going by the “she’s suspicious, but she’s not the most suspicious one so far” rule that I somewhat made up in my mind after watching all the other seasons. Basing on the editing, they tend to edit out the winner as the one who is very suspicious and the mole slightly reasonable.

      Reply
  27. Brig Bother Post author

    To be honest, given the amazing revelations of the previous eps, this episode felt disappointing by virtue of just being “very good”.

    Particularly loved the floating escape room. And Joeri belting out a tune. Joeri’s probably my favourite contestant this year, providing hilarious intensity.

    If you missed this from Natalia’s description:

    “CULTURAL CONTEXT (not a spoiler): If you want to understand the joke behind one of the challenges, it relates to this sketch from an old Belgian comedy show: https://youtu.be/reP9NzBjDvo?t=67. They tell her they don’t know how to dance in a club at a certain point in the song (at ‘the explosion’) when the music suddenly escalates as it builds towards the climax. So she helps them feel where the climax (the ‘explosion’) is.”

    Reply
  28. Clicky

    Loved this episode!!

    I had tunnel vision on Kaat from episode 1… but after Eva single-handedly took $2k out of the pot with her decisions, I’m starting to suspect her as well. Also considering, the Mole could EASILY take the quiz the fastest by literally picking any answer they want without reading the question because it has no impact on them. Kaat also wanting to help with the bomb made me think she could be The Mole… trying to look nice to disarm the others from suspecting her.

    We also are told that the majority voted “female” yet the eliminated person picked “male”. Which further lends itself to the idea that the Mole may be a female.

    On the boat challenge, I don’t know if either of Kaat/Eva really sabotaged. Unless intentionally not going back to the boat and stalling as long as possible was the sabotage by Kaat and/or Eva…

    Axel clearly got water on the torch, and whatshisface pulled the rope (which they only showed once, compared to them repeatedly showing the wet torch).

    Can’t wait for next week ^_^.

    Reply
  29. Chris M. Dickson

    I really liked Matt Clemson’s hypothesis about the lie not being what it seemed – but, if it had turned out to be the case, I would have almost been annoyed at Matt for guessing it in advance as it would have been an amazing surprise predicted, if not quite spoiled.

    Another excellent episode. It felt a little quieter in parts than the ones we’ve had so far with the fishing and beach challenges, but it’s probably just the consequence of the energy of the show naturally dropping after the elimination at the start of the show, and good reason as to why eliminations take place at the end. And yet to pick the pace up by seemingly effortlessly throwing in one of the best escape room challenges there has yet been at the end of the show…!

    The decision to hold an elimination in the morning feels strange, and thus the prospect of going straight from an elimination into a challenge. Keeping the contestants on their toes and disrupting their rhythm is one thing, but I wonder if it was forced on them by circumstances outside the production team’s control. Obviously the integrity of the gameplay is sacrosanct, but I wonder if they ever film retakes to edit in close-ups or the like?

    Reply
    1. Carl

      I bet they just really want to eliminate someone with a leaving boat and they definitely cannot do it at night, as the waters are really dangerous at that time of the day. Or if not with the purpose of “using a boat”, there’s no other way out of that island but a small boat, thus they were forced to hold an elimination in the morning.

      Reply
  30. steve

    Some Interesting Behind the scenes stuff from Natalia.

    And I finally read some newspaper articles, so here is some behind the scenes information: The producers chose who they thought was the best liar during the interrogation, and it wasn’t who they were going to pick originally. It was a unanimous decision among the five of them and Gilles. There are ‘a few’ less hidden hints this year (and last year there were only two). They’re very aware of how good people are at finding hidden hints now and say it’s nice that fans are so into the show but it’s damn hard to hide anything anymore. They would rather be cautious because they prefer people find the mole by analyzing the episodes and not from a hint. They’re also (thankfully) against having two moles as a twist because it would go too far away from what the game is about.

    The reason they had the bonfire and slept on the beach last episode was because the producers make sure to help the group bond after they set them against each other, like with the paint bomb. They had a lot of problems with their cameras while filming in Ha Long Bay. There was supposed to be a parrot that chirped Polly at Bruno and Elisabet, but they had to switch to Morse code at the last minute.

    They tell the mole to let challenges succeed sometimes to help the group atmosphere or because it will look nice on camera, but the mole doesn’t always listen. Also, in previous years a lot of the time when they would brief the mole back in Belgium and tell them all of the different ways to sabotage, the contestants would approach it in a way they didn’t even think of and the mole had to improvise anyway.

    They’re trying to make the mole more human this year because in previous years, you didn’t know anything about how they felt or what they were thinking until the reunion. That’s why they added the mole’s diary.

    On Café De Mol, two former moles said the only thing they ever refilm is Gilles messing up his lines. Everything else is exactly what happened, so the scene with Eva finding out she wasn’t actually eliminated was probably completely genuine.

    I hope at the reunion they tell us who they thought they originally were going to pick

    Reply
    1. John R

      During this episode at one point I thought Eva could potentially be the Mole, and all it came down to was a throwaway comment when they were dressing up where she said ‘I wanted to save this dress for the finale’, it would have been one of those ‘kick yourself’ hints, then she became ill for the challenge and I was over analysing that like mad, I wondered what would happen if an actual mole was ever in a similar situation – presumably they would just have to let the challenge go on without a mole and hope the contestants managed to bugger it up?

      For similar reasons, my eyes are slightly more on Bruno now purely because of his throwaway comment ‘I bet Bas is already underground’ at breakfast, but again it is only a very slight vision as I don’t know if all the contestants knew about the upcoming challenge at breakfast or not!

      I do love the ‘flashback’ effect they keep using! It was also nice of the producers to give Natalia a break from having to subtitle this week with most of the second challenge 😉

      Reply
      1. spp138

        The last season of the Mole US saw the Mole Craig being attended to in an ambulance during a high altitude hike. At the finale, IIRC, they were saying that they were freaking out a little bit.

        Reply
  31. Joseph M.

    A far more traditional episode of Mole this week, one that wouldn’t be out of place in any of the other seasons. First challenge was all right, nothing too spectacular but a fun combination of minigames. Similar to the bike trek in 2017 where the players go on a long route with minigames in between.

    Second game was far more fun, a real testament to the creativity of the show. I like how it played out as a variant of the “Mole reveals themselves” dinner from WIDM 2010 in Japan. All the silly individual challenges were hilarious to watch especially Elisabet’s awkward speech that didn’t make it on time (sneaky, sneaky Mole) and Axel trying very, very hard to stay under the table for a minute.

    The last challenge was just classic Mole. A paintball game with an Exemption and Jokers (sorry, that’s what I instinctively call them) on the line. Didn’t reach the heights of 2017’s Hunger Games but a fun watch nonetheless with Bruno’s self-sacrifice and Bas’ scheming to nab the Exemption. Played out well and I liked the Vietnam War motif too.

    When The Mole says they know there won’t be a family visit, I wonder if they mean this literally as in there won’t be one at all or if they mean they’ll sabotage the game so as not to earn one. I think it might be literal if the studio/warehouse the loved ones were in during the preview was actually back in Belgium and the contestants only saw them via camera. I do wonder how that will go especially since The Mole says it will be quite a blow to group morale.

    Reply
    1. Dale

      My guess with the shot or the plane at the end is that the contestants have to earn their family visit. And of course. The Mole wont let that happen

      Reply
  32. Carl

    Eva was my main suspect. And now she’s gone. I have ruled out Bruno and Joeri as moles in the previous episodes but some discussion about Bruno being the mole in the forums and social media are so believable. Joeri is the only one now that acts as a contestant in the group.

    But I have noticed a pattern among the Final 6 eliminees:

    4: Thibaud
    5: Hans
    6: Steve

    So I’m predicting a Bruno elimination next week. Or else he is the mole. Haha.

    My main suspect is now Kaat, because of the whole Eva thing she did with the test. If she isn’t the mole, then maybe it’ll point to Elisabet; if Kaat is suspecting a woman. Axel has lost some money again this week but I think he is a mole-ling contestant rather than an actual mole.

    Reply
  33. TVs Michael Harmstone

    Of all the challenges to return, I didn’t expect the WIDM Argentina “here’s a nice dinner, have some mini challenges” one to come back.

    I loved this episode. So much stupid stuff to discuss.

    Reply
  34. Tom F

    Hats off to Gilles and co, who would have thought that the restaurant challenge from WIDM9/10 would be the thing for the Belgians to make their mark on?
    This has been such a great series so far, every episode has done something spectacular.

    Reply
  35. Brig Bother Post author

    My favourite bit in that episode was Axel deliberately bumping his head to ensure getting over the minute mark under the table.

    It’s interesting that they’ve done well in the all-or-nothing big money tasks and rather less well in the minigame ones.

    Next week’s looks brilliant.

    Reply
    1. Joseph M.

      Controlling the loved ones as video game avatars looks fantastic. I recall a similar game being used on TAR. Excited to see what twist De Mol brings to it.

      Reply
  36. Steve

    I had to pause the video after Joeri tried to work “regenpipe” into the conversation because I was laughing so hard. I don’t think he’s the mole, but I hope he makes it to the end, I love him so much.

    Reply
  37. Chris M. Dickson

    Episode 6… go go go!

    (The Ace of Spades, the Ace of Spades, etc.)

    Reply

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