With Netflix’s ‘The Mole’ being a reboot of the ABC original competition series of the same name (2001-2008), we get a true insight into the way money and skepticism can turn people around. That’s because the entire concept of this production is for 12 players to compete in a set of challenges for a hopefully hefty cash prize, all the while trying to identify the saboteur amongst them. So now that the first five captivating installments of this season have finally premiered on our small screens, let’s dig a little deeper into the reality of New Jersey native Pranav Patel, shall we?
Is Pranav Patel the Mole?
Pranav knew from the get-go that he would likely always have a target on his back since he’s not only “extremely intelligent” but also “a little hard to read,” which can come across as deceptive. However, his actions at every turn — deliberately throwing suspicion upon himself, genuinely caring for the game, and building true connections — do make it seem like he’s just a regular player. After all, his focus on every challenge as well as the prize pot was distinctive, plus there were no signs of him messing around because his teams almost always brought in funds for the pool.
The fact Pranav never really zeroed in on a particular individual as his suspect — hello, gut feeling? — did seem a bit strange at times, yet he’d already made it clear he’s academically smart. Therefore, he admittedly (evidently) made every single one of his decisions, whether during the missions or for the intricate elimination quizzes, based on pure observations and some statistics. He elucidated, “I’m not taking this quiz to cater my answers to one specific person. My strategy is simple; just play the majority” — he understood the alternative could quickly send him home.
Yes, every aspect of this approach is something a mole would attempt to follow at some point to blend in, but they would never purposefully add money to the pot, which Pranav consistently did. In fact, his team earned $2,500 in the first challenge (if it were only up to him, it could’ve been $5,000), and there was nothing suspicious throughout his squad’s jailbreak for mission #2 that got $14,000. He didn’t care about the capital in the third round because there was an elimination exemption on the line, yet it kind of made sense since they technically weren’t losing anything.
The fact Pranav didn’t even look into the dossiers with information on his fellow contestants in the hopes it could cash in $10,000 (it didn’t) and his efforts during the Great Barrier Reef treasure hunt honestly just reiterated his intentions. His team did fail to bring in any cash in the subsequent bank heist challenge where he was the “critical thinker,” but he did make up for it in the very next round by earning $7,000 in total (alongside Avori Henderson and William Richardson).
Pranav thus worked hard under any given situation — living up to the fact he’s a Biomedical Engineering as well as a Law graduate — yet it wasn’t ever over the top to raise too much suspicion. Only Sandy Ronquillo seemingly focused on him following the bank heist mission owing to his undeniably strategic position, resulting in her being eliminated and hence making it clear he’s not the mole.
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