The destructive force that is Vincent Buckles just keeps swirling at Red Jacket.
The loss of Vince—specifically the way it occurred—has left bitterness all around at the shop, and Will has no problem letting anyone know what his current feelings are regarding his ex-employee. In fact, when temporary worker Billy speaks to Will about Vince, and how he feels the guys in the shop are looking for him to be like Vince, Will makes it perfectly clear: No one in the shop (in his estimation, at least) cares about that, um … well, he was very colorful in making his point that he did not want to hear about Vince. Period.
So, imagine how he must have felt when he discovered Vince had been in his shop overnight, courtesy of his trusted Red Jacket team.
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Will seemed to place the blame on the producers and camera crew, but it may have been that he could not stand to think that his team would betray him and go behind his back, bringing Vince back into Red Jacket without his knowledge. But, betray him they did, and in more ways than one, although bringing Vince in was probably the most egregious, given the circumstances and atmosphere at Red Jacket.
Following Vince’s abrupt, childish departure, the shop was—and still is—shorthanded, and things got backed up (although, granted, one does have to wonder sometimes just how hard the guys are working—Billy was tearing it up when he was there, but that’s because he was focused on working, not on socializing and hamming it up for the cameras). And, with all of the pressure, Joe decided to give up his full-time teaching job, which he had held for 10+ years. But, when he made the decision to quit, and after following through with the decision, he inexplicably failed to inform Will of his actions, instead choosing to go behind Will’s back and scoop up a rejected Red Jacket project as his own.
Making Joe's actions even worse, he was working on the covert project on company time (after all, Joe doesn’t have his own shop facilities), pulling others from the shop into the deception (no surprise that Flem played right along, but shame on now-son-in-law Kris and daughter Stephanie), and he even took materials from the shop to incorporate into the build (Did anyone else question how he was funding other items he needed for the build?). And, although he was clearly not happy about Vince’s appearance in Red Jacket (he was invited, of course, by his constant and never-wavering cheerleader Flem), it was, in fact, Joe’s deceptive actions that led to the reappearance of Vince into the world of Red Jacket.
Ultimately, of course, Will discovered what was going on behind his back, and went directly to the source—Joe. Instead of blowing up, however, Will spoke calmly and compassionately with the obviously embarrassed and ashamed Joe, and ended up offering him the position of chief operating officer of Red Jacket. There was really very little said of the entire incident—certainly not the reaction one might have expected given the level of betrayal involved—and, apparently, Will’s trust in his crew, specifically in Joe, was not shaken in the least, leading one to believe one of two things must have been in the works:
- Will is an extremely compassionate, forgiving man, willing to wear blinders for the sake of keeping his team together.
- The entire scenario was staged for the camera, and, instead of just making Joe COO of Red Jacket upon Vince’s departure, it was decided that they would give the audience a little drama with the whole implausible idea of Joe quitting his full-time job and never mentioning it to Will, swooping in on a Red Jacket reject project—which, by the way, doesn’t really resonate with the Joe that viewers have been shown by the series thus far—commandeering the staff, and, ultimately, reaping rewards from the deception with, apparently, no repercussions.
Which was it?
Who knows—it’s reality TV, after all.
Image: Wikimedia Commons