National's leader Todd Muller had probably hoped for a week without caucus-wrought distractions, but he arrived at work to find his caucus engaged in side-eyes at dawn and a reshuffle on his hands.
It was the last week of Parliament before a two-week recess, and so the last chance for Muller to try to put Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over the grill over the Government's handling of quarantine for a while.
It should have been a week of clear air as Muller tried to build on the smidgen of momentum handed to him by the revelations hundreds of people returning from overseas had left quarantine without being tested.
The tax debate was back on the table as well after the Green Party's release of its tax policy - and Labour's refusal to rule out lifting tax on high income earners.
Alas, the release of MP Judith Collins' book and Paula Bennett's resignation on Monday were always going to suck up attention.
Together, the two events prompted a melodrama of passive-aggression.
Muller himself was not a subject of Collins' book – but that book did air Collins' grievances about her treatment by Sir John Key. That was always going to get backs up among other MPs who defended Key – and at the head of that pack was Bennett.
First came the timing of Bennett's announcement, bang in the middle of Collins' publicity drive.
Then came Bennett's very deliberate decision to mention that she was in Key's "kitchen Cabinet" from 2014 to 2017 in her resignation statement.
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That was clearly prompted by Collins' complaint that she herself had never been in his inner circle, and he ran a "boys' club".
The inference was that Key was sexist. Asked if that was what she was saying, Collins said people could judge for themselves.
Bennett was having none of that. Her clear inference was that Key was not sexist – he was simply Collins-ist.
When Collins was then asked if she was sad to see Bennett leaving, Collins replied "not really" – before adding, more kindly, that she was pleased Bennett had been able to make her own decision.
It highlighted Muller's need to try to unite the caucus as leaks continue and arguments sprout about the party's positioning on issues such as law and order.
The news those MPs got that National had been stagnating in its own polls at about 34 per cent for the past three weeks will not have helped.
Bennett's departure does, however, present Muller with an opportunity to tidy up the loose ends from his first reshuffle.
Bennett was the only Māori within cooee of his front bench at 13, and the next was the capable Shane Reti at 17. That needs to be rectified.
Then there was Bridges, who was left in limbo in the last reshuffle after he spurned Muller's offer of the Justice portfolio and Muller rejected his request for the Foreign affairs portfolio.
That reshuffle is due to be announced on Thursday, and could well see Bridges get his way – if Muller was able to wrestle the foreign affairs portfolio from Gerry Brownlee.
In that regard, Bridges had a bit of fun reminding people of his CV on social media on Wednesday.
First he tweeted an old video clip of himself as a toddler on a visit to his marae of Oparure to remind everyone that, yes, there was another Māori who could sit on the front bench and it was him.
Then came a tweet of his lunch yesterday with the new Ambassador for the European Union, Nina Obermaier.
Other potential shifts for that reshuffle could see Nikki Kaye take Bennett's portfolio of Women, a portfolio she had wanted for herself, while Shane Reti is likely to take Drug reform.
Either Reti or Bridges could get the 13th slot but Muller has ruled out changes to the top 12. Anne Tolley was National's pick as a potential Speaker – but her resignation is expected to see that move to Amy Adams instead.
In the end all of these distractions may have ended up being a blessing because after Monday it was reported Muller wanted the borders to reopen.
Actually, he had not said that at all but what he did say made it very easy for his rivals to portray it as a call to open the borders for all and sundry.
What Muller did say was now was not the time for it but it was unthinkable the borders could remain closed for years on end. So, he reckoned, the Government needed to set out what the criteria were for when and how the gates could creak open again.
Muller then got into trouble because he could not say what criteria National itself would apply to such a decision if it was in Government.
Muller did have one noteworthy victory. In Parliament, Peters has been mispronouncing his name as "Mew-ler". In response, Muller pointed out Peters had known him for 30 years "and he still can't get my name right".
Muller is yet to make a final decision on whether National will keep the door closed to NZ First or entertain the prospect of governing with them.
So it is interesting that the next time Peters stood, he duly pronounced Muller properly.