She's so smart she can do anything, which is why the promotion had to be about the stuff she's not great with: Disappointing people, enforcing things, being the authority when she'd rather nurture. Justice vs. Mercy. She can run numbers all day, sacrifice herself without ever feeling it, but it takes a special kind of person to be this allergic to this particular thing, which less great people are often perfect at from day one. We use the Peter Principle to talk shit about our bosses because that's the LCD, the Dilbert of it all, but it can also be a great motivator, a great check on ego: Any time you're forced to ask, "Have I been promoted to the level of my own incompetence," the next statement out of your face has got to be, "No. Fuck that. I'm still growing." And the Peter Principle, applied correctly, does nothing more than to show you the what, the why and the how. If you can be honest about what you see in the mirror, it can give you all the hope you need, to assume the next shape. To step through the door.
Which in this case means untangling the utter selfishness of Nice from the scary tiltawhirl of Kind -- the one thing that she actually has been promoted past her ability to deal with, as yet. It would have been nice for her to take Cary by the hand and explain how this all happened, how it was that she kept giving and taking away again, all week. It would have been nice for her to ask for his support with the underlings while they deal with her transition. It would have been nice for her to take Kalinda out for a drink and discuss the kiss with Will. But none of those things would have been kind. It would be galling to them, and it would be galling to Diane, and it would have been galling to me. She did okay, by the end of the day: Curt but not brutal, swift but not hard, quiet but not silent. These are the things you will give me, and letting you decide how is the extent of my management today. Either way it was going to be bumpy as hell, but this way maximizes dignity for us both.
From the people who brought you "Jackie Florrick Just Made Me Cry," I bring you "Why Am I Having Kalinda-And-Alicia Feelings About Two Corrupt Douchebags Who Are As Far From Being Kalinda Or Alicia As You Can Get?"
Peter: "Polls say I won, by 56 percent."
Eli: "Better than that, they always under-sample younger voters because nobody has landlines anymore."
Peter: "But you're still packing up your shit?"
Eli: "I'm still damaged goods, whatever went down with the DOJ. Mike Kresteva is guesting next week and you know his ass was probably behind this whole thing somehow."
Peter: "I will punch him in the motherfucking neck, I don't care. Eli, I want you back."
Eli: "Don't be sentimental, Peter. What we had was once in a lifetime, true. But we..."
Peter: "You want sentimental? How about this fake-out handshake that turns into a bearhug?"
Eli: "I feel so safe in your arms, Peter. But we can't."