Just when you think you cannot be surprised, along comes a whopping reminder of how fractious Northern Ireland's politics remains.
For all the smiling consensus at joint press conferences over the past few weeks there was always that underlying sense of key players on both sides waiting for the other to make the sort of mistake which would allow them to jump in to reheat old arguments and pick at older scabs.
Michelle O'Neill dumped a huge problem on Arlene Foster's doorstep on Tuesday: yet it was the sort of problem that Foster hoped would end in a fudge and something that could be interpreted as an apology.
But O'Neill was not for budging.
And it soon became clear that there were elements within the DUP that wanted to serve a dish-best-served-cold revenge on Sinn Fein for all the blows landed on their leader during the RHI crisis and Brexit set-backs.
Foster refused to mention the 'resign' word on Wednesday: partly because she knows that it reopens the arguments about her refusal to do so back in 2017.
It led to McGuinness's resignation the collapse of the Executive, an election which saw unionism lose its overall majority and three years without devolution.
Partly too because she knows that if O'Neill treads the path she herself trod in 2017, by not stepping aside for a few weeks, history could easily repeat itself.
So it probably came as quite a blow when Lord Morrow and Lord McCrea - popular and influential figures within the party - issued a blistering statement on Wednesday evening, demanding the resignation of both O'Neill and Conor Murphy.
I wonder if they considered whether they would be any happier with O'Neill's replacement?
That blow was amplified on Thursday morning when Jeffrey Donaldson, the party's parliamentary leader, also called for O'Neill's resignation.
Given that the UUP, Alliance and SDLP were by then backing the 'stand aside' call, it was inevitable that the DUP would have to follow suit; although that was always going to box Foster into a corner.
Here's her problem. Other than standing down as First Minister she has no guaranteed means of forcing O'Neill's resignation: but collapsing the Executive still requires SF's imprimatur to reboot it at some point, which would probably require more concessions from Foster.
There is the possibility of a vote of confidence: and with a comfortable majority of MLAs supporting 'stand aside' and SF not having the numbers for a bacon-saving Petition of Concern, on paper O'Neill would lose (in which case SF might withdraw from the Executive and force a collapse anyway).
But if some parties fear the collapse of the Assembly it is possible they would choose to abstain rather than vote for probable collapse in the middle of a pandemic.
Meaning O'Neill might actually avoid defeat.
On Wednesday morning Foster seemed to proffer O'Neill a fig leaf in the form of 'apologise and make amends'.
O'Neill ignored it, and I'm not sure a belated, convoluted mea culpa from her would cut it now.
So, what happens next?
DUP/SF problems have three set stages: the spat, the crisis and the attempts to avoid meltdown.
We reached the third stage remarkably quickly this time and I sense that both parties know that collapsing the institutions during the present crisis and circumstances would, almost certainly, spell the end of the entire Good Friday Agreement process.
At this point, though, I still think collapse will be avoided.
That said, it is unlikely that lessons will have been learned or that the DUP/SF relationship will improve.
They don't want to share power together and they will never have common purpose.
But nor, I think, is either of them prepared to bring the structures down at this particular moment.
So prepare for a mixture of fudge, humbug, rictus grins and 'give us one more chance' promises.