The last time Aberdeen visited Hearts, they provided welcome relief to a toiling home manager.
Though his stay of execution would prove brief, the script was revived for a festive special with the main role recast.
We may never find out what happened on that fishing trip in Gavin and Stacey, but we do know that the Dons came home without a catch that night having twice let Craig Levein off the hook.
This time it was Daniel Stendel floundering in Gorgie waters but, with the sharks circling, Aberdeen again struggled to go in for the kill.
With irregular personnel and an unfamiliar shape Aberdeen, from the off, played to Hearts’ terms when a more forceful approach may well have cracked the hosts’ brittle spirit.
The first rule of competitive sport is to kick people when they are down, but instead the Dons allowed Hearts to pick themselves up, restore equilibrium and dominate.
Criticism the Hearts boss took for his flying Christmas visit to Germany was terribly uncharitable given the time of year, and probably fuelled any sense of unfairness he may have been feeling at being criticised for his early work with another man’s tools while the original bodgers remained over his shoulder overseeing the operation.
That it was going to fire him to a first win felt inevitable long before Hearts opened the scoring.
But then a late Christmas card, of the red variety, fell into Aberdeen’s lap.
Sean Clare’s foolish dismissal proved a quadruple whammy for Hearts, reducing their numbers, confidence and ambition, whilst thanks to the brilliant conversion of Niall McGinn eliminating their lead. It was hard to envisage any other means of recovery.