So with 18 days to go until Handover, the Olympic Deliverance Team were preparing themselves for, as Ian Fletcher put it to his team, a final lap around the stadium after the Marathon ("Well, it would actually be the Mall..." was immediately, helpfully pointed out, but even so...)
The final lap around the stadium (or the Mall) for Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) and his team
Time, then, for all loose ends to be tied up... the small matters, in no order of importance, of land-to-air missiles possibly being triggered by a pigeon above the stadium, the year-long countrywide Podium Festival suddenly announcing itself, and, Sally's most pressing concern, exactly which Umbrian courtyard would be hosting her boss and his afternoon beer in the limbo-land of life, post-Games.
This bunch had evidently not received the memo about presenting your boss with solutions, not problems.
Case in point was Fletcher's moustachioed henchman Graham Hitchins, eating a pizza while explaining the conflict between the opening ceremony "creatives" (could this be said with any MORE disdain?) and the Ministry of Defence. By the time he'd finished - the explanation, not the pizza - the situation was so bad "you might as well have Hermann Goering as creative director", or alternatively "just use fireworks as our national defence - everybody wins". Fantastic.
In the end, the solution - of virtual fireworks - sounded suspiciously borrowed from Beijing, but it was time to move onto the next challenge, the arts festival running alongside the run-up to the Games - Podium 12, no less.
Podium 12 - the Big Bong - was not an unqualified success
Anyone working for a large corporation will have howled with recognition at the unmentioned elephant - that this idea should have been introduced and planned, oh, only about a year earlier, and the short-sightedness of this soon became apparent, with the appearance of "grown up rock legend" Aled Jones and the chance to make music out of a saucepan and the other treasures from arty Christian's bag.
It became quite clear that no one had done any real work at all - Fletcher finally musing "It would be nice to know if we can afford a last-minute disaster or not." It all just seemed to happen, with the show's writers gleefully mentioning things that could have benefited from a bit less initiative in the real world, too...
"We said that about the mascots and they bloody happened..." If only that bright idea had benefitted from the team of Twenty Twelve's rule of thumb - that when it looks like decisions are in danger of being made, just grab the nearest folder to hand and scarper.
Would Ian and Sally find their way to Umbria - together?
Meanwhile, slippery Daniel reappeared with the unhappy news that neither Ian, Kay nor Fi were on 'the shortlist' for Director of Posterity, leaving their respective futures in doubt. While Kay decided to think about cake and Fi about Malibu, it seemed Ian was Umbria-bound after all - but with or without Sally in the side-car?
We don't know! After the official Handover - sadly to no one, after 'Seb' was detained elsewhere - the writers left us dangling on the edge of a conversation between Ian and Sally, a cruel trick for viewers, but a fitting metaphor for the team who, let's face it, haven't properly signed off on anything else - why should this sweet, unconsummated romance be any different?