Crucial meetings of the PLP - like crucial leader's speeches at the party conference - are tests that leaders are likely to pass. The media briefing operation was well drilled too. But the political impact is real.
There is little or no prospect of the 'plotmail' letter surfacing with fifty signatures.
The crucial comment after the meeting was that of Barry Sheerman, who was pushing for a secret PLP ballot today, but who said after the meeting that he would 'stand down' his criticisms:
[Brown] said he was willing to change, he was wiling to listen more to the parliamentary party...if that is true yes we will stand down the criticisms that we have made publicly in the last week".
It is the role of senior non-usual suspects like Sheerman and Nick Raynsford who best serve as proxies for the mass of backbench opinion, rather more than the better known critics of the Prime Minister.
According to the PoliticsHome tally, Around a dozen MPs have gone public in calling for Brown to go this week.
Charles Clarke and Fiona MacTaggart called for the PM to stand down as leader, having done so last summer as, for the first time, did Tom Harris who has blogged his intervention. The Guardian's indefatigable Andrew Sparrow, who seems to have live-blogged the entire week of shuffles, counts and coups has pieced together the post-PLP meeting comments.
Stephen Byers continued the argument debating Ben Bradshaw at the Progress meeting afterwards, Alex
Smith, LabourList editor, offers a twitter report.
The tone of Harris' intervention - "I’ve done some media this evening but after today, that’s it" - and the (reported) decisions of James Purnell and Hazel Blears not to make resignation statements suggest that some MPs feel they should honestly put their own views on the record, without necessarily having the appetite to fight a guerrilla war if their colleagues are unpersuaded.
In reality, the danger to Gordon Brown peaked between 10pm and midnight on Thursday - as the Cabinet made their decision to back him. At that point, Next Left was swimming against the tide of expert opinion in explaning why it wasn't all over, but it was difficult to see what the backbenches could do other than by persuading the Cabinet to act.
This is not the last we will hear of the 'will Brown go' question. But, after two failed coup plots already, I am suspicious of the idea that there will be an extensive appetite - in Parliament, as opposed to the media - for a third round in the Autumn.