Get ready for a more fractious relationship than even the harrowing bust-up of Marianne and Connell in 'Normal People'.
The niceties of the crisis are ending. The gloves are off in a return to naked politics.
Leo Varadkar was playing down the significance of opinion polls as he fended off the Leaving Cert dawdling.
"Democratic legitimacy does not derive from opinion polls," the temporary Taoiseach said.
His 'Government' doesn't have democratic legitimacy either, which he appeared to acknowledge as he pointed towards the formation of a new administration. However, the polls are influencing the framing of that government.
From the detritus of the election result of 90 days ago, Fine Gael has seen a surge in support on the back of being in charge during the pandemic.
Whether it's benefiting from the rallying around the flag you get during a national crisis doesn't matter, it's better than its dismal failings of three months ago.
Entrusted by the Constitution to remain in office until a new government is formed, even if that includes a second election, Fine Gael has little to lose.
The latest opinion poll by Red C in the 'Business Post' puts Fine Gael up 14pc to 35pc since the General Election, while Fianna Fáil is down eight points to just 14pc.
The party is even being bolshie enough to suggest Varadkar gets the first turn as Taoiseach in a putative coalition with Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.
Fine Gael shouldn't even be thinking that way, but reckon it's worth throwing out there for the devilment. The desperation to get into power and avert a second election is banging off Fianna Fáil like a bad aftershave.
The Taoiseach-in-waiting Micheál Martin is striking a rather tragic figure.
Similar to Joe Biden running his campaign from his basement, he is struggling with not being the show in town. He's not part of the decision-making but can't criticise it too strongly either as he aligns himself with Fine Gael. It's a case of Martin having to pull on the Blue shirt.
His education spokesman Thomas Byrne showed solid judgment by calling time on the Leaving Cert before Education Minister Joe McHugh eventually woke up to the reality. The game was up a week ago, when the exam wasn't included in the roadmap on exiting the lockdown.
"It's duplicitous from Joe. The back-up plan was in the mix all along. Be straight with people," a party colleague noted.
There's no shortage of topics on which to assert authority over the Government.
The denials of incompetence range from the cardinal sins of the abandonment of the nursing homes to the neglect of the direct provision centres.
The over-promising on the virus testing, to the loopholes in the Garda powers, are also grave but not sackable offences. The changes of the chief medical officer's advice and the handling of foreign workers coming into the country are more venial sins.
Yet here the caretaker administration has a problem even admitting anything happened. It's an arrogant habit that goes from the Taoiseach and Tánaiste Simon Coveney down.
As Alan Kelly, the Labour Party leader, observed on the lack of transparency and disagreements with the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet): "I'm concerned, indeed it's very worrying that you're not willing to be open about this and it's consistently been denied."
In a Government too immature to fess up on even minor infractions, the concern now is: what else are they not telling us?
Maybe the new special Dáil committee on the Covid-19 response will probe matters.
The heavy-hitting Sinn Féin line-up on this committee of Pearse Doherty, Louise O'Reilly, Matt Carthy and David Cullinane implies they intend robust scrutiny.
Certainly, it'll be more probing than the current irrelevant Dáil debates. With neither agreement nor costings, the outgoing junior minister for tourism thinks there should be a 0pc VAT rate and an extra bank holiday because groups in his constituency want it.
Really? How quaint.
The testy exchanges between Mary-Lou McDonald and Varadkar gave a vivid insight into the dynamic once the new government is formed.
The only other party whose ratings have risen since the election is Sinn Féin, albeit up a modest two points to 27pc.
Dropping the crisis-solidarity mood, Varadkar and McDonald clashed over whether the €350-a-week Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment will continue.
The Sinn Féin leader brought the word "austerity" back into the lexicon, drawing parallels with the last crash and mashing Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil together.
Varadkar responded, accusing McDonald of being "two-faced" as dole benefits are far lower in Northern Ireland, where Sinn Féin is in power.
The Sinn Féin leader was goading and plying a false narrative. The Taoiseach was sneering and over-wrought.
The appetite of their respective bases for raw meat was sated though. Varadkar has "every Blueshirt chest in the country pumped up with it", a Fine Gael TD commented.
However, Varadkar did concede Covid dole would have to be extended beyond mid-June. The reduction of those payment will likely be a decision for the new administration.
Welcome to government.
The new normal will be barbed exchanges between that fragile government and the emboldened leader of the opposition.
There'll be no love lost.