With Jeremy Corbyn holding off to hear how long an extension the EU would offer before deciding whether to vote in favour of the election motion on Monday, the most quintessentially Brexit thing to happen was clearly for the EU to announce that they won't actually decide on the length of the extension until Monday or Tuesday. That presumably guarantees the election motion will fail if it goes ahead on Monday, which in turn means that if Boris Johnson doesn't put the vote back until later in the week, we can reasonably infer that he's playing games.
That said, it's beginning to sound like the vote will probably fail whenever it's held. So Labour won't allow an election to take place, Johnson won't allow parliament the chance to pass his own withdrawal deal unless there's an election, and the DUP probably won't allow a vote of no confidence to replace Johnson with an interim Prime Minister who could break the deadlock. (I presume the DUP's vote with the government on the Queen's Speech can be taken as a pretty strong signal of what they would do on a motion of no confidence.) On the face of it, that means we'll just stumble on like zombies for an indefinite period with the government unable to govern and Brexit being continually kicked down the road - although never very far down the road.
I'm guessing the optimists on the Labour side think the effect of what they're doing is to gradually make Johnson look utterly ridiculous in the eyes of the electorate, and thereby start to wear down his opinion poll lead. The theory will be that it won't much matter if Johnson has been thwarted by forces outwith his control - all the electorate will see is that he made a series of grand promises that he utterly failed to deliver. "Do or die, Brexit on 31st October with or without a deal, I'd rather be dead in a ditch than ask for an extension beyond that date." That could be much more of a problem for him if Labour spin the crisis out until the spring or beyond.
But I'm not so sure that's how it would play out in practice. For the crisis to go on indefinitely, Labour would need the EU27 to play ball and continue unanimously granting extension after extension. So far President Macron has always backed down on his threats to veto a proper extension, and he'll probably do so again this time, but I suspect there'll come a point next year where he'll feel he's earned enough capital to be able to say "we've bent over backwards but enough is enough". If and when that happens, it will lead either to No Deal or to parliament effectively being blackmailed into passing Johnson's deal as the only possible alternative. That might be an indirect boost for the Scottish independence cause, but it's not what Remain-supporting MPs are supposed to be working towards.
I'm particularly puzzled by the SNP leadership's role in all this, because we've been told for weeks that they're eager for an election as soon as possible. That makes perfect sense, partly to avoid any clash with legal proceedings against Alex Salmond, and partly because they have a handsome lead over the Tories and Labour in the polls and it's always good to strike while the iron is hot. And yet if they wanted to maximise the chances of their preferred timing, the mood music last night should have been "we can't go on like this, in the national interest we need to break the deadlock before Christmas". Instead Ian Blackford launched into a monologue about dark December nights in Inverness and how it was "barking mad" to hold an election in winter. Well, waiting until winter is over means waiting until at least March, and more likely April or May. That's surely far too long.
It's perhaps asking too much of Labour to back an election in which their working assumption is that they'll lose seats. Chuka Umunna on behalf of the Liberal Democrats hinted last night that he might drop his opposition to an election if he could receive some guarantees from Johnson that the Brexit process would be suspended until polling day. So maybe the way out of this impasse is for the three parties that think they have something to gain from an immediate election (the Tories, the SNP and the Lib Dems) to try to reach some sort of understanding between them. Admittedly, that would require Johnson to stop behaving like a toddler, so it's a long shot. But a short piece of legislation circumventing the two-thirds majority stipulated by the Fixed Term Parliaments Act could be a way forward. Another possibility is that the SNP or the Lib Dems could be given parliamentary time to table a motion of no confidence, and that the Tories could abstain to ensure it passes.