The graph charting the international career of Mitchell Johnson has at last found its scheduled trajectory. No longer is it a series of Everest-like peaks soaring spectacularly from within dark valleys before immediately plunging deep into the abyss.
Now, remarkably, the graph soars steeply upward with the power and certainty of a NASA rocket destined for major discovery.
A bowler taking 50 Test matches to sort himself out is surely without precedent; one of modern cricket's mysteries.
But all these years after Dennis Lillee described Johnson's potential as ''once in a generation'', the tearaway from Townsville has finally emerged as the most powerful force in international cricket.
Lovers and doubters of the left-armed slinger will have watched with equal fascination on Thursday night to see whether the delicate magic of the Australian summer had survived the trans-continental journey.
The answer took less than an over to emerge: two balls of it enough for Graeme Smith. The South African captain was first shaken then interred.
From 19 deliveries Johnson took three wickets and had the home team in desperate retreat.
''Bull-dot-dot-dot'' was how Smith had described Australia's brash confidence in the days leading up to the series.
It's now safe to assume any dots on the pitch at Centurion are the work of South Africa's batsmen, not of a stray bull. The only one of those in sight is the black-haired Australian variety in the South African china shop.
In his previous extended incarnation, Johnson visited the extremities of unpredictability and unfulfilled expectation. Now he is touching greatness. And while it's dangerous to use such a word in relation to one for so long so inconsistent, his past three months put him in illustrious company.
The time for comparison between Johnson's recent heroics and the 40-plus wicket series of Rodney Hogg and Terry Alderman is now.
The current Test against South Africa at Centurion Park is the sixth of Johnson's summer, the same number Hogg and Alderman played in their high-tide Ashes contests of 1979 (Hogg), and 1981 and '89 (Alderman).
Alderman took 42 English wickets in 1981 and, eight years later, another 41. Hogg, in his stormy summer of 1978-79, also took 41 wickets.
Johnson's running tally is 44 (at 13.30 runs per wicket) since the Ashes series started in late November, with an innings to come in his sixth Test.
While Clarrie Grimmett's 46 wickets in a five-match series remains statistically out of reach, Johnson's 2013-14 - against what had been regarded as the two best teams in the world - arguably represents the greatest season of bowling in this country's history.
That, though, is the easy part of the analysis. The bamboozling aspect is the matter of where it has come from. Or, more pertinently, what was holding it back.
Australian cricket history contains many stories that unfolded in the reverse order: players who arrived meteorically and didn't last.
Bob Massie took 16 wickets in his first Test and only 15 more in his career.
Jack Iverson made his debut at 35, took 21 English wickets, and didn't play another Test. Hogg, himself, claimed five wickets in an innings five times in his first three Tests and did it just once more in 35 matches.
Lillee's excited description of Mitchell Johnson all those years ago was indicative of an extreme, albeit raw, talent. Johnson was 17. And it has taken him almost that many years again, and 50 Test matches, for the secrets to be unlocked.
Many have packed their kit bags for the last time and thrown away the key by then.
Having been possessed of Lillee as a mentor, one can hardly question the guidance Johnson has received. So why has it taken until now for him to find a method and mindset that will withstand the rigours of the elite game?
Perhaps the answer lies as much with the personality as with the physical performer and his unique mechanics.
The elusiveness of confidence is a mystery for all sportspeople, but some suffer more severely when the well runs dry. They want to not worry, but it is easier said than done.
Clearly, Johnson is an athlete whose confidence is fragile. One suspects he needs to feel everything is right and that he's strongly supported by those around him.
Perhaps there is a voice, whether internal or external, he has come to trust and observe to the exclusion of those that had confused him.
Perhaps, too, he has had to regain the trust of his captain who, like a nation of cricket lovers, may have found his faith shaken.
Perhaps the responsibility of parenthood has helped. It's a great way of making everything else seem that little bit less important, and thus enabling a more instinctive response to what had seemed complex problems.
And perhaps Johnson has found a way of synthesising his own personality with what is generally expected of an express bowler.
They are, after all, irritable, angry types and that doesn't immediately appear to be his way.
That part he, at times, seems to contrive. The rest, though, is very real, as the batsmen of England and South Africa will attest. And there is no bull-dot-dot-dot about it.