St Johnstone’s revival crashed into a green and white wall, with the Perth men convincingly beaten by Hibs at McDiarmid Park.
Saints were a shadow of the team that had turned their season around with back-to-back wins against Hamilton Accies and Hearts.
From the moment they went behind less than two minutes into the game Tommy Wright’s men never looked like making it three in a row.
Christian Doidge took advantage of a Jason Kerr slip to beat Zander Clark after the keeper had parried his first effort straight back to him.
A man who hadn’t scored in the league until that point was celebrating a double on 17 minutes – a close-range finish after Florian Kamberi drilled a low cross into the box.
The third Hibs goal was probably the worst of the lot from a home perspective.
Three minutes after the break Matty Kennedy gifted the ball away in midfield and Scott Allan was allowed to run unchallenged into the box and guide a low left foot shot past Clark.
It was just before the hour when Doidge completed his hat-trick – a powerful header from a Jason Naismith cross.
There was a consolation for Saints in the 90th minute when Stevie May scored his second goal since returning to the club.
The fact that the Hibs players could produce a performance like this after getting their manager sacked earlier in the week poses questions of them and Paul Heckingbottom but they now have the look of a team in a false position.
For Saints, this was a worrying return to the sort of performance that dragged them to the bottom of the league.