maybe not, but I have a suspicion the captain did not try to move the trim wheel with the fo, and that the inexperienced fo didn't realize that trim was going to be stiff because he'd probably never flown an airplane that fast besides the 737 using manual trim.
I really question why they didn't stop the wheel on the numerous, long chances they got, and most of all I wonder who and why the cutout switches were turned back to normal even though they knew the system was behaving badly.
for what it's worth, unloading an aircraft does not mean you have to lose altitude. if they had been quicker to notice that the nose was being pushed down, they would have been able to unload the aircraft and continue climbing. i haven't looked at the time stamps in super detail but iirc they didn't start looking at trim issues until the second or third instance of uncommanded nose down trim. they ignored a LOT of signals to let it get to that point. it's the difference between holding the yoke with your thumb and index finger and having to strain to pull back on the yoke to keep the nose from sinking. it's a huge oversight. alert pilots don't just miss that. then turning back on a system they knew was broken.. well come on, really?
it doesn't absolve boeing of their %hitty design which is a position i've always maintained, but they should have been watching like hawks, and they should have known every little detail of the mcas after the lionair crash. they didn't know that enabling AP would have disabled the mcas. fair enough, i didn't know that either, but then again i'm not a MAX captain. they didn't know that flaps down would have stopped mcas.
they SHOULD have known that changing power settings would have improved their maneuverability on manual controls. instead they crashed their jet with the throttles untouched at near max power settings. unbelievable. they SHOULD have known that turning on a bad system would compound problems, not improve them. they SHOULD have asked for help over the radio when they realized they didn't have a solution. someone on the air might have known what to do.