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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old April 20 2013, 05:36 PM   #31
Timo
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Re: Was anyone else expecting some big reveal with the Breen?

And there is nothing wrong with the idea that the Breen remain hidden that way, and that an occasional witness can utilize more elaborate means. The fault lies in Worf's babbling about the witnesses when the only thing he should be concerned with are the means.

That is, if it's possible to get through the Breen defenses, then the techniques of that, and the opportunities for using those, should be discussed. Witnesses would be a secondary issue. "It's too bad that Colonel Kira fumbled her chance to study the matter properly when she was a surviving witness to the Breen. She should really have used a tri-isopolarized frammistat there to see through the suits."

Even this would be intolerably illogical, because it would suppose that Kira indeed had failed to exploit these "elaborate means". Why should anything about the Breen remain mysterious after the "Indiscretion" encounter? Kira stuns a Breen, pops the helmet with the intent of using it as a disguise (as well as interrogating the prisoner), the Breen evaporates... And Kira leaves it at that? At the conclusion of the episode, she holds captive a shipful of these people. She is about to deliver them to the authorities - or to execute them on the spot since the authorities are not aware of the encounter, she's angry at them, and she's ruthless. Why not keep popping a few more helmets, until the surviving Breen agree to telling how this can be done without killing them?

And if you think Kira (and Dukat!) too good-hearted for it, let's remember the Dominion held a Breen captive in "In Purgatory's Shadow". There's no good reason for Weoyun not knowing. And that can't be an isolated incident of a Breen being captured alive. The Breen and the Cardassians are sworn enemies from way back - why haven't the Cardassians tortured a Breen into revealing the secrets of the species?

None of that would be a problem if not for the nonsense we get in "Till Death Do Us Part". In the other episodes, the Breen are not a mystery. Bashir knows that they don't have conventional blood. In addition to such fairly solid facts, rumors about them abound, but these also include detailed specifics such as the Breen having statistically more teen pregnancies than the humanoid average.

In the end, we're thus perhaps still best off if we assume that Ezri is being a silly little girl, perhaps due to starvation and Breen drugs, and Worf just plays it along, in the hopes of not sending the Trill into even worse fugues...

Timo Saloniemi
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Old April 20 2013, 08:05 PM   #32
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Was anyone else expecting some big reveal with the Breen?

Who says Worf knows any means of seeing through a breen suit? That Worf - and the federation - has any clue as to how a breen looks like?
But that one can see a breen without a suit is a fact; and just because Worf/the federation don't know when or how to do that doesn't mean someone else didn't figure it out - in urban legend, at least.

As for breen prisoners - they may comit seppuku, letting their suits kill them, rather than revealing details about their species; and their suits kill them when confronted with a scanner that can see through them.
And none of the prisoners the dominion, the cardassians or Kira had feared death enough to talk.

As for breen having no blood, having teen pregnancies:
1. It's obvious the writers changed their mind about the breen in late DS9; why do you keep acting as if someone contested this, Timo?
2. Such remarks can be easily explained by disinformation spread by the breen in order to avoid DNA tests, etc.
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; April 20 2013 at 08:21 PM.
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Old April 22 2013, 01:22 PM   #33
Timo
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Re: Was anyone else expecting some big reveal with the Breen?

Who says Worf knows any means of seeing through a breen suit?
You model for why he speaks of eyewitnesses requires him to know of such a means, at least.

His knowledge of such things, or lack thereof, isn't of much help in tackling the central problem of the dialogue, though. Worf should know of what Kira did, and if he does, then "Breen=mystery" is wrong at a very fundamental level. Urban legends, abstract ideas and ancient Klingon history may contribute to the subject, but why is Worf bringing up such things when he should be discussing what Kira saw? All the more so because Kira saw it when Worf was already on the station but Ezri wasn't yet...

1. It's obvious the writers changed their mind about the breen in late DS9; why do you keep acting as if someone contested this, Timo?
Because your side of this discussion appears to be that "Breen evaporate" somehow is a great unified theory that makes confusion go away or at least diminishes it - while it actually makes things worse and highlights the lack of continuity in Breen writing. You have contested mind-changing as a valid explanation for what we see, and I agree with you 100%, because I'm a sucker for continuous fictional universes, and Trek usually gives enough leeway for seeing it as one. I just want to point out that the novelists' idea of S:AaB style evaporation is not a valid contender here, or at least not a champion you should bet your fortunes on.

2. Such remarks can be easily explained by disinformation spread by the breen in order to avoid DNA tests, etc.
The Breen can't be simultaneously mysterious and known. If there's reason to believe in mystery, then there's reason to dismiss disinformation; conversely, information will eventually eat away the mystery. When we get two very conflicting takes on whether the Breen are a mystery or a known quantity, we have to wonder about the quality of our informants. And indeed we might be best off thinking that Worf and Ezri in this particular episode are the ones wildly off base, what with their exotic situation of captivity and all. Perhaps it's Klingon guile?

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Old April 22 2013, 01:49 PM   #34
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Was anyone else expecting some big reveal with the Breen?

"You model for why he speaks of eyewitnesses requires him to know of such a means, at least."
Really?
It is clear he is recounting an urban legend. You can repeat the same dictums as often as you like - they remain baseless.
And Kira saw phased vapors - as in, no information as to how the breen look like.

"You have contested mind-changing as a valid explanation for what we see"
?
Have you even read my last post?
Point to where I contested that the writers changed their minds, Timo - as opposed to using straw-men and being intentionally dense with regards to you repeating dictums that have no base in what is said on-screen.

"The Breen can't be simultaneously mysterious and known."
Straw-man.
The breen - in their latest iteration- were never known. Only rumors of dubious authenticity were known.
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Old April 22 2013, 02:06 PM   #35
Timo
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Re: Was anyone else expecting some big reveal with the Breen?

It is clear he is recounting an urban legend.
Yup. And you have painted yourself in a corner where the only possible excuse for him to recount such is that he thinks the Breen suits can be penetrated and that witnesses have done so (to their detriment). Just go back a page or two.

From a quick recap, basically you have progressed from "The continuity error is easy to fix" through "Okay, so perhaps it fixes little but at least it doesn't outright contradict what Worf said" to "It does fix everything after all and Worf's dialogue is not just compatible but also sensible, with a few extra assumptions". Which IMHO is wasted effort, as no amount of fixing will help make the Breen mysterious when they clearly are not, and any "partial patch" would better be applied against those plot holes that suggest mystery against the general trend.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old April 22 2013, 02:47 PM   #36
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Was anyone else expecting some big reveal with the Breen?

"he thinks the Breen suits can be penetrated and that witnesses have done so (to their detriment)"
Any technology can, in theory, be defeated.
And urban legends are bound to appear around uncracked technological riddles - especially among specialists.

BTW, what I consistently said is that what was said/shown about the breen can be reconciled - with a relatively non-convoluted explanation.
Which does not change the fact that the writers obviously changed their minds as to how to portray the breen during DS9.
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Old April 22 2013, 04:10 PM   #37
Timo
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Re: Was anyone else expecting some big reveal with the Breen?

Complete agreement on the latter - writers changing their minds is the glue that holds Star Trek together, as actual conscious attempts at continuity would be doomed to fail for the rigidity of such an approach...

Disagreement on the former, alas, as the "Breen = mystery" vs. "details of Breen culture and biology = common knowledge" discrepancy is quite blatant and divides our characters in two categories. (Perhaps luckily, any given single character seems unwavering in his or her personal stance, though.)

Whether the Incredible Evaporating Breen thing would be helpful or even interesting here... Dunno. It would be deeply satisfactory for me personally to think that Kira saw this fantastic and unusual phenomenon take place in "Indiscretion", and shrugged it off as inconsequential to her down-to-Bajor goals - and then did it again in "What We Leave Behind", again failing to satisfy the silly curiosity of any of her supposed Federation allies.

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