Was anyone else expecting some big reveal with the Breen?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by t_smitts, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not really.
    Worf knows that, when one removes the helmet, the breen is vaporized by his suit AKA no one has ever seen a breen - including after removing the helmet of a formerly inhabited breen suit.
     
  2. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So basically TOS Klingons in disguises.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    So he has no reason to babble about the "elimination of witnesses" thing, which loses all relevance due to the vaporization trick. And yet he does...

    Perhaps the real secret superpower of the Breen, possibly built into their suits, is to make everybody confused and mystified even when the facts are known and clear.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    :rolleyes:
    As I've already told you - repeatedly -, Timo, Worf knows one cannot see how a breen looks like by removing the helmet of his suit.

    And he also knows about an 'urban legend' that anyone that manages to see a breen (which requires some doing but is not a priori impossible) is eliminated by the breen. An urban legend born, most likely, because actually seeing a breen is so difficult.

    In other words, no contradictions. Deal with it - as opposed to being intentionally dense.
     
  5. Sigokat

    Sigokat Commander Red Shirt

    This is the main reason I never liked the Klingons. They are always spouting off about honor, but in reality they were just ruthless killers that used "honor" as a guise to murder and conquer....my opinion of course. :)

    As for the Breen. I thought they were really cool (even with the helmet similarities to ROTJ) and wished they were shown more in the series/Trek. Do they appear at all on screen in ENT or VOY?
     
  6. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. There was far too much else going on for it to ever be something they were building up to.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    There's no indication that he does. But that's not the problem with his dialogue at all - the problem is that he thinks witnesses die before singing, which demonstrates he is wholly ignorant of "Indiscretion". And that trumps all idle speculation on what else he might know - we absolutely must assume that information on the Breen does not travel freely between our DS9 heroes, for whatever odd, silly or dramatically interesting reason.

    I don't fault the novels from attempting the Space: Above and Beyond solution. They have thousands of words to spare to make it sound halfway plausible, just like they can afford to spend entire chapters to make "Trip Is Alive!" a mitigated disaster rather than worse. The onscreen dialogue just happens to be more compact, and rather clearly written without continuity in mind, which puts extra pressure on the novels to justify the solution. And it seems the solution in no way helps with Worf's demonstrated ignorance of Kira's achievements in this field.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Timo, seeing phased vapors is not seeing a breen AKA is not being a witness to be killed as per an urban legend - as I have redundantly explained.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It doesn't get any better even at the umpteenth explaining. Witnesses surviving or not simply don't have anything to do with the ability to see into a Breen suit, if the Breen evaporate - it's an element Worf should never introduce into the dialogue if he believed in evaporation. Yet Worf does bring it up, as his premier explanation to why he can't tell Ezri whether the Breen are fuzzy, even. It can't be read as an incidental bit touching upon an already clear-cut issue of why the Breen faces remain hidden.

    At the very best, the dodge of Worf "knowing Breen evaporate" amounts to the same thing as the Borg not being known to the Federation after "Regeneration" being okay because they didn't technically give their name to Archer in the episode... It just doesn't explain anything plausibly, it merely dodges.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Timo, you know a phaser beam - as per canon - can vaporize almost all aliens.
    In other words, the fact that breen bodies can be vaporised by their suits gives practically no information about the breen - they can be fuzzy, even.

    One can't see how a breen loks like by removing the helmet of his suit - but one can, theoretically, by more elaborate means; the breen are not born in their suits, etc. As in, 'witnesses' are not excluded - but should be few and far between; and an urban legend is born.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    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
     
  12. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    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...

    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.

    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?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    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
     
  16. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "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.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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