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  #11  
Old 08-16-2009, 07:46 AM
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Well, the pah-wraiths were a counterpoint to the celestial temple dwellers. I thought they fit well into the overall Bajoran storyline.

They had their Prophets and their False Prophets and, as one would expect, the celestial temple was a major part of that.

It also makes sense than in a show where there was a great deal of grey areas in terms of who was good, bad or both, that the Prophets had the same problem.

I thought it tied the Bajoran storyline into the human storyline not too badly.
It was a lame way to reduce the show that used to treat religion in an intelligent way and was known for moral complexity, into a black-and-white Good vs Evil showdown, complete with magic books, red-eyed laughing villains and demonic possessions.

If the Pah-wraiths and the Prophets were portrayed as just two warring factions of aliens, each of whom had reasons that could be considered legitimate, it could have been a really good storyline. Instead, Behr and co. did their best to beat us over the head with who is supposed to be Good and who is supposed to be Eeeevil. Dukat and Winn are eeeevil and so they get allied to the Pah-wraiths because the Pah-wraiths are eeevil and want to destroy all life or something (?!) - why, we are never told, because the motivations of the Pah-wraiths or what the heck they really are is never explained. We were just supposed to realize that Pah-wraiths are eeevil, which, I suppose, should have made us assume that the Prophets were "good", because they are associated with the Good Guy Sisko, and because they are the enemies of the Eeeevil Bad Guys. Never mind that we were never given any real why we should see the Prophets as "good". They're as bad as the Pah-wraiths are (the possession fo Keiko vs the possession of Sarah - just how disgusting was that? Using a human's body to make her have sex, live with a man, conceive and give birth, entirely against her will?! Using human bodies to wage their own battles in "The Reckoning"? Would the Prophets have given a damn if Jake had died?). And the rest of the time they are just indifferent to humans, except when The Sisko somehow manages to make them to reluctantly do him a favor. So why did the show try to manipulate the viewers into siding with a bunch of arseholes against some other arseholes?

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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
I also liked that storyline in the end. It showed Winn's true side, i.e. that she is not merely powerhungry but that she does not believe at all in the Prophets, in an epic way and brought the two main villains and the protagonist of the show together.
That's not true and it's not that simple at all. Winn did believe in the Prophets, but was frustrated because she always desperately wanted their attention and never got it. I actually felt a little sorry for her... which might be one of the few redeeming things about that storyline. Not that there were many redeeming things about it.
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Last edited by DevilEyes : 08-16-2009 at 07:49 AM.
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  #12  
Old 08-16-2009, 08:05 AM
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I got the impression that Winn just pretended to believe in the prophets to gain power, not merely because of that story arc at the end of DS9 but throughout the entire show.
Wasn't her first action to kill a rival and does someone who steps over corpses really have a faith and believe in something above him- or herself?
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  #13  
Old 08-16-2009, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DevilEyes View Post
It was a lame way to reduce the show that used to treat religion in an intelligent way and was known for moral complexity, into a black-and-white Good vs Evil showdown, complete with magic books, red-eyed laughing villains and demonic possessions.

If the Pah-wraiths and the Prophets were portrayed as just two warring factions of aliens, each of whom had reasons that could be considered legitimate, it could have been a really good storyline. Instead, Behr and co. did their best to beat us over the head with who is supposed to be Good and who is supposed to be Eeeevil. Dukat and Winn are eeeevil and so they get allied to the Pah-wraiths because the Pah-wraiths are eeevil and want to destroy all life or something (?!) - why, we are never told, because the motivations of the Pah-wraiths or what the heck they really are is never explained. We were just supposed to realize that Pah-wraiths are eeevil, which, I suppose, should have made us assume that the Prophets were "good", because they are associated with the Good Guy Sisko, and because they are the enemies of the Eeeevil Bad Guys. Never mind that we were never given any real why we should see the Prophets as "good". They're as bad as the Pah-wraiths are (the possession fo Keiko vs the possession of Sarah - just how disgusting was that? Using a human's body to make her have sex, live with a man, conceive and give birth, entirely against her will?! Using human bodies to wage their own battles in "The Reckoning"? Would the Prophets have given a damn if Jake had died?). And the rest of the time they are just indifferent to humans, except when The Sisko somehow manages to make them to reluctantly do him a favor. So why did the show try to manipulate the viewers into siding with a bunch of arseholes against some other arseholes?
Most shows are not immune to some kind of bias. In the larger sense somethings may not have been done as well as intended. Something the writers themselves would admit to about the show.

If they were just two warring aliens, we would still likely be ultimately led in the direction of one over the other if the story ran for long enough. That's what happens in the shows. I mean, we're supposed to be rooting for the Federation in Star Trek, but it's been shown to be a sometimes insidious, dangerous, questionable organisation despite that assumption.

As for making us side, well - I didn't care too much about the prophets side of things a great deal anyway.

Quote:
That's not true and it's not that simple at all. Winn did believe in the Prophets, but was frustrated because she always desperately wanted their attention and never got it. I actually felt a little sorry for her... which might be one of the few redeeming things about that storyline. Not that there were many redeeming things about it.
Winn was a hypocrite almost all the way through. It was power and control over others she sought, that was her driving ambition. Her desire to have access to the prophets was part of that. Her devotion to her religion was a means to an end of that.

She was indeed an evil, manipulative power-hungry woman undeserving of redemption. Watching her burn was rather satisfying.
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  #14  
Old 08-16-2009, 08:17 AM
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Well said, Kevin.

DS9 had terrific, ambiguous episodes like e.g. the ones about a seemingly more friendly Dukat in the middle of the show, but like Kira we (the audience) were just fooled by his charm.
The stories about Bajoran religion usually contrasted real vs. fake faith, often via the characters of Kira and Winn. Winn has been evil throughout the show.

I love Trek for asking questions, for showing moral ambiguities, I am the kinda guy who could talk hours about he Prime Directive ... but sometimes it's a simple as good and evil. Dukat and Winn have been clear-cut villains and to intertwine the faith of these secondary characters was a smart move IMO.
By the way, even TNG needed villains like the Borg. And as much as I love TNG and the Borg episodes, Dukat and Winn were far more interesting.
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  #15  
Old 08-16-2009, 09:02 AM
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Winn was a hypocrite almost all the way through. It was power and control over others she sought, that was her driving ambition. Her desire to have access to the prophets was part of that. Her devotion to her religion was a means to an end of that.

She was indeed an evil, manipulative power-hungry woman undeserving of redemption.
Of course she was. But that doesn't mean she didn't believe in the Prophets. She was just too selfish, so her faith was selfish as well. She needed to get their attention. If she didn't believe in them, she would never have needed or wanted to get a vision from them or a spiritual guide or anything.

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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
I got the impression that Winn just pretended to believe in the prophets to gain power, not merely because of that story arc at the end of DS9 but throughout the entire show.
Wasn't her first action to kill a rival and does someone who steps over corpses really have a faith and believe in something above him- or herself?
Of course they do. Loads of mass murders and other horrors have been commited by people in the name of religion, and many of those who comitted them were believers. It's naive to suggest that people can't possibly have faith in something bigger than themselves and be ruthless killers who walk over corpses. If anything, the idea that they are doing it in the name of something bigger, which makes them justified, can make people a lot more dangerous and ruthless.
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  #16  
Old 08-16-2009, 09:05 AM
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Sure, just take the clichée of the Catholic mafiosi or the jihadist who blows himself up in the expectation of paradise. But to me it seemed that Winn was not such a type but rather someone who just wanted power, no matter whether it is in business, politics or religion and that her lack of or pretense of faith was contrasted from time to time with Kira's real faith.
Guess we have to agree to disagree on this topic.
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  #17  
Old 08-16-2009, 10:06 AM
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Of course she was. But that doesn't mean she didn't believe in the Prophets. She was just too selfish, so her faith was selfish as well. She needed to get their attention. If she didn't believe in them, she would never have needed or wanted to get a vision from them or a spiritual guide or anything.
We may never know how much she really 'believed' prior to the start of DS9, but certainly Bajoran culture fostered the belief in the existence of the Prophets as part of their ways.

If she sought power, she would be smart enough to realise that the appearance of belief was essential to her achieving the power she wanted. Then, once the existence of the Temple and the aliens (the Prophets) was proven by The Emissary, it was even more important she use them to get where she wanted.

But, once she knew they did exist, as part of her desires, her ego would not permit anyone but her to have that relationship with the Prophets. Then she can be the conduit between the aliens and the Bajoran people and excercise the influence that brings.

Again, it returns to her need to centralise power within her grasp.
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  #18  
Old 08-16-2009, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Sure, just take the clichée of the Catholic mafiosi or the jihadist who blows himself up in the expectation of paradise. But to me it seemed that Winn was not such a type but rather someone who just wanted power, no matter whether it is in business, politics or religion and that her lack of or pretense of faith was contrasted from time to time with Kira's real faith.
Guess we have to agree to disagree on this topic.
There was an interesting aspect in the series about the nature of Winn and Kira's ways of expressing, living with and using their faith.
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  #19  
Old 08-24-2009, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
I got the impression that Winn just pretended to believe in the prophets to gain power, not merely because of that story arc at the end of DS9 but throughout the entire show.
Wasn't her first action to kill a rival and does someone who steps over corpses really have a faith and believe in something above him- or herself?
I think she did believe in the Prophets, or tried really hard to. She seemed to want the kind of spirituality that Kira and Opaka for example had, but in the end she was unable to attain it.

And also, I get the impression that she was trying very hard to convince herself that a lot of what she did was for the "good of Bajor". I mean, you see from her actions in episodes like In the Cards that on some level she really does care about Bajor's fate. I mean, she's probably less self-serving in that episode than in any other.

Lastly, I wonder. If the Prophets had not essentially snubbed her towards the end, would she have turned to the Pah Wraiths?? hmm....

Not that I'm about to let Winn off the hook. Just that she is quite a multifaceted character, and that makes her interesting that she's not hypocritical and low-dealing all the time. *she'd be pretty boring and one dimensional if she was methinks.*
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