"Ensign Ro" introduces Michelle Forbes as the titular character in a pedestrian, but well structured, story. (This episode was supposed to be important for introducing the character to replace Wesley. However, following this one, Forbes doesn't appear in all that many more episodes than Wheaton himself, and the episode is more historically important for laying some more of the groundwork for Deep Space Nine.) Guest starring Whoopi Goldberg, the episode does have a well written "Guinan" scene that's one of her best on the show.
This episode introduced us to a new secondary charactor as well as the Bajoran people. Although some of the minor details will change by the time "Deep Space Nine" came around the bajoran people largely stay true to the original story first set in this episode. The story that Ro Laren told about how the Cardassians tortured her father for several hours while she was forced to watch did a very good job of setting the tone of the bajoran occupation and gave a better picture than seeing the locals living in such a desolate situation. Its too bad that there weren't that many Ro Laren episodes.
The Enterprise is ordered to track down a Bajoran terrorist, a man that the Cardassians are also after. To aid with them, Picard reluctantly takes on a disgraced Starfleet officer: Ensign Ro Laren. But there's more to the mission than they realize.
An episode that introduced a few concepts to the Trek universe that would affect it for years to come as well as one of the most interesting recurring characters that The Next Generation had. In the latter case I am of course speaking of Ro Laren. Love her or hate her, Ro brings a different flavor to the crew, a source of conflict before we even get to see her face. It's kind of nice to see someone who can stir up our 24th century perfectly behaved crew and manage to hold her own against the established regulars. Ro brings attitude and toughness while still managing to display her vulnerability and the tragedy of her life. Michelle Forbes was a wonderful addition to the cast and I think that it's a shame we didn't get to see more of her. The other concept we get to see hear is the first look at the Bajoran/Cardassian conflict and the horrifying conditions the Bajorans have been forced to live to escape their conquerors. It's sobering to see the all too familiar sights of poorly set up and maintained refugee camps, so similar to the ones in existence today, around in Star Trek's utopian view of our future. It's comments on our current world, however, that Trek has always done well. The Bajorans later become an integral part of Deep Space Nine, and this episode really sets the tone for them. The only downside to the episode, IMO, is the plotline with Orta. Orta himself is no one really, and the plot with the admiral is somewhat interesting, but it doesn't hold up to the story of Ro herself, which makes sense. She is the title character, after all.
"The Wounded" introduced the Cardassians and (sort of) Gul Dukat, as well as adding much greater depth to the character of Miles O'Brien. "Ensign Ro" lays two more major bricks on the DS9 edifice - the Bajorans, and an abrasive Bajoran officer who butts heads with her superior (Ensign Ro Laren, the template for Colonel Kira Nerys).
The episode itself is somewhat underwhelming. There's potential for a great story here, but it evolves without many fireworks. The guy playing Admiral Kennelly isn't near as convincing as his counterparts in "The Drumhead" or "The Pegasus". I wouldn't normally say this as a big fan of Whoopi Goldberg's Guinan, but she wasn't given much to work with here. I never warmed that much to Michelle Forbes, despite the fact that she added a nice kick in the $%! to the utopian Federation universe; fortunately, Nana Visitor eventually took over the role of "obstinate Bajoran officer".
That said, the scene where Ensign Ro describes her father's death to Picard is a genuinely moving one.
The “Enterprise” receives a distress call from a federation colony on Solarian V. The colony has been attacked by a Bojoran terrorist. The Bojoran are angry with the Cardassians for making them leave their home planet.
The “Enterprise” receives a distress call from a federation colony on Solarian V. The colony has been attacked by a Bojoran terrorist. The Bojoran are angry with the Cardassians for making them leave their home planet. Picard consults with Admiral Kennelly about the Bajoran terrorist attack. Kennelly orders Picard to find Orta and offer him amnesty in order to preserve peace with Cardassians. A new officer transfers aboard the “Enterprise”. It is Ro Lauren a starfleet officer with a big reprimand record. Picard wants to know who authorized the transfer. Ro Lauren does make friends with Guinan .
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