Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 7 Episode 24

Pre-emptive Strike

Aired Unknown May 16, 1994 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • The Good Fight

    Writer Rene Echevarria's script (with shades of "Gambit") is full of heart, but the penultimate TNG episode hinges on the guest star performance of the actor playing Macias, Ro's surrogate father figure. Without a cunning, powerful, and likeable character on the same level as Picard, it doesn't matter what guest star Michelle Forbes (Ro) does in her final Trek appearance, there is no believable drama of a woman torn between her two mentors. Fortunately, by its seventh season, TNG was such an established ratings hit, the producers were able to find actors like John Franklyn-Robbins, who, with his charm and boyish grin, brings such warmth and innocence to Macias, the pieces to the drama fall right into place, making Patrick Stewart's final directorial outing a breeze.

    A word of warning: the plot of this episode is part of a greater story that threads its way through TNG, DS9, and Voyager. The story opens with TNG's "Journey's End" before continuing with DS9's two parter "The Maquis", and continuing here.

  • Ro Lauren returns to the “Enterprise”. Her homecoming is put on hold due to the Marquis attack on a Cardassian ship. The “Enterprise” attempts to get the matter resolved.

    Ro Lauren returns to the “Enterprise”. Her homecoming is put on hold due to the Marquis attack on a Cardassian ship. The “Enterprise” attempts to get the matter resolved. The Cardassians, led by Gul Evek, are angered by the growing threat posed by the Maquis. He assures Picard, Cardassia will take matters into its own hands if the Federation does not force the Maquis to uphold the peace treaty. Picard sends Ro Lauren on a assignment with the Marquis in order to force them to surrender. It does not work Ro Lauren instead becomes a Marquis renegade.
  • The newly promoted Lt. Ro returns to the Enterprise and soon gets assigned to a mission to infiltrate the Maquis, a mission sure to test her loyalties to Starfleet and to Picard.

    As the series wraps, so do some of the show's dangling threads and one of them gives us the (fortunate) return of Ro Laren. This episode brings quite a lot to it, giving us an emotional view of her character and what become the two father figures in her life: Macias and Picard. It's probably Ro's most emotional episode ever as she is forced to choose which loyalties to follow, which man who believed in her and cared about her she should honor, and which she disappoints. Her final decision, which has a pretty obvious buildup that allows us to see the constant internal conflict she is going through, is a devastating one. Picard's blank expression at the end, containing the tempest of emotions undoubtedly raging behind it, it telling. The episode feature fantastic performances all around and is really one of the best episodes of the seventh season, a year that many thought wasn't quite up to part with the past three or four seasons. If they were all like this one, that would have not been the case.
  • A worthy farewell to Ro Laren.

    I don't think this episode is all it could have been - like the DS9 two-parter "The Maquis", it's partly hamstrung by the fact that the Federation insurgents are not particularly charismatic.

    That said, you have Michelle Forbes putting in what is easily her best turn as now-Lieutenant Ro Laren. Much of the gruffness of seasons 5 and 6 is still there, but she lets slip a lot of the character's underlying emotion and richness. Her relationship with Picard, not really tested since season 5's "Ensign Ro", is explored even more richly here as it is tested and then broken.

    Ultimately, the final third of the episode is where the best material lies - when Michelle Forbes, with support from Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes, does her thing. Not a classic, but a worthy farewell.

    (And of course, I have to mention the great space battle in the beginning - the best in TNG's history.)