Sunday, February 10, 2013

ST:TNG 5.03 Ensign Ro ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

A new crew member is aboard, and she's not taking crap from anyone in 5.03 Ensign Ro.

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with ...

Ensign Ro
Season 5, Episode 3

Story:
  • This episode serves as an introduction to the new Bajoran crew member Ensign Ro who come aboard directly after a Bajoran extremists destroy a Federation colony. After looking into it further, it's revealed that it wasn't Bajorans but rather their enemies The Cardassians who string in a Federation cohort to believe it was Bajorans to not only strengthen the alliance between the Federation/Cardassians but also further bring down the Bajorans.
    Character Focus:
    • Ensign Ro Laren is the focus of this episode (she even gets the whole title!), a Bajoran whose served with Starfleet but was imprisoned after a court martial. Ro is played by the formidable Michelle Forbes, who made an brief appearance last season in 4.22 Half a Life and Dr. Timicin's daughter Dara, and I certainly remember her performances in Durham County, True Blood and Battlestar: Galactica. This is the first time we've had a Bajoran on the show, a race that was decimated by the Cardassians.
    • Picard is also a strong focus here, as the mission leads to some complicated scenarios of trust, and non-interference vs leaving people helpless.
    • We are introduced to Admiral Kennelly who is behind the orders for Ensign Ro to be on The Enterprise, as well as communicates with her while she's on the ship and directs her to do things that get her in trouble. It's ultimately revealed that he had a hand in helping, or at least listening too quickly, to The Cardassians.
    • We also get a few threads of a back story on Guinan, who befriends and vouches for Ro to Picard.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember liking Ensign Ro right away. She's unique, gutsy and unafraid and willing to live with hard consequences to her actions. She doesn't clean things up so people feel more comfortable. We don't see extremists like her on the ship that often.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • It's actually not surprizing for the show to fill ensign shoes, as after Wesley left in 4.09 Final Mission, we've had rotating ensigns sitting next to Data for almost a complete season.
    • This is only the second episode we've had The Cardassians, they first appeared in 4.12 The Wounded, and they look a bit different in this one.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • This one gets the 'conspiracy' feel all over it when you get a little bit into it, I wasn't quite sure where it was going or where it will continue to go. I know the show so much as a whole, and cross-series, that sometimes it's hard to think back and see it with fresh eyes but I try and experience it as how the story is being told as oppose to simply what we know at the end of the episode.
    • They kept saying 'Bajora', but I thought it is 'Bajoran'. I realized it during the ep and thought it was a reference to the rebel groups, but now I'm not sure.
    What remained the same:
    • It's surprizing to see someone on The Enterprise, that doesn't want to be there. At all. Even more surprizing, Ro has no problem interrupting and correcting Picard when her incorrectly refers to her as Ensign Laren, over Ensign Ro.
    What I see differently:
    • As a re-watch, it's hard not to see a more direct political commentary with episodes like this and the issues between Bajorans and the Cardassians (although The Bajorans aren't specifically a representation of a particular culture), as well as the right to display and enjoy your own heritage freely.
    • The solution to a no-win situation on this one is pretty freaking crafty, and pretty unusual for the show to have Picard go in on a deception plan. But it did reveal the baddies, so that made it pretty awesome.
    Great Quotes:
    • "Most Bajora these days accept the distortion of their names in order to assimilate. I do not." - Ro
    • "My name is Guinan. I tend bar, and I listen." - Guinan
    • "Captain, I know the routine. You don't have to worry about me. We're stuck with each other. So let's just get this over with as quickly as possible and go our own separate ways, okay?"- Ro
    Left off at:
    The Enterprise creates a rouse of escorting and then leaving a Bajoran ship which The Cardassians destroy, but Picard figures out that Bajorans couldn't had destroyed the Federation colony in the first place and reveals that he's on to Admiral Kennedy being involved. Ensign Ro is about to cut lose of her assignment on The Enterprise, but Picard extends the offer for her to stay which she conditionally accepts if she's allowed to wear her Bajoran earring.


    Images Source: TrekCore

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