84: Ensign Ro (5.03)

Synopsis: Everybody hates Ensign Ro until Guinan tells them not to.

Memory Alpha Summary:  This is also the introduction of Mot, the barber.  No word on who the ship’s hair-stylist is.

Review:  Wesley’s replacement at the conn (for eight episodes, anyway), Ro Laren and the Bajoran race are introduced skillfully.  It’s nice to have someone on board who isn’t all gaga for the Federation and its ideals and actually has some flaws.  She’s more or less Tom Paris (until Paris became an idealist) with more range.  Anyway, Riker is a pompous ass to her, telling her wearing jewelry is against Starfleet code (except for Worf, who gets to wear adornments every day).  Guinan does a great job at helping her feel welcome, helping the crew warm to her (not knowing she’d betray them later), and helping the audience get to like her.  It’s a shame she couldn’t get signed on as a regular.

The plot itself, with not-quite-insane-but-so-facing-a-court-martial Admiral Kennelly consorting with the Cardassians to destroy Bajoran terrorists, feels like a backdrop to Ro’s introduction.  It’s fine with a nice ‘I told you so’ moment for Picard at the end, but it doesn’t particularly stand out.

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