103 – Ensign Ro

Grade: B-

Ensign Ro (1991) on IMDb


Starfleet Admiral Kennelley comes on board the Enterprise to ask Captain Picard to investigate some terrorist activity along the Cardassian border. He is also sending along a Bajoran Starfleet officer named Ro Laren.


This episode doesn’t start off very well, but it quickly picks up the action and characters. I’ve always liked the character of Ensign Ro. She is one of a few “outsiders” in this series. She doesn’t follow the rules, and she doesn’t seem to fit into Starfleet very well. But her character is a welcome change from the normal routine.

I don’t like Admiral Kennelley, even from the start of the episode. Something doesn’t seem right about him, and at the end of the episode, we find out why. But the actor does a pretty good job with a less-than trustworthy character.

The writing is better, though I think the directing is a bit heavy-handed in some places. The scene when Ro tells Picard about how her father died is hard to watch. Michelle Forbes plays it right, though. To have her show a bit more emotion there would have been inconsistent with the character they were trying to create. But somehow, it seems a bit contrived and over-the-top. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I don’t really buy it for some reason.

The storyline is very much above average, and I like the plot twists. The climax is fairly predictable, but still fun to watch. The only complaint I would have with it is that Ensign Ro pretends to be disappointed when the ship is destroyed. Just before this, we heard Picard say that he and Ro would plan their strategy together, so we know that Ro knows the ship wasn’t even occupied. Yet the actress has to act disappointed for the viewer’s benefit. I would have preferred something more consistent and less contrived.

Overall, though, this is a pretty good episode, and one that you should see, if you haven’t already.

Of Note

It’s nice to see the Bajorans for the first time in the Star Trek franchise, but there are some differences with these Bajorans compared to what we find in Deep Space Nine. But it’s a good introduction to an important race of aliens.