15 essential Captain Picard episodes to get you pumped for his return

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“Ensign Ro” (S5E3)

Picard perks: Picard in disguise, Picard in civvies, annoyed Picard, Picard and friends.

What it’s about: Captain Picard’s struggles with Ensign Ro. She has a record, disobeyed orders, makes her own rules. She is his antithesis in many ways. However, he does follow orders, so he is forced to work with her when she is assigned to him.

Captain Picard is a diplomat and is outside his comfort zone, coming face to face with war and terrorism and true disenfranchisement. He knows his duty but he is able to understand the lens through which Ensign Ro sees the world.

Eventually, Picard is able to see past Ro’s anger and sees her resiliency. Even with all his experience in diplomacy and his love of history, Picard is never closed off to learning. His sympathies for the Bajorans deepen.

Bonus recommendation: In “Preemptive Strike” (S7E24 ) Starfleet assigns Ro an undercover mission meant to lure Maquis terrorists into a Federation Trap, all to appease the Cardassians. Knowing Ro’s traumatic past, and the effort it takes for her to bind herself in a Starfleet mold, the decision to let her go was pretty short-sighted. By the end of the episode, she feels like she’s finally home, and it’s not with Picard, her adoptive father-figure.

Is it the only time we see Picard completely speechless? After Ro joins the Maquis, we see Picard frozen in a glare, processing or denying her choice.  It’s chilling and for once, Picard isn’t being cast in a golden, shining light. This was a man who saw what he wanted to see in a woman, instead of what was really there. Neither is particularly wrong, though the hurt caused is deep and scarring for both.

Picard quotes:

  • “There are other Bajorans in Starfleet. Assign one of them!”
  • “Laren, what’s going on?” (It’s rare to hear Ro’s name like this.)
  • “This is nothing to do with me, this is about you. If you back out now, you’ll throw away everything you’ve worked for… My only question for you is, can you carry out your orders?