"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Preemptive Strike (TV Episode 1994) Poster

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This episode is a gem among stones.
kfo949413 March 2014
With lackluster shows in this final season, this episode proved to be a gem among the stones as this was an interesting tale with entertaining results. It begins as Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes) returns to the cast after graduating from Starfleet and returning to the Enterprise crew. She was able to return to Starfleet thanks to Captain Picard's recommendation and she wants to repay the Captain for the kindness shown. But the task that she will be assigned with prove difficult for her.

Due to problems with a group of rebels called the Maquis that are attacking Cardassain's ships, the peace treaty between the Cardassains and Starfleet could be in jeopardy. Ro will be assigned to infiltrate the rebel group and report where and when the Maquis plan to attack so that the Enterprise can put an end to this rebel group. However, Ro begins to have feeling for the rebel group and those feeling could risk her position with Starfleet and her loyalty and gratitude toward Captain Picard.

This is an entertaining story that returned the series to the roots of personal conflict within the plot. This season has been sugary stories that tend to rely more on writing so that each main character gets face time rather than developing a good story. This episode went back to getting an interesting plot and develop the situation around the story. A nice show indeed!
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Ro Laren's story arc concludes.
russem315 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
ST:TNG:176 - "Preemptive Strike" (Stardate: 47941.7) - this is the 24th episode of the 7th and last season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The newly promoted Lt. Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes in her first appearance since the 5th season) returns to the Enterprise and immediately embarks on an undercover mission to infiltrate the Maquis - a group living in the Demilitarized Zone who is against the Cardassians since the peace treaty since they are now on part of Cardassian territory instead of Federation (they will become a formidable foe in DS9 and VOY).

Ro only takes this mission out of loyalty to Picard, being uneasy helping the Cardassians since she is Bajoran. After learning more about the Maquis, she grows more sympathetic with their cause. And due to this conflict of loyalties, Ro Laren is torn . . . but must soon make a choice.

Trivia note: Deep Space Nine is mentioned here.
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All the wrong notes
mcp195916 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Preemptive Strike" is a rushed episode which features the return, and departure, of Ensign Ro Laren. Ro returns to the Enterprise after a lengthy absence while she received special training. She is greeted warmly by Picard, who then immediately assigns here to an undercover assignment to infiltrate the Maquis. The Maquis are engaged with a gorilla war against the Cardassians. The members of the Maquis who she meets provoke ambivalent emotions in Ro, which ultimately leads her to betray Picard and defect to the Maquis.

While the acting, dialogue and production values are good to great, the episode feels like a misstep. Picard's genuine feelings of affection for Ro are overridden by his desire for her to complete the covert operation. The operation itself is questionable. I would expect Picard to raise many more questions than he does; in fact, he seems quite eager to be a 24th century CIA operative. He makes Ro into a tool to be used. If that was the goal, then the producers succeeded. The exception to the episode's failure is Ro's relationship to the elder Maquis leader, who symbolically takes Picard's place in Ro's life before his death. Again, if that was the goal, then it could be called a success. I call it a sellout, forcing Picard to behave in a manner totally inconsistent with what we know about him. Not recommended.
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Ro goes undercover with the Maquis
Tweekums30 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This episode sees the return of recently promoted Lt Ro Laren after time away on the Advanced Tactical Training course; she doesn't get time to settle back into life on the Enterprise though as she is soon sent on a dangerous undercover mission. After the peace between the Federation and the Cardassians some of those who have found their home worlds are now in Cardassian territory are fighting against what they see as their new oppressors. These are the Maquis and it is Lt Ro's job to infiltrate the group and lure them into an ambush so they can be captured by the Federation. They are initially suspicious of Ro but when she helps them steal a large quantity of medical supplies from the Enterprise they grow to trust her. As she gets to know them she starts to symaphise with their cause; she tries to get Capt Picard to call off the mission but he refuses and tells her that if she fails to continue with the mission as planned she will be in serious trouble for disobeying orders; ultimately Ro must decide whether to follow orders or do what she believes is right.

There have been rather too many poorer than average episodes this season but this isn't one of them. When Ro Laren was introduced she quickly became one of my favourite characters so I was rather disappointed that she quickly disappeared from the show with now real explanation… this tells us why she was away and gives her one of her best stories; she is definitely the main character and the excellent Michelle Forbes has no difficulty carrying the episode. Too often in Star Trek the issues are very black and white and the Federation are always the good guys but here things are less certain; the peace with the Cardassians is clearly a good thing overall but those now on the wrong side of the border find themselves bullied by an oppressive regime so it is understandable that they will fight back. This provides a real dilemma for Ro and for once one can see Picard might be on the wrong side of the argument. As the episode progresses it is far from obvious how the story will end but as Ro gets closer to the Maquis the possibility that she won't help the Federation capture them rises distinctly. Overall a really good episode with some moral ambiguity and some decent action.
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When You Know the Enemy
Hitchcoc17 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The Maquis become a big deal when "Voyager" begins its time in the Star Trek canon. These are Federation renegades who are unhappy with the developments in the movement outward in the galaxy. There are too many treaties with rival alien worlds, particularly the Cardassians. The Enterprise has been given the task of infiltrating this group which has the Bejoran culture at its center. Ensign Ro Laren has been given the task of spying on this group. She is willing to take this on because Picard rescued her from a spiral into oblivion. What happens, however, is that while she is secretly a part of the Maquis, she begins to understand their unhappiness and their oppression by forces beyond their control. They are guerrilla fighters in a kind of intergalactic brush war. She is embraced by them and becomes the darling of their old leader who has great affection for her and her "cause." What starts out as a mission becomes a kind of betrayal. It shows how things are not so simple when you see the actual face of the enemy. Quite well done.
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Lieutenant Ro on a mission
bkoganbing24 September 2017
Lieutenant Ro Laren is back from Star Fleet tactical training just in time for some Maquis uprising against the ruling Cardassians. Hearts may be with the Maquis, but the Federation has a treaty with the Cardassians.

Patrick Stewart sends Michelle Forbes on a mission to seek out a Maquis cell and find out what they're up to. But what happens is that she starts a realization of her Bajoran roots when she meets up with the Maquis cell. Most especially with the head of said cell John Franklyn- Robbins with whom she develops an almost father/daughter relationship.

Captain Picard has considered Ro his own protégé and Michelle Forbes's scenes with Picard as well as Macias the Maquis leader have a lot of poignancy.

In the end, in her last appearance on TNG as Ro Laren Michelle Forbes gave a real good performance. I do regret that she was not able to be worked into a Deep Space Nine episode or two.
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No mo Ro.
MartinHafer6 December 2014
Ensign Ro was an addition to the cast in season 6. At the time, it appeared as if she was going to become a regular on the show but after only a few appearances she disappeared until this penultimate episode. It begins with the Maquis suddenly gaining an advantage over the Cardassians in their guerilla war. Since the members of this rogue organization are mostly made up of people living within the Federation, it's up to the Enterprise to try to bring their terrorist ways under control and bring these rebels to justice. To do so, Picard asks Ro to go undercover--a thoroughly stupid idea, as she obviously is very much in sympathy with these folks. Can she serve the Federation or will her natural inclination to hate Cardassians and kick butt propel her towards becoming a traitor to Starfleet?

This is a decent enough episode and it's well done. My only complaint and reason I give this one a 7 is because the character was pretty much abandoned by the writers and suddenly makes an appearance in the second to last episode...which feels kind of weird and contrived.
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