*** (3 stars out of 5)
Admiral Kennelly caught a cold. Dr. Crusher once told us the cold was cured, but fear not, it's a Cardassian cold.
Those pesky Cardassians seized the planet Bajor and drove the locals out over 40 years ago. Homeless, desperate pariahs, the Bajora have suffered a long time and the Federation was politically powerless to help. Thanks to the recent treaty, Picard hopes to change that.
Kennelly also has some funny ideas. He releases problem officer Ensign Ro Laren from the stockade, then foists this loose cannon on the flagship... all because she's one of the Bajora in Starfleet. Perhaps he hopes wacky antics will ensue. Next week he'll make them bring in a Berengarian dragon to run the shuffleboard court!
Ro crosses arms, rolls eyes, and locks horns with everyone she meets. She wouldn't agree with a bland, boring Starfleet type if he said that space was dark. Screw you, old man! Gawd!
Ro leads the stiffs to the refugee camp of Pel Orton, where she gives a little matchstick girl the shirt off her back. No teenage boy objects to her attitude problem after that.
Ro leads the stiffs to the terrorist camp of Jaz Holza, an angry man hideously disfigured by the Cardassians. His story is not as rare as it should be: Ro lost her father to Cardassian tortures as well.
Guinan takes Ro under her enigmatic bartender wing and makes Picard do the same.
Admiral Kennelly was hoping to lure Holza out and blame him for the attack on a UFP colony. In fact, his ships aren't up to it any more than Holza is up to a song contest. Uncharacteristically, the Cardassians were lying!
Nobody goes home happy, except there's a new regular at the helm and she's dreamier than Wesley.
"Ensign Ro" is a key episode, for the introduction of feisty Michelle Forbes as Ro, for the downtrodden people of Bajor and for their grievances with the Cardassians, which will serve as major elements of a certain spin-off we'll get to one of these months.
I used to have a T-Shirt that said 'Just Say Ro'. It was somehow important to me then (and now) that nobody have any idea what I'm doing.