Saturday, July 28, 2012

Preemptive Strike

**** (4 stars out of 5)
Advanced Tactical Training School is tough: half the class washes out every year. That's what Ro Laren was not doing all year: failing. She's now returned to Enterprise with a lieutenant pip. Also, the training is so hard she lost her uppermost nose ridge.

The DMZ is still a frakking felker-storm, as the kids say. Or, more probably, have never said.

Maquis ships of Federation and Bajoran design are shooting Gul Evek's warship. Why can't anybody just leave a perfectly innocent giant Cardassian warship in peace? Picard has Worf separate them with a precise torpedo blast. Explosions are the perfect way to calm people down, don't you think?

Admiral 'Never-A-Good-Sign' Necheyev has Picard send Ro undercover to gain intelligence on the Maquis. This infiltration is the easiest thing anyone's done since the Federation botched the treaty in the first place! Ro really does hate Cardassians, she really does have a bad rep, and her tactics instructor just resigned to join the resistance. (This was meant to reference a character soon to be introduced in Star Trek: Voyager. Due to short memories and dodgy writing, this former fleet tactical lieutenant commander from the DMZ will disconnect that back-story possibility in dialogue years from now. Grumble damn continuity nerd snarf consistency grousing hobgoblins...)

Ro wins the trust of a Maquis cell leader, Macias, by "stealing" medical supplies from Enterprise. Then Picard has her lead the rebels into a trap. (It's in the Honest, Brave, and True Starfleet Manual under the heading New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, Subsection: The Terra Maneuver. If it would help, Ro is encouraged to talk like a 1930's gangster, take up smoking, and bed a much older man.)

But she can't go through with any of it. Striking from ambush one evening, Cardassians disguised as monks slaughter her good-hearted Maquis mentor. And Starfleet's trickery is of such a dishonourable nature today that, yes, she saves the freedom fighters by turning on Riker and Picard. Who fly back to safety feeling betrayed, irked, and slightly disgruntled. Possibly even miffed!

In "Preemptive Strike" Ro finds a new daddy, dropping Picard like a hot potato for a martyr to a lost cause who liked spicy food. But darn it, Michelle Forbes is a great performer. She didn't make the transfer to DS9, she missed the boat to Voyager, and in both cases it was Star Trek's loss.

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