This post contains spoilers for Star Trek: Picard season three episode “Imposters.”
Season three of Star Trek: Picard is heating up with the dangers of the Changelings infiltrating even the highest branches of Starfleet. This was brought to Admiral Picard’s attention by a guest character from Star Trek: The Next Generation, one that was a holdover from Picard’s past. And the sight of this former Starfleet officer struck the admiral hard.
Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes), now Commander Ro, took a shuttlecraft over from the USS Intrepid to the USS Titan to “question” both Admiral Picard and Captain Riker. In reality, the Bajoran officer who’d made her way back into Starfleet after being court-martialed and imprisoned, was there on her own personal mission. At first, she came across as distant, harsh, and unforgiving, but as the episode went on, fans got to see what we weren’t allowed to see when Ro turned against Starfleet, choosing the Maquis instead—her heart.
Star Trek: Picard surprised us all with the return of a character from season seven of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Ro was last seen in the season seven episode, “Preemptive Strike,” which included her defection from Starfleet, breaking then Captain Picard’s heart as he’d taken her under his wing. “Imposters” allowed Ro and Picard a conversation which had been a long time coming. Both opened their hearts and shared just how they felt over the decision she made, and we got to learn why she made that decision as well.
Though, in the end, Commander Ro didn’t survive after her brief meeting with Picard, she left something behind, her Bajoran earring with a disc inside, that might have given the remaining crew of the Titan a fighting chance against the Changelings.
It might seem wrong to bring back a guest star only to kill her off abruptly, but there wasn’t really another place for Ro. She was clearly comprised after not following orders to bring Admiral Picard back to the Intrepid, and the Changelings had no interest in sending her back to prison. Her sacrifice, though painful for Picard, served a purpose. And her presence aboard the Titan gave the pair a chance to air out the past and come to terms with what had transpired, effectively sealing wounds that had been open for over thirty years.