May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “Preemptive Strike”

Ro Laren questions her loyalties when she goes undercover to infiltrate the Maquis.

Jimmy and Tom are almost done.  This is, for them, the penultimate episode of Star Trek the Next Generation, and it’s about…a character that appeared in a handful of episodes and hasn’t been seen in a while?  Eh, whatever.  What did happen to Ensign Ro anyway?

“Preemptive Strike”

Ro Laren finds her loyalties tested during an undercover mission.

jimmy:  A decent episode, though it seemed an odd choice for the penultimate one of the series.

tomk:  You would have rather they used the one with Wesley here instead?

jimmy:  Uh, no. But maybe one that gave most of the crew something to do.

tomk:  They really wanted to use Ro again.  Forbes turned down a chance to be part of the main cast for DS9 and apparently also Voyager.

jimmy:  So they turned her into a traitor.

tomk:  I’m sure she’ll have a heroic death later.

jimmy:  Much later.

tomk:  Picard really shouldn’t have sent Riker on that mission.  She never liked him.

jimmy:  I doubt that made much difference.

tomk:  Well, those lousy Cardassians killed that old man who knew his Bajoran comfort food.

jimmy:  Those Cardassians were masters of being incognito. No wonder they were able to waltz into the Maquis camp.

tomk:  The Orange Robed Monks are renowned for their generosity and the fact that everyone can copy their robes without too much trouble.

jimmy:  Better disguise than civilian clothes and trying to pick up a prostitute I suppose.

tomk:  I do love how Picard thinks the Captain of the Enterprise can just hang out in a lowlife bar and no one will recognize his distinctive bald dome.

jimmy:  Right?  I thought the same thing.

He could have at least tried to cover that up.

tomk:  Is that the last time you’ll be able to use that picture?

jimmy:  Is that a challenge?

tomk:  No, a question.

jimmy:  I’m not making any promises.

tomk:  A challenge would be trying to shoehorn this guy into every Trek chat:

jimmy:  That’s one aspect of these chats I won’t miss.

tomk:  Will you miss the make your own sundae bar?

jimmy:  I’ll just bring that with me.

tomk:  It’s rather large. Lots of toppings.

jimmy:  It’ll be worth it.  I suppose you are going to take the Bajoran buffet from Ro’s welcome back party…which certainly didn’t seem over the top at all.

tomk:  Why would I take a whole buffet?  And from a TV show?

That’s just silly.

jimmy:  Why do I have a sundae bar?  Why anything?

tomk:  You’re right. I am canceling the TNG reunion that was going to happen in the lobby.

jimmy:  I gotta learn to quit when I’m ahead.

tomk:  Especially since the Moose, Beaver, and Watson just wheeled the sundae bar out of here while Jenny went by with a large quantity of donuts.

jimmy:  Aw man!

tomk:  You may need better friends.

jimmy:  Indeed.  Looks like Picard has an opening.

tomk:  Apparently.

jimmy:  I’ll get my checkbook!

tomk:  You might end up with Captain Jake. Or Captain Marvel.

jimmy:  Or Captain Crunch!

tomk:  His only friend is the sea, Jimmy.

jimmy:  And milk?

tomk:  You’d think…

jimmy:  Stewart directed this, so he was busy, but the rest of the cast didn’t have much to do.

tomk:  Must be why Picard got to get almost romantic with Ro.

jimmy:  That felt…awkward.

tomk:  Is that because you wish it was you?  Talking to either of them?

jimmy:  No.  Just because of who they are.  I know it was an act, but still.

tomk:  You’ll never become Picard’s friend at this rate.

jimmy:  I’ve only been trying for the last 30 years.

tomk:  He lives in the far future, Jimmy.

jimmy:  Maybe I should concentrate on my cryogenics research then.

tomk:  You could also use the time traveling phone booth in the store room.


Watson told me that was broken.

tomk:  It’s not. Watson uses it to get autographs from historical figures.

jimmy:  I’m not sure how much of an historical figure Bambi Woods is.

tomk:  He couldn’t get Mamie Van Doren’s.

jimmy:  Would you mess with her?

tomk:  No, but I don’t use the time machine phone booth.

jimmy:  Which time machine do you use?

tomk:  I don’t. Live in the now, I always say.

jimmy:  Smrt.

tomk:  Besides, if you get to the future, you’d probably have to help out the rest of the crew. They were probably off on some Starbase battling weird stuff.

jimmy:  Green slime is hard to fight.

tomk:  That’s why you send the MVP to deal with it.

jimmy:  We don’t seem to be talking much about Lieutenant Ro and Her Amazing Friends.

tomk:  Well, the Maquis was more of a DS9 or Voyager thing.

jimmy:  Yeah, all the stuff with like the Maquis or Cardassians always seemed out of place.

tomk:  It just doesn’t quite fit. Not like you would this shirt.

jimmy:  I’d rather that one you have, but it’ll do.

tomk:  You sure are put out sometimes.

jimmy:  I know what I like.

tomk:  Did you like Ensign Ro?

jimmy:  Sure.  You?

tomk:  Yup. What’s not to like? An irritable character who annoyed most of the others and eventually betrayed them all

jimmy:  But for a good cause!

tomk:  Oh, so you’re a Maquis sympathizer now?

jimmy:  No, but she thought it was for a good cause.

tomk:  And what did you think?

jimmy:  Terrorism is usually frowned upon.

tomk:  Good for you. That earns you plate of tacos.

jimmy:  I like tacos.

tomk:  Ro gets none.

jimmy:  Not exactly a stellar send off for her character.

tomk:  They could always bring her back and then almost immediately kill her because of another DS9 threat.

jimmy:  They’re in no rush to do that.

tomk:  My guess is neither was Michelle Forbes.

jimmy:  She was busy having a long a fruitful career…making guest appearances on 100 other shows.

tomk:  That’s more than we can say about Denise Crosby.

Besides, Forbes did become one of those actors who became a welcome face in all kinds of genre TV.

jimmy:  No doubt. But hardly a household name.

tomk:  She probably never had to worry about eating.

jimmy:  No. And apparently she makes a mean baccharet sandwich.

tomk:  You mean it’s a sandwich that will take a bite out of you?  That’s pretty mean.

jimmy:  That’s why you have to sneak up on it from behind.

tomk:  Sandwiches have a behind?

jimmy: Well, yeah.

tomk:  Is that why there’s an open-face sandwich? 

jimmy:  Now you’re getting it!

tomk:  Are you just making that up?

jimmy:  Do you doubt my knowledge of sandwiches?

tomk:  Of that?  No.

jimmy:  Then we’ll just move on.

tomk:  From your sandwich knowledge?

jimmy:  Indeed.

tomk:  Alright. Good thing we now have a make-your-own sandwich bar to replace the sundae bar.

jimmy:  Excellent.

tomk:  It works as well as tossing Ro out in yet another forgettable episode.

jimmy:  I mean, good on them for bringing Ro back. And for having the guts to do a bit of a twist ending, but I didn’t much care. And with only one episode left, they couldn’t have found something better for the main cast to do?

tomk:  That’s for the finale.

jimmy:  I’m sure that’ll keep’em fairly busy.

tomk:  So busy, in fact, that LeVar Burton probably just refused to come out of his trailer.

jimmy:  He had a lot of reading to do.

tomk:  You don’t have to take my word on it.

jimmy:  I don’t?

tomk:  Or you do.  He’ll see you next time.

jimmy:  This has been a confusing chat.

tomk:  We have to bring back all the biggest hits before the finale.

jimmy:  Don’t do it…

tomk:  Garbage Day Guy already appeared here once alongside Patrick Stewart’s public radio friend request and the Green Slime song.

jimmy:  Phew!

tomk:  Yeah, you can breathe easy.

But here’s a question:  if producers wanted Ro for Voyager, which character was created when Forbes said “no”?

jimmy:  Chakotay?

tomk:  Depends on if they wanted two women in charge of a starship for 90s television. I figure it could also have been Torres.

jimmy:  That was my first thought honestly.  But then I thought Ro and Chakotay would be more interchangeable.

tomk:  That’s a bit of a problem with Chakotay as a character, but an irritable young woman who used to be Starfleet and has to earn her commander’s trust could also be B’Elanna.

jimmy:  I guess we’ll never know.

tomk:  Someone knows.

jimmy:  Maybe this guy.

tomk:  Maybe.

It does somewhat make sense if this episode was intended to introduce a spinoff.

jimmy:  More sense then the penultimate episode being about a non-regular.

tomk:  Well, maybe we should just go see the extra long finale, see all the main characters, a couple guest stars, the series’s best villain that wasn’t the Borg, and check out what maybe the best Trek finale ever made.

jimmy:  I’m excited.  But sad we are at the end.

tomk:  All good things must come to an end, Jimmy. Or we could get more episodes like this one, the tube things growing in the now-living ship, Ferengi villains returning from season one, and more episodes about long-lost relatives.

jimmy:  Good point.

tomk:  So, shall we?

jimmy:  Make it so.

Next:  “All Good Things…”