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Ro Laren’s return in Star Trek Picard season 3 explained

Here's what all the info on Michelle Forbes' Ro Laren in Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 5, including her backstory and every TNG episode she appears in.

Star Trek Picard season 3 Ro Laren return

Ro Laren is back in Star Trek, having returned in the latest episode of Star Trek Picard season 3. Portrayed by Michelle Forbes in TNG, Ro Laren is a fan-favourite character with plenty of personality and lots of backstory.

Now, she’s showed up again after several decades and plays an important role in the next stage of the story in the new season of the Star Trek series.

So, for a refresher on the beloved Star Trek character (and an explainer on her appearance in Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 5) here’s our handy guide to Ro Laren, her backstory, and what TNG episodes she’s in. This article also contains spoilers for Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 5.

Ro Laren’s backstory explained

Ro Laren was a Bajoran Starfleet officer who had a reputation for disobedience and hot-headedness. Having graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2362, she would go on to be a part of an away team on Garon II while serving on the USS Wellington. On the away mission she refused to follow orders, and this led to the unintentional death of a number of her fellow officers.

Ro Laren was subsequently court-martialled, however she was readmitted to Starfleet to serve aboard the USS Enterprise in order to assist in a sensitive mission involving a group of Bajorans who were attacking the Federation. Due to her reputation, this angered Captain Picard and Commander Riker who were both harsh on Ro Laren, until she eventually proved herself to them.

Ro Laren Star Trek Picard season 3

From then on, her relationship with Captain Picard grew and he became an important mentor to her. Ro Laren would go on to serve as an officer aboard the Star Trek starship and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. However, the relationship between herself and Picard was shattered when Ro Laren abandoned Starfleet to join the Maquis after being assigned to infiltrate the group.

She left the USS Enterprise to stay with the Maquis, which was the last the audience got to see of Ro Laren, until Star Trek Picard season 3.

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Ro Laren in Star Trek Picard season 3

Ro Laren has returned in Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 5. She appears onboard Captain Shaw’s USS Titan leading a Starfleet Intelligence team from the USS Intrepid (who later turn out to be Changelings). She arrives to investigate the Titan’s activity, question Picard and Riker, and look into Picard’s son Jack Crusher.

Picard and Riker are shocked to learn that Ro Laren has been readmitted into Starfleet – and has been promoted to the rank of commander – after she betrayed them and joined the Maquis. However, she explains that she handed herself back into Starfleet and spent a period of time in prison. She was then recruited into Starfleet Intelligence due to her knowledge of terrorist organisations, after participating in a rigorous rehabilitation programme.

After reconciling with Picard, Ro Laren explains that she is working to uncover a conspiracy which has seen Changelings infiltrate Starfleet. She says that Picard and his son are in great danger, and says that the Changelings who have infiltrated Starfleet will be coming for them. She tells the USS Titan to flee, and buys the ship time by sacrificing herself and crashing a shuttle into the port nacelle of the USS Intrepid.

It is then revealed that her Bajoran earpiece contains information about the Changeling conspiracy that she has uncovered, as well as confirming that she was Worf’s handler who was in contact with the Klingon and Raffi.

Ro Laren explained - USS Intrepid explosion

Ro Laren TNG episodes

Ro Laren joined the cast of TNG in season 5, with the episode ‘Ensign Ro’. She would be on to have a recurring role, appearing in a total of 8 episodes throughout the TV series.

Her final episode was ‘Preemptive Strike’, the penultimate episode of TNG overall, where she would betray Captain Picard by joining the terrorist organisation called the Maquis. Other notable TNG episodes featuring Ro Laren include ‘Disaster’, ‘The Next Phase’, and ‘Rascals’.

Ro Laren TNG episodes in order

  • Ensign Ro
  • Disaster
  • Conundrum
  • Power Play
  • Cause And Effect
  • The Next Phase
  • Rascals
  • Preemptive Strike

That’s it on Ro Laren for now. For more on Star Trek Picard, check out our guide to Vadic and the Shirke, and learn more about Rachel Garrett. Or find out everything we know about Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2.