Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Picard Season 3 Episode 5 Brought Back A Star Trek Veteran 30 Years After They Left The Franchise

Contains spoilers for "Star Trek: Picard" Season 3, Episode 5 — "Imposters"

The crew of the USS Enterprise-D (and subsequently, the USS Enterprise-E) is back together again. But while it may be their first big reunion since "Star Trek: The Next Generation," almost all the legacy characters returning for Season 3 of "Star Trek: Picard" have appeared in other "Star Trek" projects in between the two series.

Lieutenant Worf (Michael Dorn) is present for four seasons of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) appeared on the "Star Trek: Prodigy" episode "Kobayashi," and Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) and Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) have both popped up in episodes of "Voyager," with Troi also appearing on "Enterprise" and "Lower Decks." Meanwhile, Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) has the record for most appearances in different "Star Trek" series; in addition to "Picard," he appeared in the "Star Trek: Voyager" episode "Death Wish"; the "Star Trek: Enterprise" finale, "These Are the Voyages..."; and a few episodes of "Star Trek: Lower Decks." His clone, Thomas Riker, even popped up on "Deep Space Nine."

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "Picard" showrunner Terry Matalas explained that he had wanted to reassemble the cast for one final adventure because he felt that they never got their great final send-off the way the original series crew did with "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." But while the return of the original cast of "The Next Generation" was announced well before Season 3 aired, Episode 5 brings in a character that fans were certainly not expecting to see.

Michelle Forbes returns as Ro Laren for the first time in nearly 30 years

If "Star Trek" episodes still premiered on television the way they used to before streaming, you probably would have heard a collective gasp from Trekkies around the world at the return of Ro Laren. Michelle Forbes, whom newer fans might recognize from her appearances as Maryann Forrester on "True Blood" or Gail McLeod on "Chicago Fire," was a recurring cast member in Seasons 5–7 of "The Next Generation," playing the precocious Bajoran rebel Ensign Ro Laren. According to StarTrek.com, Forbes was offered the chance to be a regular on "Deep Space Nine" but turned it down.

In the latest episode of "Picard," "Imposters," Ro Laren is now a commander in Starfleet, something that irks Picard (Patrick Stewart) to no end since the last time he saw her was in the penultimate episode of "The Next Generation," "Preemptive Strike," in which Ro is sent undercover with the terrorist group the Maquis, finds herself sympathetic to their cause, and ultimately joins them. Picard and Ro get to bury the hatchet, though, with Ro revealing what she knows about the infiltration of Starfleet and ultimately sacrificing herself for the sake of the organization she once betrayed, giving the character a sort of redemption after her last "Next Generation" appearance.