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[Discussion] - Captain Picard was disappointed twice - Wesley and Ro Laren

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Stryker, Fri 11 Sep, 2020 9:12 PM
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    #1
     –  Last edited by Stryker; Fri 11 Sep, 2020 9:20 PM.
    I wanted to open a discussion on this subject about the two closest people to Picard, Wesley Crusher and Ro Laren.

    First - Wesley Crusher

    Picard was like a surrogate father figure for Wesley, from the earliest seasons as he grew on him and giving him more responsibility. Picard was hoping perhaps that Wesley would follow his footsteps into Starfleet, which initially he did. Picard guided him and probably gave him more attention than any other young adolescent on the Enterprise and as a Cadet too. Granted Picard had been there with Beverly when "Jack" passed and Picard and Beverly have type of relationship that is in obvious difference to what Polaski's was when she was on board for a season. I would say Wesley was like the son Picard never had to a degree. He was greatly disappointed and hurt when Wesley turned his back on Starfleet and ultimately to Picard in his mind and sense too, to help the indigenous population against the Cardassians in "Journey's End". Though he wished him best of health and luck later when Wesley departed to go with the Traveler, I certainly don't believe Picard was quite the same after this.

    Captain Picard angry at Wesley in TNG episode "Journey's End"

    hqdefault


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    Second - Ro Laren

    Now in regards to Ro Laren, we see her in the first episode titled her name of course and how harsh her reception was from the command crew of the Enterprise including Captain Picard. Over time as the episodes persist and the journey moved forward. Ro Laren did earn the respect of the crew even though it was tough given her past history. We see in the initial episode on her assigned mission that a trust and a bond began to form between her and Captain Picard and through the rest of the series Picard was like guiding godfather like figurehead for her. He knew the potential of her abilities but she was like a volatile kettle always about to blow and I think Picard tried to steer her in a direction back to like a redemption from her history. Ro Laren did mention that Picard sponsored her to the advanced tactical training and we see her promoted in episode "Preemptive Strike". So we know Captain Picard took a special interest in instructing and guiding Ro Laren so she could be better person and more productive member of Starfleet. We see however that in the operation she undertook in "Preemptive Strike" took quite a toll on her as far as her loyalties were concerned, and perhaps Picard pushed her a bit more than needed given she reached out knowingly that she felt conflicted. But, at the same time she did not want to let Picard down, much like a child does not want to let a parent down. She looked up to him and wanted Picard to be proud of her and out of everyone on the ship, she only wanted to earn that trust from Picard in final. In the end, Ro Laren made a decision to help the Maquis and she switched sides. In that final act, she expressed regret to Commander Riker to tell Captain Picard that she was sorry, as though she was asking forgiveness as if she couldn't overcome the conflict within herself she faced. Captain Picard was noticeably upset, angry, and felt betrayed, probably more so than any other person we would see close to him. He at first didn't see much hope in the beginning when she stepped on board, but he guided her and groomed her to be the Starfleet officer he hoped she would be and to rise above the doubts and fears of others. Picard was left feeling like a child had turned his or her back on him and after all he had done for her.

    Captain Picard's facial expression from TNG episode "Preemptive Strike" when Ro Laren betrayed Picard.
    A powerful expression that says many words that were not spoken.
    hqdefault
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________


    In the end I feel empathetic to Picard, two of his closest "pupils" basically to whom he guided and gave attention to, both turned their back on him in the end. Both faced a situation where they felt compelled to help others or were conflicted themselves that went against the mission at hand that Captain Picard had to carry out. While the anguish was not lasting for Wesley, even though he turned away from Starfleet, he still cared for Wesley and wished him well much like a father would even though Wesley chose a different path. The anguish for Ro Laren, looked almost deeper as depicted in his facial expression in the last scene of the episode "Preemptive Strike". I think Picard truly believed that Ro had redeemed herself or would have redeemed herself. He saw potential in her when no one else might have given her a chance. Picard took her under his wing and molded her, even sponsoring her to a training course to build her career and credibility. Ro didn't want to let Picard down like she looked up to him and that was evident in the end when she expressed regret when she left but couldn't do so in person to him except pass the message to Riker. I feel really bad for him as I am sure he tried his best with both of them, to educate them and guide them, but Picard ended up being the only one left standing alone.


    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I open the floor for friendly discussion...
    Stryker
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    #2
    I agree with you on Wesley. Picard was portrayed as anti-family and particularly anti-children at the beginning of TNG, but Wesley was the bridge to soften that stance. That plus the relationship with both his dad and particularly his mom hint at the family that almost was (unless you count the TNG finale where Picard and Crusher married in the alternate future, which made him Wesley's stepdad).

    I'm not sure I go there with you with Ro Laren though. I think Picard saw someone who had potential but was considered "damaged goods" by the rest of Starfleet, and he decided to give her the second chance nobody else would. I kind of thought her joining the Maquis in the end was more of a cross-series effort to build up the Maquis, but I thought DS9 did it better with Eddington, and Voyager mostly buried the Maquis aspects of things as the show progressed.

    I'm curious why Elnor didn't make the list from STTongue Outicard. Space Legolas was built up as basically a lost father-son relationship, though they didn't spend a lot of time outside Elnor's intro episode on that story arc.
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    #3
    I agree with you on Wesley. Picard was portrayed as anti-family and particularly anti-children at the beginning of TNG, but Wesley was the bridge to soften that stance. That plus the relationship with both his dad and particularly his mom hint at the family that almost was (unless you count the TNG finale where Picard and Crusher married in the alternate future, which made him Wesley's stepdad).

    I'm not sure I go there with you with Ro Laren though. I think Picard saw someone who had potential but was considered "damaged goods" by the rest of Starfleet, and he decided to give her the second chance nobody else would. I kind of thought her joining the Maquis in the end was more of a cross-series effort to build up the Maquis, but I thought DS9 did it better with Eddington, and Voyager mostly buried the Maquis aspects of things as the show progressed.

    I'm curious why Elnor didn't make the list from STTongue Outicard. Space Legolas was built up as basically a lost father-son relationship, though they didn't spend a lot of time outside Elnor's intro episode on that story arc.


    I haven't watched ST Picard or Discovery... so I cannot say anything of it.

    I can understand your point of view on Ro Laren, but I still believe Picard did invest attention to her career to a degree more than his other officers.
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