The Enterprise is tasked with investigating the attacks of a Federation outpost by a group of Bajoran terrorists to aid them they're given a re-commissioned, disgraced, Bajoran officer Ro Laren who carries with her the stigma of the loss of eight officers in an away mission on her former assignment landing her a court martial and a prison term. She's been granted a pardon and regained her commission in order to add Picard in this assignment, to be a liaison between Picard and Bajoran terrorists believed to be behind the threat. Ensign Ro's (the Bajoran people placing their family name before the given name) history is well known to the crew of the ship and are reluctant to accept her as a member of the crew prompting Riker to double-down on ship rules on her, Geordi to distrust her, and Picard to be annoyed that such an officer had gained such a prestigious assignment on the Federation Flagship. Perhaps fortunately for her, her reputation piques the interest of Guinan who befriends Ro and offers her usual dose of wisdom. It turns out Ro is being used as a pawn by the Admiral behind the entire mission, wanting to "negotiate" something of a back-door treaty with the Bajoran terrorists. If they stop attacking Federation outposts they will be supplied with Federation weapons with which they can fight back against the Cardassians, who had held an occupation of the Bajoran people for over 40 years decimating them as a people and scattering them across the quadrant. When Ro learns from the terrorist leader that they were not responsible for the attack on the Federation outpost Ro worries about what to do next and her role in what is going on. She eventually confides in Guinan who manages to convince Picard to listen Ro since she considers her a friend. Knowing Guinan is selective about her friends Picard listens to Ro. They manage to expose that the Cardassians knew about an escort of the Bajoran terrorist leader that due to treaty and space conflicts would eventually lead to the terrorist's death -a benefit to the Cardassians. In reality, the Cardassians had likely attacked the Federation outpost in order to bring the Federation more to their side and fight against the struggling Bajoran people. Picard sets up a ruse with a remotely operated Bajoran ship to expose the truth behind everything and expose the Admiral's duplicity and violation of Starfleet/Federation policy. (Evil Admiral, take a drink!) ... I think I got most of that right. It's sort of complex and I'm not sure my frame of mind was quite right to lay it out. Anyway, in the longer run this episode introduces is to the a Bajoran people (a people who were "architects and artists before humans were standing erect." Which makes me wonder why evolution has stalled for them. Shouldn't they be as evolved from their wise ancestors as we are from ape-like ancestors? Evolution doesn't stop because some asshole aliens destroy your culture and home world) and the conflict/occupation between them and the Cardassians which will carry over and become a large series-long plot point in "Deep Space Nine." The episode also introduces us to a new character, Ensign Ro, who goes against the Roddenberry mold of everyone in Starfleet being near-perfect, in particular humans, as Ro is anything but a model officer and offers a challenge to anyone willing to question her or offer an idea she disagrees with. A trait Picard eventually seems to admire and like about her. As she's the first Bajoran character we're introduced to, she sets the mold nicely for a troubled people who've dealt with a lot in their more recent history. It's really a shame that Ro wasn't used a lot more during the rest of the series, it would have been nice if she became more of a series regular rather than a "when we feel like it" recurring character. The relationship between her and Guinan also seems natural. Many criticize Riker's first encounter with her when he dresses her down after transport, ordering her to take off her Bajoran earring and adhere to Starfleet dress code. The "trouble" being that Worf is allowed to wear is baldric which isn't part of the dress code. My counter to this has always been that at this point Ro is hardly a model officer, was court martialed in disgrace and then given her comission back and prestigious assignment. Usually in a case when dealing with someone who has trouble following the rules you double-down on them and get nit-picky. Don't give them that inch lest they take their mile. Worf had likely earned the leeway to wear his baldric, similarly Ro "earned" the rules being enforced on her more strictly and by the end of the episode she had earned enough respect from Picard to be allowed the little bit of leeway to wear her earring. There's a nice scene in the episode where we get a unique look at "how clothing works" in the 24th century which was supposed to have the idea of zippers being obsolete. Which is why the uniforms are tight-fitting with no obvious fastener. (We're not supposed to acknowledge the real-world zipper seam that's obviously on the back of the uniform.) The idea of these "nanoseams" is demonstrated nicely when Ro and the away team visits a Bajoran refugee camp and she removes the top of her uniform to give to a little girl. Ro is in a standard "one-piece" female uniform but this reveals that it only appears that way due to the "nano" seams as not only is the top part of the uniform apaprently a jacket but fastens in the front (where there's no visible seam.) I suppose this "nanoseam" also makes it appear the jacket part is also part of the shoulderless-jumper/pants she has on underneath. Really a lovely little touch in the episode. The dynamic between Ro and Guinan is really good here as is the relationship between Picard and Ro once they find they now have a common friend. The story here ultimately doesn't amount to too much in terms of TNG but plays a role in DS9. Overall a good episode and, again, I really wish Ro was used more often during the remainder of the series or things had worked out to make her the Bajoran regular on DS9.