Raffi, previously explained to be one of Picard’s closer confidants has now been relegated to a supporting role, present to facilitate the introduction of Worf (Michael Dorn) into the story. In the first episode, Raffi was a secret agent who took orders from an unseen higher-up somewhere in Starfleet Intelligence. She strays from her handler’s order to investigate the above-mentioned Ferengi, and has to take a hit of the drugs she was once addicted to in order to prove herself. Thus compromised, it will be up to Raffi’s handler to rescue her. Raffi’s handler is Worf, now grey and distinguished, and still deadly with a blade.
In previous episodes, it was dismaying to see how many murders took place at the hands of characters were previously not killers. Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) killed many as a bounty hunter in the show’s first season, and Dr. Crusher machine-gunned infiltrators just one episode ago. Worf, however, is a different matter. Previously a security officer, as well as a Klingon warrior keen on combat, it makes dramatic sense that Worf would be prepared to dispatch criminals in a pinch. He, like the other characters, has become an older expert, keen to aid the next generation.
Worf, being part of Raffi’s story, has not yet had any contact with Picard or Riker, and Dr. Crusher didn’t lock eyes with Picard on the very end of this episode. The show’s restraint is admirable, as it seems eager to tell a story, rather than rush headlong into nostalgia. One can hope that the entire cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” doesn’t reunite properly until late in the season. The slow meting out of nostalgia is appreciated.
This season only continues to improve.