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Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.

DISCLAIMER: The following article contains spoilers for the first twenty-seven episodes of Star Trek: Picard.

RELATED: Looking for another strong female crush? Check out our Geek Girl Authority Crushes of the Week here!

Raffi Musiker

Fast Facts:

"Broken Pieces" -- Episode #108 -- Pictured (l-r): Santiago Cabrera as Cristobal Rios; Michelle Hurd as Raffi; Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD.

Photo Cr: Trae Patton/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Raffaela “Raffi” Musiker (Michelle Hurd) was first introduced in the second episode of Picard season 1, “Maps and Legends.” As implied by the title of that episode, much of her relationship with the titular Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) takes place off-screen. However, over the course of the first season, in particular, many details about her shared experiences with Picard are unspooled.

In events that transpired before the opening of the series, Raffi served as a Lieutenant Commander in Starfleet. She possessed an emphasis on security and eventually became an analyst on Romulan affairs. During the mid-2380s, she assisted Picard in formulating plans to evacuate Romulans endangered by the Romulan Supernova. Picard’s plan was rejected and he resigned from Starfleet. Meanwhile, Raffi grew increasingly convinced of a conspiracy and became entrenched in substance abuse. This eventually lead to a year in a recovery program on Betazed, followed by a self-requested dishonorable discharge from Starfleet.

“The Next Generation”

For many years, Raffi entered into a self-imposed rural exile on Earth, much like Picard himself. When the retired Admiral visits Raffi in “Maps and Legends,” she is living alone near Vasquez Rocks. However, Picard is able to give her a new purpose by enlisting her in his cause. Furthermore, Raffi proves invaluable to Picard’s mission, connecting him with Cristóbal Rios (Santiago Cabrera), who is in possession of an invaluable resource: a ship, La Sirena.

RELATED: Read all of our Star Trek: Picard recaps here.

By the end of the first season, Raffi had entered into an ongoing on-again, off-again relationship with Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan). In Picard season 2, Raffi had been reinstated in Starfleet, now promoted to the rank of Commander. Stationed on the U.S.S. Excelsior, Raffi was able to keep an eye on a member of her found family, Cadet Elnor (Evan Evagora). Raffi joined Picard, Seven, Rios, and the rest of the Picard crew during their time-travel adventures in 2024, proving an invaluable member of the team.

Picard season 3 has seen Raffi level up. In spite of a fake-out in “The Next Generation” teasing that she’s again been expelled from Starfleet, Raffi has actually become a special agent for Starfleet Intelligence. This gives her the opportunity to work alongside a legitimate Starfleet legend, Worf (Michael Dorn). The pair share an immediate chemistry, and as character foils, the duo is sure to join the ranks of unforgettable Star Trek friendships.

The Real Deal:

Raffi is the real deal. Time and again, she has demonstrated that she is an ally for Picard‘s cause. While some may view her connections and experiences to be dubious, it was through them that Raffi gained the skills and resources that have proven invaluable in ensuring the galaxy remains safe for the Federation.

RELATED: Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week: D’Vana Tendi.

This has never been more apparent than in Picard season 3. Since her appearance in the season premiere, Raffi has proven that she has what it takes to stand as an ally alongside the legendary crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D. Whether gathering intelligence or engaging in action, from M’Talas to Daystrom Station, Raffi is an integral member of the team.

Why She Matters:

Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker and Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker in "The Bounty" Episode 306, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. They are both on Daystrom Station. In the background is a partially diassembled B-4.

Raffi infiltrates Section 31!

Why does Raffi matter? She shows us that heroes aren’t always synonymous with easy categorization. Furthermore, she demonstrates that setbacks and even outright failures don’t have to be the end of our story. Even when those around her are content to slap a label like “addict” on her in order to consign her to irrelevance, Raffi knows that this doesn’t define who she truly is. 

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So, be like Raffi. Be fiercely loyal to those who are closest to you. Don’t let people’s erroneous judgments of you prevent you from bringing what you can to the proverbial table. Always follow your heart, even if that path is filled with peril or an apparent lack of progress. And when someone with the wisdom of Worf tells you that you possess the soul of a warrior, believe them.

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Avery Kaplan