I actually liked the change in her hair style, it felt like "she" was growing, not just her hair.
I really wish they had allowed her to age appropriate to the Ocampan life span, marry, give birth and (sob sniff honk) even die of old age just before/just as Voyager returned to the Alpha quadrant. In 2000 I did a trilogy fanfic predicting how Voy should end... (posted the 1st part here last year in our "let's make a Voy movie" thread) that basically did just that (the aging, not the dying).
The 1st part (Out of the Mouths of Babes) faded out on the "long haired" blonde that took command of the Aerowing as it ran into the sun.
Part 2 told us what happened to her after she left Voyager the FIRST time, explained away the "character assasination" of season 5... and gave us one more
final J/K parting.
.... stop now, while you have the chance!
From Eyes Open (part 2 of 3)
(Kes looks at Janeway with sadness before looking quickly away)
Today is the day I know you have been working for... longing for... for nearly 8 years. And at the same time, its the one I've dreaded for the last 8 months.\
(Janeway steps up to stand next to Kes, while they survey the lake. She nods in agreement)
The day we say "goodbye".
(Kes turns her face up to see Janeway's and finds the wind is drying the tears welling up in the Captain's eyes)
You asked me once, twice... "not" to leave. I know now, how you felt.
(Janeway gazes honestly into Kes' eyes)
It's never easy to say goodbye to someone you've come to love like family. I wish...
(A catch can be heard in her voice)
...I wish I could ease the pain by saying, "I'll be back".
(Kes looks into Kathryn's heart and tries to give her strength)
But we both know... Kathryn, that even if you DO somehow make it back... I may not be here.
(Kes smiles ruefully)
Afterall... I'll celebrate my ninth birthday in 4 months....
(Kes sighs and looks back across the lake at the whitecaps gracing it)
I remember the First time I ever saw you. Not quite One year old... standing in that Kazon Camp listening to Jabin denigrate your race. You looked... "so serene".... and I remember thinking, "How little" this Kazon knew of the woman he so blithely dismissed.
(Kes smiles through her tears, at this "ancient" memory)
I remember that day. I remember thinking, "how odd". In the month I'd been held prisoner there, I never saw a woman dispute a Kazon male and NEVER saw ANYONE dispute Jabin. And then you appeared, like magic. A woman, leading all these men, confronting Jabin in his camp.
(Kes turns confidentially towards Janeway)
I have to admit, I always loved it whenever you "took charge" of a situation. From that first day in the camp... to that last day we met on the Caretaker's Voyager.
(Kes closes her eyes and gently rocks in time with her memories)
I've often dreamt of that last day.... When you and Tuvok walked into Engineering after my holorecording was played.
(She opens her eyes and looks at Janeway)
You walked forward, hand on your phaser, calmly talking... and when you pulled it out, I was "Sure" it was a trick and that I was dead.
(She sees the tears of memory start to fill Kathryn's eyes)
But instead of using it on me, you handed it to Tuvok and kept walking towards me, unarmed... except for your voice.
(Kes shakes her head)
It was so strange... but the Caretaker's hold on my mind as you walked towards me, it lifted like a morning fog in the face of a dawing sun and as my mind cleared...
(she chuckles at her hubris)
...I was astonished, embarrassed, you name it, at how EASY it was for him to co-opt my consciousness, at how easy it was for him to control me again,
(Kes reaches out and offers Kathryn her hand, which she takes gladly)
and how the people "I" had tried to rescue,
had instead rescued me.
Thank-you, Kathryn, for not giving up on me.
(Janeway pulls Kes into an embrace as the Captain's tears run furiously down her face)
Thank ME? No... Kes... THANK-YOU for not giving up on US!