As for "The Gift", it was another horrible written episode with the one and only purpose to get rid of Kes as soon as possible. It's so thin, unconvincing and full of flaws that I guess that the writer must have written it on the toilet or during a coffee break.
I can see why you don't like "The Gift." I didn't much like the Kes parts either. If they were gonna get rid of her, I'd much rather she have taken off with the guy in Darkling.
Jeri's performance is stunning.
I agree with you here.
It was written by Joe Menosky, who's usually pretty good at crazy weird stuff episodes, but it was directed by Anson Williams, better known as Potsie on "Happy Days", so that might explain everything.
I guess that both the writer and the director were told to come up with somthing in which the character could be dumped as soon as possible which might explain the low quality of the episode.