I'm gonna be honest here, although I know that some people might disagree with me here. I think that they delibeately ruined the character to show "the finger" to those fans who wanted Kes back. There was a letter campaign going at the time (not started by me, I must point out) to have Kes re-instated on Voyager. I've been told that this campaign had some impact or at least was noticed by those in charge of the show. They had two choices: 1. Re-instate the character in the show as she was in the first three seasons. 2. Completly ignore the campaign. They did choose option 3 which was tho insult the Kes fans, particularily those who started the campaign. Sort of: "You wanted your little favorite back? Now eat this, you scumbags and never question our actions again because it's our show and you should only sit still, say yes and accept everything we do!" What I've been told, those in charge originally planned to kill of Kes in the episode but jennifer Lien persuaded them to change the end of the story. OK, I might be wrong but if it was bad writing as you state in your post , then it was incredibly bad writing. I mean, Kes comes back as a lunatic, for no reason at all and try to kill her best friensd. Honestly, not even Seska would have done that and Kes is the last one to harm her friends, the people who actually saved her in the first place. Then at the end she leaves as a pathetic old wreck who is so stupid that she believe she can travel all the way back to Ocampa on her own. So incredibly unrealistis! Did they really believe that the fans of Kes should like the episode? Then they are more stupid than I ever thought would be possible. And I don't consider Berman and Braga stupid, but very shrewd guys. They knew what they were doing. That episode is the most insulting episode ever made in the history of TV shows. It should be erased from all future DVD:s and Blue-Ray discs.