Something I noticed about Neelix and Kes relationship.

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by HelenofBorg, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Riker'sMailbox

    Riker'sMailbox Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 14, 2018
    So, the above quote and many others like it really play into why I find their relationship creepy. This is not romance, this is not cute. He automatically assumes that she is unable to handle herself, when she demonstrates quite often that she is more mature than he is.
    Mirror Sakonna likes this.
  2. Prof. Axe

    Prof. Axe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 1, 2017
    But she is naive and innocent. Furthermore, Neelix immediately apologizes for getting upset right after this. Since this who c-plot is restricted to about two episodes, there are no "many other quotes like it."

    It would be like if I said "Sisko and Kassidy's relationship is awful. He treats her like crap, like she's not even worthy to be in his presence" because of that one episode where she is on his ship.

    Both the feelings of insecurity that Neelix has and the feelings of attraction that Paris has, as well as the feelings of mistrust towards Paris are totally natural, and something everyone who has ever been in a relationship has experienced.
  3. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

    Oct 2, 2017
    I think one of the major problems with the Neelix/Kes relationship was actually that the writers realized almost immediately they made a mistake, but then didn't have the guts to undo it.

    I mean, Kes was a very young, innocent, beautiful woman that they decided to pair with an older, unattractive, annoying man. The relationship just didn't work, and always came across as creepy. Yet while they took until the third season to end it, they didn't include any of the normal things for relationships. You know - romance? I think you can count the number of times they kissed on camera on one hand, and they were always passionless pecks. Elogium always strongly implied - to me anyway - that Kes and Neelix had never actually had sex. As a result, it sort of came across as if Kes was somehow Neelix's platonic friend that he had a crush on - yet at the same time he was incredibly possessive of her and did everything he could to keep Tom away.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  4. Mirror Sakonna

    Mirror Sakonna Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 15, 2015
    That's so true. The jealousy wouldn't stand out so much if there was more (anything?) positive about their relationship on screen to compete with it.
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  5. HelenofBorg

    HelenofBorg Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Sep 2, 2019
    I agree, Neelix was a very complex character, and overall I did like him, who couldn't? He was talkative, and with him, what you saw was what you got, nothing hidden. Just today I watched the episode with Ma'bor Jetrel, and just hearing what Neelix went through because of the Metreon Cascade, I have to be honest it put a tear in my eye. In some ways it is suprising he is as functional as he is considering what he went through, seeing people dying of metreon poisoning, including a little girl. And that he could have been on Rinax at the time... it makes me wonder if he had survivors guilt when the rest of his family perished. These are the kinds of conditions that could give him PTSD, like combat veterans who have seen attrocities.

    In some ways, I do wonder if his cheery persona might be to hide his pain, and his behaviour where Kes is concerned is two fronted, to protect her from harms he never wants her to see, and to always be in control because you never know what is around the corner. His behaviour towards her is not right, but it might be understandable when seen in this light.
  6. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 17, 2011
    Neelix and Kes' relationship hurt terribly for the fact that he was increasingly portrayed as a middle aged man and she as, well, like two years old if not prepubescent.
  7. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

    Oct 2, 2017
    To be fair, when Voyager premiered, Ethan Phillips was 40, and Jennifer Lien was 21 - meaning he was almost twice her age.

    I do wonder if this is one of those things which sounded like a good idea when they were brainstorming the character ideas, and then both of the characters just drifted in different directions after casting.
    Charles Phipps likes this.
  8. Tracy Trek

    Tracy Trek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 1, 2015
    Terra, Sol 3
    I've always felt that a great deal of what made Neelix tick was survivor's guilt. And him holding onto Kes too tightly was a way to keep from losing what he loved again.
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 15, 2000
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    6 months as an enslaved Kazon waitress.

    Kes may have been naive when she breached the surface, but the Kazon probably have rules about sex with children, which is how she survived that camp with her virtue in tact.

    Neelix SAVED her!
  10. gakelly

    gakelly Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 3, 2019
    Kes was an ill conceived character to begin with. And simply making her Neelix's possession did even less to help develop her character. I think the show tried to have too many characters in the ensemble. I know some people like her, but what really did the character add to the show? She simply forced tension between Neelix and Paris. Not having her would have allowed more screen time to develop Paris or Harry more.
  11. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

    Dec 15, 2012
    I think having her on board contributed more to the soul and "feel" of the early Voyager years than Harry. What did he really add in that time, except for being the token newbie who still wants to do everything by the book and missing his family and Libby?
  12. Tracy Trek

    Tracy Trek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 1, 2015
    Terra, Sol 3
    What did she add to the show? I think her character wanting to experience everything in her short life and explore the universe was the epitome the Star Trek ideal.
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  13. jmidnight_99

    jmidnight_99 Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 27, 2015
    Ensembles are like... albums. Sometimes, an album will be far greater than the sum of it's parts, because the parts work and flow so well together. Sometimes the opposite is true; an album of equally good songs just doesn't work. It's an odd phenomenon. A lot of the early "Eagles" singles didn't crack the top 20, but put them all on "Their Greatest Hits" album, and for some reason it becomes the best selling album in US history, still selling to this day.

    The Voyager crew is like an album where a few misplaced or underdeveloped "songs" weaken it too much.

    My opinions:

    Best characters:

    Janeway: Best captain, since the original James T. Kirk. 'Nuff said.

    Chakotay: I think the character would have worked better in a better ensemble. That is, I think Chakotay was a good character, too many of the other characters weren't. He did well as the main character in several stories, and he was an important supporting character.

    The Doctor: Standout character, capable of carrying complex story lines, as well as an important supporting character.

    Seven: Another standout character that carried many complex story lines, as well as an important supporting character.

    Tuvok: Tim Russ knocked Spock off the throne as my favorite ST character in general. I wish there was a few more Tuvok-centric episodes. Well acted and interesting, did well as the main character, and was an important supporting character. What I consider to be a "real Vulcan"

    Here's where the problems start:

    Harry Kim: The young Ensign Kim angle got old really fast, and there was nothing else to the character beyond this. They were going to knock him off but didn't. I consider Harry a pivot character. If he was a better character, there would have been far more balance in the bridge ensemble. He was not a consistently interesting character.

    Tom Paris: I like the Tom Paris character, but like Harry Kim, they never took the character anywhere. I think if the Harry Kim character was better, Tom would have worked better. He was not a consistently interesting supporting character, or lead character. I really want to put this character in the top list, but I have to be honest.

    Neelix: Someone wrote that "Phlox", the doctor on Enterprise was what the "Neelix character should have been". I think I understand this. Phlox was a strong, well acted character, where Neelix really wasn't. The character of Neelix had so much potential, but in my opinion Ethan Philips can't act (from what I've seen in Neelix, and his other TV appearances over the years), and so that potential went untapped. The character was needed to be a strong supporting character, but just fell flat. What was wrong with Neelix? Ethan Philips.

    Kes: Kes was portrayed by a much better actor than Neelix, but there really was nowhere for the character to go. There was some initial interest with the character early on, but it quickly became obvious that she wasn't adding very much to the show (sorry Kes guy!) Maybe if some of the other characters were stronger it would have worked, but... , She did not do well when she was the story lead, but worked well as a minor supporting character.

    Angry Half-Klingon Ho hum. They should have killed off her human side when she was split by the Vidians. Imagine that. That woud have added some juice to the character. Was an inconsistently interesting supporting character.

    Just my thoughts. But, I think the DS9 ensemble was worse.