Kes' emotional farewell to Voyager was more about saying goodbye to Jennifer Lien

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Season four of Star Trek: Voyager brought changes to the series, beginning with saying goodbye to Jennifer LIen's Kes. Lien was being written out and essentially replaced by Jeri Ryan's Seven of Nine. To say that many people were disappointed by the loss of Kes is an understatement. The cast had an especially difficult time with saying goodbye to her as Garrett Wang and Robert Duncan McNeill shared in The Delta Flyers' podcat. [via Screenrant]

"The Gift," the second episode of season four marked Lien's final appearance as a series regular, and the emotional scenes that played out between Captain Kathryn Janeway and Kes were more about Kate Mulgrew saying goodbye to Lien.

""[For] both of them ... This had nothing to do with actual Kes or Janeway.""

Garrett Wang

Wang admits that he gets emotional watching the scene as between Mulgrew and Lien was emotional as well. It was a difficult time for the cast as clearly everyone had grown to love Lien. Though Voyager's showrunners have said in the past that her character had "reached a creative dead end," [via Heavy], we all know there was more to her departure.

The decision to terminate Lien was a difficult one, and according to Star Trek: Voyager: A Celebration by Ben Robinson and Mark Wright, it had nothing to do with Jeri Ryan, contracts, or budget constraints. Jeri Taylor did say in the book that they "knew something was going on [with Lien], but she wouldn't talk about it or let us offer to help."

""Kes tells Janeway that this is her time to leave, and all those lines? Forget about those lines. All the lines that were said in this scene were basically Kate Mulgrew telling Jennifer Lien, and I'm gonna miss you. I can't believe production has let you go, basically, is what this entire scene was. This was the emotional one for me. This is the one where I started getting emotional just watching this, just knowing, you know, that this was--""

Garrett Wang

""Well, Kate was very emotional, and you could see Jennifer was very emotional.""

Robert Duncan McNeill

Lien's final episode as a series regular was a touching send-off, and she played it well even knowing it was her last time working with the cast. (At the time, she didn't she would return in the season six episode, "Fury.") For all everyone knew, this was the last time they'd work with her on Voyager.

Knowing the emotions that went into the final scenes with Lien will make watching the episode in the future bittersweet. It was a sad ending for a beautiful character.

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