Star Trek: Voyager highlighted a romance that oftentimes didn't sit well with the viewers, and it was the one that featured Neelix and Kes. Two of the most complained about characters in the series' history. Neelix was a mid-30-something-year-old, former trader, and dare we see con man, who fell in love with Kes, whose species only lived for nine years. She was just two when they joined the crew.
It felt ugly and weird to pair the two together in a romantic pairing and it was one that many had issues with even when the show was going on. Now, more so two decades later. While Neelix settled in as a far more fitting caretaker character later on down the line with characters like Seven of Nine and Naomi Wildman, Kes would never get to redeem her at times insufferable and flat character.
Fans were excited when they ended the relationship but according to the man who played Neelix, Ethan Phillips, he felt the end didn't have the closure it needed, and we disagree. In an old article from a 2016 Star Trek Magazine (via ScreenRant), Phillips reveals that there was a scene filmed but never aired that brought the relationship to an official end.
We filmed the scene in the science lab, and I think the episode was ‘Warlord,’ Kes and Neelix had a five-minute conversation where they acknowledged what had happened and tried to understand each other’s situation, and they agreed to be friends and move on. It was a very beautiful scene, and I think it gave the characters - and certainly would have given the fans - a sense that, ‘Well, it’s over, but at least we know how it ended.’ Then they never included that scene because, I guess, the writers didn’t think the arc was important enough to warrant it. I always thought that was a mistake.”
Personally, it feels like Phillips is missing the vibe with the audience. No one really liked the relationship and many, like us here at Redshirts, liked the romantic relationship. Neelix became a far better character after the breakup and even more so when Kes was essentially swapped out with Seven of Nine.
Kes as a character was always a bad idea, and she made the show hard to watch at times, but easily the worst part of Kes was how the writers built Neelix around her. It was a toxic coupling and however they ended it wouldn't have mattered, because no one ever liked it, to begin with.