I think the problem with Palpatine in TRoS, fundamentally, (aside from the fact that they never should have brought him back) is that he comes across as fickle and ignorant. In the prequels—where we really get to know him best—we learn that he’s very willing to play the long game and wait things out. We also learn that he is a master manipulator, making people do exactly what he wants without them knowing it.
I’m okay with Palpatine ordering Kylo to kill Rey IF he thinks that it will only manipulate Kylo to do the opposite and try to team up with Rey to defeat him. That is, I think it works really well if we understand it as Palpatine intentionally manipulating Kylo to betray him. It works if he is also using Kylo to indirectly manipulate Rey to seek out Palpatine to destroy him, i.e., for killing her parents. Also learning that she is a Palpatine causes her to doubt herself and think she is fated to join the dark side, etc.
But all these clever manipulations only work IF Palpatine’s overarching goal, from start to finish, is to lure Kylo and Rey to him so he can exploit their Force Dyad to regenerate himself. But instead, Palpatine outs himself as a complete moron by A) Seeming quite ignorant of their Force Dyad, B) trying to coerce Rey into killing him, WHICH SHE’S ALREADY THERE TO DO, making her LESS LIKELY to want to do it (it’s like he’s using reverse psychology, but in a way that disadvantages himself), and C) flip-flopping on what he actually wants to do. This is not the Palpatine we know and love to hate!
Perhaps this is outside the scope of Ascendent, and I respect that. But as it stands, the third act is still really convoluted and Palpatine is acting radically out of step with what we know of him from prior films. And I feel like it’s fixable by having his underlying motive be to exploit the power of their Force Dyad all along. Perhaps another project will take a shot at it, as I think there is a definite opportunity for improvement in the third act.