Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 4, Episode 22

Restless (23 May 2000)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
8.8
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 1,641 users  
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Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles experience dreams in which they are pursued by a mysterious figure.

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Title: Restless (23 May 2000)

Restless (23 May 2000) on IMDb 8.8/10

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Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
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Storyline

In the fourth season finale, Buffy, Xander, Giles, and Willow decide to stay up late watching movies after their victory against Adam, only all four of them immediately fall asleep. One by one, each of their dreams take a dark and twisted turn as a sinister force stalks each of them through the dream world and inside their own heads. Written by Alex

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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23 May 2000 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Xander's dream foreshadows a gag in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tabula Rasa (2001). Spike says that Giles told him Spike is like a son to him. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) When Buffy and the first slayer roll down the hill fighting, you can see a camper van in the background. See more »

Quotes

Joyce: I'm, uh, guessing I missed some fun?
Willow: The spirit of the first slayer tried to kill us in our dreams.
Joyce: Oh, you want some hot chocolate?
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Connections

References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
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Whedon Attack
21 September 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I'm amazed that "Buffy" fanatics don't like this episode. I honestly had more faith in them than that. I assumed that because this series was a remarkably innovative and intelligent production which recognized the boundless potential of the television medium that its followers would largely share similar traits. The feedback I've heard on this Season Four closer is that it's dull, confusing and pointless. I sorely beg to differ.

What I understood of "Restless" the first time I saw it (and have been consolidated by every further viewing) is that it is an unadulterated Freudian character study, realized with lite David Lynch methodology. It's true that there is SFA of the formulaic Big Bad plotting that "Buffy" episodes usually revolve around, but I was actually somewhat thankful for this. "Restless" is a denouement - a reflection and a meditation, and although there is an obligatory evil at work, the villain here is vague and besides the point. "It's all about the journey," says Giles and despite the obviousness, he's right.

I don't know about everyone else, but I love these characters. In that cathartic, fanboy, TV-show way, I care about them. And by God, I'm excited when I get the chance to learn something about them - I loved the in depth character studies of other such low-key episodes as Season Three's "Amends" and "The Zeppo", Season Five's "The Body" or Season Six's "Hell's Bells". And I'm not saying all this to alienate non "Buffy" nerds or prove myself "Buffy" nerd supreme, just to illustrate that the episodes that have enough impact on me to make me remember their names are the ones where I feel like we've gotten somewhere with the people we watch, and we understand them just a little bit better. To me, no episode ever did this better than "Restless".

So have your way and think your thoughts, but I like to have a little shared humanity with the objects of my fandom now and again, and "telling statement" dreams of hidden fears and desires just does more for me than fist fights with interchangeable Evil Dead. As far as I'm concerned, this mid-series nap by our drama-heavy protagonists gives more multi-viewing rewards than most feature length films. Not only this, but it is essential viewing in any attempt to understand how Joss Whedon's cheesy-by-premise, Supernatural soap opera became and holds a place as one of the most compelling television experiences of all time.


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