Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles experience dreams in which they are pursued by a mysterious figure.Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles experience dreams in which they are pursued by a mysterious figure.Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles experience dreams in which they are pursued by a mysterious figure.
The episode takes place after the big final battle in which the main cast of characters re-bonds with hugs, heartfelt speeches and fusing themselves with a spell to all join Buffy giving her super(er) powers to take on the big-bad of the season Adam. After the battle, and where the episode begins, the crew meets up at Buffy's to watch videos but all end up falling asleep and what follows a four character studies told through their dreams. But something is lurking in all of their dreams trying to harm them.
I remember being 12 and watching this for the first time and already being won over simply by how the dreams looked, yes the dreams reveal much about the character and even for-shadow the coming seasons, but the way the dream world looks and feels is what makes me care to analyze what they might mean. Surreal spaces, sound and acting all come together to create very "realistic" dreams that stray between uncomfortably humorous to crazy intense. How the "monster" is not shown I actually think works great, again overly long karate scenes with bombastic music get me exhausted.
Now it being one of my favorites I don't have to tell you I like this a lot, but that doesn't mean I think it could have been slightly improved, I can't help but think the creators could have gone a step further for instance more cameos would have been great, seeing characters like Joyce and Oz despite their little involvement in the season tells us much about our characters and how they still think of and feel about these people, I'm not saying "Bring back all the character!!" but I can't help but feel having Angel or possibly Faith interact with Buffy in her dreams could have been very rewarding, it's still a fantastic episode but there is space to go a little bit further in exploring the characters, it feels a bit like a missed opportunity.
Restless is in my opinion one of the series finest, and the criticism that it's boring I would feel only worked if their were 20 other episodes like it, which there are not. This episode is an entity on to it's self - and I'm glad they did this once. After all season 4 of Buffy was all about experimenting, and judging by how fantastic the next seasons turned out I'd say it paid off big time.
..gee this review went on long, sorry. I give "Restless" a 9.4 out of 10, it's one of my personal favorites and with Superstar and Hush the best episode of season 4 and I recommend it (and the other 2) to all people who are Buffy-curious but haven't actually given it a try and also, obviously, to fans of the show.. but you've all already seen it.
- Mar 31, 2012