The ‘Restless’ analysis continues with a look at Xander’s dream.
The main theme of Xander’s dream is his fear that his friends are moving on and growing up without him, whereas for him, all paths lead back to his parents basement. This is demonstrated literally throughout the dream – no matter where he goes and how far he seemingly ventures, everything ultimately takes him back to the basement. His fears aren’t all that ridiculous, either – considering how uneventful his life has become in Season 4 in stark contrast to the adventurous lives of Willow and Buffy.
Not only is he afraid of not really going anywhere, but perhaps worse than that is the idea of ending up like his parents – specifically his father.
Continuing the analysis of ‘Restless’, it’s time to look at Willow’s dream.
The overarching theme of Willow’s dream is a theatrical one – her life is a play, she is acting, and she fears her friends seeing her for who she really is. Willow has changed a lot, particularly in Season 4 alone, though her dream serves as a reminder that on the inside she still feels like the same girl we were introduced to in Season 1.
Buffy’s Season 4 finale ‘Restless’ is one of the series most unique episodes. Breaking the trend of an explosive finale, ‘Restless’ instead shows us the dreams of each of the four core characters, and provides the best opportunity in the series to examine the characters most private thoughts and feelings.
Image from the Buffy Wikia
The episode is crammed full of foreshadowing, symbolism, and layers of meaning. If you haven’t seen ‘Restless’ – expect to be very confused in the following paragraphs. And what are you waiting for? Go and give it a watch!
Rather than one enormous post, I’ll split up my thoughts on each of the characters dreams in to four separate posts.