Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 22


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 23, 2000 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (38)

out of 10
661 votes
  • An outstanding episode; beautiful, deep and just fantastically written. A perfect ending to the season.

    Restless is a fantastic episode; clever, original and brilliantly written. It really highlights what our characters have went through this season and is the perfect ending to the season.

    Restless is like a marmite episode- you will love it or hate it. If you don't connect with it, you will ultimately gain little from watching it. I admit it took me about 5 viewings to fully appreciate it and understand it's depth but with every viewing I like it more.

    I think this episode was really the perfect ending to S4- some might argue that Primeval would have fit better but I disagree. All the other season finales are epic battles and huge emotional moments and it's nice to have this quiet, relaxed episode as the ending. The Initiative arc simply wasn't good enough for a season finale and I think this complex insight into our characters fit far better than a big battle for this season as S4 was all about character development rather than arc based (the complete opposite to S3!).

    The Willow dream was really great- the sensual scene with Tara and the letter painting had a little hint as what was to come for them over the next season with the line "You don't know everything about me". It is minor but it's always nice to have foreshadowing. The play scenes gave us insight into what Willow perceives herself to be- a nerd trying to be cool. Apart from having great insight, the bit where Harmony is trying to bite Giles but can't as she isn't tall enough is hilarious. Also, so nice to see Oz again- his last appearance ever!

    The Xander dream ultimately did very little for me- I am not a Xander fan so I don't find him very interesting. It showed us his lack of confidence and skill and did have some great scenes. The scene at the park is one of all time favourites because of Giles and Spike playing on swings and foreshadowing "Tabula Rasa" was hilarious and also I loved the sandbox bit where Buffy calls him brother and the desert appears behind her. I love the desert bits a lot and the continued familial references were great as they hinted at the main theme of S5- family.

    The Giles dream is mainly about his feelings about Buffy and how his life has become a shadow of it's former self. I don't have a lot to say on it except a) Spike posing for black and white photographs was so awesome and b) Tony Head was singing! Yay! Anya rocked telling jokes. I love Anya.

    The Buffy dream was the real highlight for me though, I simply loved every minute. The references to what a Slayer really is, to Dawn, to the imminent death of Buffy, every second was a joy. It basically told us several of the main themes and ideas that S5 would bring and felt really mystical. I love the bit in The Initiative where she covers her face in dirt and looks at Riley with that really primal face- Sarah was brilliant (as always!). The desert scenes were so, so very good. The imagery alone was so beautiful and it made the episode feel extra special. The whole "What is a Slayer?" questioned posed was done wonderfully, and the fight scene was awesome.

    To sum up, Restless is an original, underrated, beautiful masterpiece of an episode. Definitely an episode to rewatch multiple times and one that will stick with you. A perfect episode.


    Season 4. A season commonly blasted by fans, mostly due to it's terrible arc. But I loved the overwhelming majority of this season and found it to be every bit as amazing as the others. The arc may have been bad but the character development was brilliant and the whole theme of self identity was really what the show needed.

    The Initiative arc didn't do a lot for me- it had some cool fights but nothing more. It wasn't a great idea and just didn't click for me. The main villain was a bit lame and definitely could have been better.

    The characters grew so much this season and really evolved and changed into more mature and responsible people. Topped with the introduction of Dawn at the start of S5, this is where we leave the high school setting and really start the adult seasons. S4 is the transmission from the light hearted teen years to the dark and dramatic adult years. It was highly necessary and did everything the show needed.

    Three main relationships were established here- Buffy/Riley, Willow/Tara and Xander/Anya. I don't like Buffy/Riley- they were very bland and just didn't appeal to me. The other 2 are 2 of my favourites though! Willow and Tara are so perfect together and Xander and Anya are hilarious.

    The whole self identity theme really worked- each character became what they will eventually be- Buffy really grew up as did Xander, Giles became a bit directionless which sets up next season and Willow became a lesbian. Some didn't like that storyline but I think the majority of us did- Willow and Tara are generally the most popular Buffy couple (they're my second fave behind Buffy/Spike!).

    All in all, definitely an outstanding season of TV. It wasn't all good- Superstar and Goodbye Iowa were particularly lousy but the good far outweighs the bad in my opinion. My first place this season goes to the phenomenal masterpiece that is "Hush", with the exciting and emotional "Who Are You?" in second and the surreal "Restless" in third. Definitely a season not to be missed.
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