I love how they all sat around the table and discussed what happened. Some quotes I found amusing are:
GILES: Somehow our joining the essence of the, the Slayer's power was an affront to the source of that power.
BUFFY: You know, you could have brought that up to us before we did it.
GILES: I did. I said there could be dire consequences.
BUFFY: Yes, but you say that about chewing too fast.
WILLOW: The spirit of the first Slayer tried to kill us in our dreams.
JOYCE: Oh, you want some hot chocolate?
BUFFY: Ah, well, at least you all didn't dream about that guy with the cheese. I don't know where the hell that came from.
I also love the very final scene, when Buffy looks into what will likely become Dawn's room. The repetition of Tara's line, "You think you to you are. You haven't even begun," gets us perfectly prepped for the wonderful season to come. Why do I think S5 is wonderful? Let me just say that is has nothing to do with my opinion of Glory.
Alright, I'm going to now briefly summarize what was learned about our dear Scoobies. Willow's dream is extremely cryptic and confusing, but the points being made kept leading back to the idea of Willow still being the nerd inside and that she continues to ignore important evidence to stop using black magic. What I found particularly interesting is the revelation, "No. No. I need it," that some part of her knows exactly what's she's doing and she just chooses to repress that better judgement. I really feel through this dream we get a whole lot better handle on exactly the state Willow's in when S5 begins, and we know that unless she does something to change her ways, she'll end up in disaster. As we know, she chooses disaster.
Now Xander's dream turns out to also be pretty focused. The major theme running through it is the concept of running away from the problem, his parents, but not permanently fixing the problem. As he runs, he keeps coming across all these confusing wishes and desires. We see him think about sex and girls, about wanting comfort and love, and also about analyzing his failures in life. He feels like everyone around him has moved on with their lives and that he's not moving anywhere. The central point being made is that Xander has to get the hell out of his parent's basement as soon as possible, and that he needs to learn to notice his positive traits.
The conflicts inside Giles are very clear. This year has been one of confusion for him. He isn't sure if he wants to be a Watcher, a rock star, or a father. His dreams are simply meant to show him what his focus should be, and that is being a Watcher. Giles sees Buffy as not only his daughter, but also as a child. He appears to want a happy, traditional family of his own and we even see Buffy as his daughter and Olivia as his wife. This is foreshadowing of how utterly happy he is when Buffy asks him to be her Watcher again in "Buffy vs. Dracula".
Buffy's dream is heavily focused on her nature as a Slayer. All the evidence around her is saying that she's a killer and shouldn't have any friends. However, she continually refuses this reasoning and stands firm in the position that her friends are her weapons, not the Slayer. What's also fascinating is how for a moment, when putting the mud on her face, Buffy does give into her Slayer nature and seems to be completely embracing it. This is the moment Riley calls her a killer and says that she's on her own. Buffy's Slayer nature is the focus of S5, which ends with her death in "The Gift".
That's it! I hope you got as much enjoyment and information out of this review as I did! This episode is just marvelous. As can be seen by the many pieces of foreshadowing I uncovered, "Restless" proves to be absolutely vital to the fluency of the series. Nearly everything, character-wise, that is to come is foreshadowed by this episode. Just like "Hush", "Restless" is not simply an artistic gimmick. This is the seminal episode of the entire series for the four core characters. Simply stunning.