Im beginning to understand this now: Explicating Restless

Watcher Junior Volume IV: Issue 2, June 2010

by Laura Kessenich
Emerson College, USA

[1] Anyone can watch and enjoy Restless, the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fourth season, which takes place almost exclusively in the dreams of Willow, Xander, Giles, and Buffy. However, the more you know, the more enjoyable it is. While all episodes of the series contain depths to be studied, Restless (B4022) is particularly open to intensive symbolic interpretation. The deeper the inquiry, the greater the yield. Jungian dream analysis is a useful means of interpretation for this episode because, unlike traditional dream interpretation, Carl Jung's theories set no single definition for the symbols that appear. Jungian dream analysis takes into account the sum total of the dreamer's life, experience, and present state of mind. It can even incorporate future events. Joss Whedon did the same when writing and directing Restless. Therefore, Jung's ideas provide an appropriate and useful method for interpreting Willow, Xander, Giles, and Buffy's dreams.

"What am I supposed to do with all of this?": Basic Jungian theory

[2] Jung's ideas start with one of Freud's most important points: our conscious self is not the sum total of our mind. There is another layer, usually called the unconscious. This comes from our more primitive selves.

Primitive man was much more governed by his instincts than are his 'rational' modern descendents, who have learned to 'control' themselves. In this civilizing process, we have increasingly divided our consciousness from the deeper instinctive strata of the human psyche, and even ultimately from the somatic basis of the psychic phenomena. Fortunately, we have not lost these basic instinctive strata; they remain part of the unconscious, even though they may express themselves only in the form of dream images (Jung 36-37).
Dreams are direct expressions by the unconscious. According to Jung, because of the primitive nature of the unconscious, it expresses itself through symbols. "What we call a symbol is a term, a name, or even a picture that may be familiar in daily life, yet that possesses specific connotations in addition to its conventional and obvious meaning" (Jung 3). Moreover, a symbol does not necessarily mean the same thing to the same person, or it could mean different things at different times. A symbol might have a meaning that is commonly true, but never universally. Why, one might ask, is there even a meaning common to most? Between two people with vastly different locations and methods of life, how could there ever be similarity? According to Jung, this is because as our bodies have a shared evolutionary past, so too has our consciousness. This shared past he calls the "collective unconscious," and it is present in the psyches of all humans. "There are many symbols... that are not individual but collective in their nature and origin... They are in fact 'collective representations,' emanating from primeval dreams and creative fantasies" (Jung 41-42). This theory accounts for such phenomena as the great similarities between myths found in geographically separate cultures with no contact. These (essentially) universal symbols are known as archetypes.

[3] The idea of the collective unconscious does have some significance for Restless. For example, at the beginning of Xander's dream, he sees Willow gasping on the couch, eyes closed. This is identical to how she appears in a shot of her real (i.e., non-dream) self at the end of her part of the episode. "What's her deal?" Xander asks. "Big faker," Buffy replies, casually referencing one underlying theme of Willow's dream (namely, Willow's sense of herself as playing a role, pretending to be something she's not). This is the first moment in the episode which indicates that Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles are connected within their dreams. While mostly independent, they do seem to share knowledge. Perhaps this directly shared unconscious resulted from the spell in Primeval (B4021) that invoked the power of the Slayer line to join the four characters in Buffy's body, permitting them to defeat Adam, a hybrid creature with demon, robotic and human elements.[1] So when Buffy calls Willow a "big faker," I don't believe that this means that Xander agrees with Willow's fears about herself, or that he perceives Buffy as doing so. It is simply indicative of their continuing connection.

[4] Though this connection and the broader connection of humanity's collective unconscious is important to keep in mind, the main concern of this article is the individual's unconscious. Through the interpretation of dreams, the unconscious can be a powerful tool for analyzing one's life and helping one to make decisions. New thoughts and ideas can spring fully formed from the unconscious. It can even, in a sense, prognosticate:
Dreams may sometimes announce certain situations long before they actually happen. This is not necessarily a miracle or a form of precognition. Many crises in our lives have a long unconscious history. We move toward them step by step, unaware of the dangers that are accumulating. But what we consciously fail to see is frequently perceived by our unconscious, which can pass the information on through dreams (Jung 36).
In the Buffyverse, of course, magic is also part of the equation. Buffy frequently receives prophetic dreams; but her friends do not, and so how to explain the precognitive nature of the Scooby Gang's dreams generally? One possibility is that their joining with the first Slayer caused them to briefly experience prophetic dreams. However, I believe that they are having essentially ordinary dreams, except for the presence of the first Slayer. Jungian theory acknowledges the possibility of precognitive dreams for anyone: "We are so captivated by and entangled in our subjective consciousness that we have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions" (92). Even in Buffy's dream, much of what is predicted could be easily explained as coming from herself. Only moments such as "Be back before dawn," seem to indicate the influence of Slayer powers. In the context of the episode and the magic that is a very real part of this universe, the mystical can be read as a metaphor for psychic life.

[5] There are a number of psychological figures that can appear in dreams. The Self is a component that facilitates communication between the conscious and unconscious minds:
The organizing center from which the regulatory effect stems seems to be a sort of 'nuclear atom' in our psychic system. One could also call it the inventor, organizer, and source of dream images. Jung called this center the 'Self' and described it as the totality of the whole psyche, in order to distinguish it from the 'ego,' which constitutes only a small part of the total psyche (von Franz 161-162).
The Self, then, signifies that part of the person that organizes and connects the conscious and the unconscious and not, as the term is commonly used, the sum total of both. It differs from the ego in that the ego contains only that which is conscious. The ego might utilize components of the unconscious, but only as interpreted by the Self.

[6] The Self is not the only mental "character" that can appear in one's dream. Another key figure is the shadow.
The shadow is not the whole of the unconscious personality. It represents unknown or little-known attributes and qualities of the ego—aspects that mostly belong to the personal sphere and that could just as well be conscious. In some aspects, the shadow can also consist of collective factors that stem from a source outside the individual's personal life (von Franz 174).
The shadow is too often viewed as a negative thing. Though it may have negative qualities, it remains a part of one's psyche. One must be able to come to terms with it in order to be a whole person. It's also important also not to indulge it entirely. There has to be a balance between acknowledgment and acceptance of its demands and a refusal to constantly give in to them. An example of the shadow is Principal Snyder in Xander's dream. Snyder states Xander's worst fears about himself, but bringing them to light could help Xander face them and ultimately move past them. The First Slayer could also be considered a shadow self, particularly in Buffy's case. She comes from a source outside the Scoobies: in the context of the show, she is a literal historical figure, but read metaphorically, she is part of the collective unconscious. Her destructiveness and refusal to be a part of the world make her psychologically dark enough to perhaps function as a shadow self for all of them. She attacks Willow after her "real" self is revealed, reflecting Willow's fear that no one will accept her as she really is. She appears to Xander as his father, embodying his fear of becoming like his parents. And she shows Giles that the mind cannot be the only tool, that it is incomplete if it stands alone.

[7] The final "character" I will be discussing is the anima/animus. These are the female and male principles (respectively). Jung believed that a man had an anima, which balanced out his primary mode, dictated by his body, of masculinity, while a woman had an animus to balance her primary femininity. (Modern Jungians generally accept that everyone has both.) M-L. von Franz describes the anima thusly:
The anima is a personification of all feminine psychological tendencies in a man's psyche, such as vague feelings and moods, prophetic hunches, receptiveness to the irrational, capacity for personal love, feeling for nature, and—last but not least—his relation to the unconscious. (von Franz 186)
The animus, in turn, would of course represent masculine psychological tendencies. Negative qualities include "brutality, recklessness, empty talk, and silent, obstinate, evil ideas" (von Franz 203), while "the positive side of the animus can personify an enterprising spirit, courage, truthfulness, and in the highest form, spiritual profundity" (von Franz 207). Both anima and animus have good and bad traits, and so both are important aspects of one's psyche. Being in touch with these components allows a person to lead a balanced life.

[8] One of the most important aspects of a Jungian approach to dream analysis is that it is not bound by the theory. Jung approached every patient as an individual case, and was able to apply his ideas without turning dogmatic. He says in Memories, Dreams, Reflections:
When a doctor tells me that he adheres strictly to this or that method, I have my doubts about his therapeutic effect... Psychotherapy and analysis are as varied as are human individuals. I treat every patient as individually as possible, because the solution to the problem is always an individual one. Universal rules can be postulated only with a grain of salt (Jung 131).
This lack of attachment to theory, this flexibility in analysis, was one of Jung's greatest strengths as a psychiatrist, and one of the most practical and freeing aspects of his methods. His concentration on a patient's story makes his approach particularly useful to studying fictional characters:
In many cases in psychiatry, the patient who comes to us has a story that is not told, and which as a rule no one knows of. To my mind, therapy only really begins after the investigation of that wholly personal story... In therapy the problem is always the whole person, never the symptom alone. We must ask questions which challenge the whole personality (Jung 117).
So it is the character's story that is of paramount importance here, and the Scoobies' individual stories will be my main concern in explaining their dreams.

"You're not in my dream": The meaning of character in Restless

[9] In dreams in general and in Restless in particular, characters function in a number of ways. The dreamer in each dream (such as Willow in her own dream) is, from a Jungian perspective, the easiest to understand. "When the dreamer himself appears in a dream, he usually represents only his conscious ego; the other figures stand for his more or less unknown, unconscious qualities" (Jacobi 335). As Jacobi says, a character that is not the dreamer in appearance can actually be an aspect of the dreamer, whether shadow, anima/animus, or Self. (Olivia, for example, is probably an expression of Giles' anima.) This occurrence is explained by Jungian theory: "If people observe their own unconscious tendencies in other people, this is called a 'projection'" (von Franz 179 & 181).

[10] But every figure in a dream is not necessarily an aspect of one's self. The unconscious can provide information about a person's relationships based on how they appear in dreams.

Dreams... are often concerned with [a person's] relationships with other people... Like all the higher forms of life, man is in tune with the living beings around him to a remarkable degree. He perceives their sufferings and problems, their positive and negative attributes and values, instinctively—quite independently of his conscious thoughts about other people. Our dream life allows us to have a look at these subliminal perceptions and shows us that they have an effect upon us (von Franz 239).
Therefore, a character may appear as the dreamer's perception of that character (or just a part of their perception), which may be more or less accurate. Think for example of the first scene in Giles' dream, when he swings a watch in front of Buffy's eyes. She is recognizably Buffy, and essentially acts as we are used to seeing Buffy act throughout the series, yet is still filtered through Giles' ideas about her. In the next scene (the graveyard carnival) Buffy doesn't act anything like herself as we know her—she is instead very childlike. Her characterization here reveals still more about Giles' relationship with her, specifically the fact that he often acts as a father figure to her.

[11] So when viewers attempt to make sense of the dreams in this episode from a Jungian standpoint, they must evaluate what the characters in the dream represent. They could be the dreamer's conscious ego, the dreamer's Self, their shadow, a representation of his or her animus or anima, his or her unconscious's perception of the figure or relationship, or even a dream figure that's been appropriated by the First Slayer.[2] Finally, it's important to note that "who" a character is can change from scene to scene, and he or she can be more than one version at once. This plethora of possibilities is one way in which Restless makes for a rich text, demanding an active viewer to get the most rewarding reading experience.

"I'm very seldom naughty": Willow's dream

[12] Willow's dream is focused on forcing her conscious ego to face her insecurities. Throughout the course of the show she has grown gradually more confident and has increasingly come into her power (figuratively and literally so, as she learns to work magic). She is not entirely comfortable with her new self, however, which is made abundantly clear in her dream. This dream is dominated by the interplay between self, ego and various shadow figures. Little of Willow's dream work grapples with her anima and animus.

[13] In the first scene, she's in Tara's room, which is dimly lit and peaceful. However, Tara doesn't seem to be entirely serene: "I think it's strange. I mean, I think I should worry. That we haven't found her name." She's referring to Miss Kitty, but perhaps the kitten represents a part of Willow. In the shot of Miss Kitty, we see her playing with a ball of red yarn in slow-motion in front of a gold background. The slow speed makes this seem threatening. Miss Kitty appears to be hunting instead of playing. (Indeed, much of a cat's play is an imitation or demonstration of its hunting skills, and when hunting it often plays with its future food.) She symbolizes Willow's magical powers: in appearance, harmless and even good, but with an untamed side:

In itself, an animal is neither good nor evil; it is a piece of nature. It cannot desire anything that is not in its nature. To put this another way, it obeys its instincts. These instincts often seem mysterious to us, but they have their parallel in human life: The foundation of human nature is instinct. But in man the 'animal being' (which lives in him as his instinctual psyche) may become dangerous if it is not recognized and integrated into life... Suppressed instincts can gain control of a man; they can even destroy him (Jaffé 265-266).
Tara is worried about an unnamed entity, but Willow is not: "She's not all grown yet," she says of Miss Kitty. Neither, of course, are Willow's powers. Tara (or rather, this version of Tara that exists in Willow's head) wants to name Willow's powers, because names have the ability to shape the thing they identify. She thinks that naming them will contain them. This is also the first indication of Willow's lack of confidence: she doesn't yet have a name for this part of herself because she's not sure of it or of herself in her entirety. Contrast this to Tara's confident, "Oh, you know that," when asked about her name; a lifelong witch, she is at peace with herself (despite the fact that she thinks she has demon blood, which is prophesized by her "You don't know everything about me" in this same scene). As Peg Aloi points out in her beautiful essay about Tara:
She and Willow merged so well magically because they complement each other: Willow is enamored of books and spells and power and rare magic items, but Tara is of a more earthy stamp: buying tea-lights at the drugstore and herbs from the farmer's market, perhaps, and sitting quietly beneath a full moon after soaking in a rosewater bath... It always seemed clear that it was Tara who made magic really blossom in Willow, that without a partner in love and witchcraft she would wallow further in greedy spell acquisition and geeky Internet research (Aloi 44-45).
Of course, we also have to consider whether Tara is Willow's unconscious perception of her or the projection of an aspect of Willow herself. I believe she is both: Willow believes that Tara wants to "name" and therefore contain her powers (perhaps foreshadowing Tara's discomfort with Willow's abuse of magic in season six) but this desire could be one shared by Willow. The "naming" of her powers would make them more solid and real, and thus she could be surer of them.

[14] Tara gives Willow her first warning, one that will be repeated throughout the dream: "They will find out, you know. About you." Willow, however, dismisses this, saying she doesn't have time to think about it. "You know I have all this homework to finish," she says.[3] This line shows that Willow remains, to a degree, stuck in her high school mentality. She has clearly lightened up somewhat, saying a second later that she can be late for class. This is again contradicted in the next scene, when she says worriedly, "I'm going to be late" at the ringing of the bell. She is ambivalent, torn between her old academic anxiety and the increased freedom of college that she's trying to incorporate into her life. Note also that she's using the excuse of homework to hide from the fear of others finding out about her real self.

[15] The space of Tara's bedroom is an important one to Willow. It is where most of their courtship took place, because Willow wasn't yet comfortable enough with her sexuality to bring Tara to her own room. Tara is also lucky enough to have a single, making it private and ideal for the gestation of their growing love. "I never worry here," Willow says of the room. "I'm safe here." She's psychically safe, developing in the presence of someone whom she loves and trusts. Part of the reason she gives for not wanting to leave is that "it's so bright out." She fears that in the brightness her real self will be revealed. (Think of the brightness of stage lights, which fits with the theater performance as Willow's performance of life metaphor I will discuss later.) The darkness and the dark red curtains give womb-like quality to Tara's room. This is appropriate for the growth they both experience, Willow even more so due to her personality developments. In this dream, however, there's another reason Willow doesn't want to leave: "there's something out there," meaning the first Slayer, of whom we get our first glimpse when Willow looks out the window. This shot is immediately juxtaposed with one of Miss Kitty looking into the camera and stalking forward. There is a parallel to be drawn between the two, as Miss Kitty also appears in front of a gold background, calling to mind the sand of the desert associated with the first Slayer. Given my earlier conjecture that Miss Kitty represents Willow's magical powers, this is an intriguing connection, perhaps arising from Willow's role as the primary spellcaster in Primeval.[4] I referred to the kitten as an untamed side of Willow's powers, and the first Slayer is a primal source of power as well.

[16] The next scene that strongly reflects the themes of Willow's dream is the drama class. Before beginning my analysis, I would like to trace the roots of Willow's performance anxiety. We first see it manifest in season one, with The Puppet Show (B1009). In it, Buffy, Willow, and Xander are forced to take place in the school talent show. They discuss possible acts:
Xander: Willow, you can do stuff. Uh, the piano...
Buffy: You play?
Willow: A little.
Buffy: Well, that's cool. You can accompany us and we can attempt to sing.
Willow: Oh, in front of other people? Then no, I don't play.
The end of the episode features their attempted performance of Oedipus Rex, during which Willow becomes frozen with fear and then runs offstage in a panic. The very next episode, Nightmares (B1010), reveals Willow's nightmare of being forced to sing onstage. All she can manage is a strangled shriek, and her experience seems to end with her running out being booed and pelted with tomatoes. "I had to sing! Very bad, to sing," she babbles to Xander.

[17] It should be noted that Willow had actually decided to take a drama class in her next semester, and that to some extent, the anxieties seen in this part of the dream are a reflection her worries about that. But they are also a metaphor for her larger worries about her life. The scene is a confusing jumble of people in various and contradictory costumes (flapper, milkmaid, cowboy, dog, etc.), very reminiscent, in fact, of backstage before the talent show in season one, right down to the noise of a violin in the background. The first person Willow sees is Harmony. Unlikely as it may seem, Harmony also seems to be a shadow figure for Willow, at least in this dream. Like Willow, Harmony has gone through a lot of surface changes since high school. (Specifically, she became a vampire.) However, personality-wise, she's still very much Harmony. This is exactly what worries Willow—that despite her short hair and very different style of dress, she is still the high school loser she was at the beginning of the series. When Willow and Harmony run into each other at the beginning of the fourth season, in The Harsh Light of Day (B4003), they remark on this connection:
Harmony: You were always so funny, Willow. You haven't changed a bit.
Willow: No, you neither.
Harmony: Oh, maybe a little...
Always a part of the popular group that was a source of insecurity for Willow, Harmony is a fitting character to further point out to Willow how much (in her mind) she hasn't actually changed. Willow has projected her fears and insecurities onto Harmony. Remember also what Willow says about her after their conversation from the beginning of Graduation Day, Part 1 (B3021), after they signed each other's yearbooks and had a surprisingly sweet exchange:
Willow: Oh, I'm going to miss her.
Buffy: Don't you hate her?
Willow: (affectionately) Yes, with a fiery vengeance. She picked on me for ten years, the vacuous tramp.
Willow's association of Harmony with herself may indicate some amount of self-loathing, perhaps directed at the girl she used to be in high school. Harmony also tells Willow to stop stepping on her cues, possibly an indication of the fact that Willow is moving too fast. This will become abundantly clear in season six with Willow's addiction to magic.

[18] Next, Buffy runs up to Willow and begins speaking excitedly. "Oh my god. The place is packed. Everybody's here! Your whole family's in the front row, and they look really angry." (This description is reminiscent of the "ugly crowd" with "all the reviewers" in Nightmares.) Buffy whispers to Willow, "Your costume is perfect. Nobody's going to know the truth. You know, about you." When Willow expresses confusion, Buffy pouts, "You're already in character! I should have done that!" Here we can clearly see the personality-as-performance metaphor. On some level, Willow feels that she is wearing a costume, and performing in a play that is her life. Everyone sees through the act, however, knowing that she's not who she's pretending to be. This theme continues with Giles' speech, which is delivered with great animation, his speech rate fast and his tone bright and enthusiastic:
Everyone Willow's ever met is in the audience, including all of us. That means we have to be perfect. Stay in character, remember your lines, and energy, energy, energy, especially in the musical numbers. Acting is not about behaving, it's about hiding. The audience wants to find you, strip you naked, and eat you alive, so hide... Now go on out there, lie like dogs, and have a wonderful time. If we can all focus, keep our heads, and if Willow can stop stepping on everyone's cues, I know this'll be the best production of Death of a Salesman we've ever done.
(Note that Giles is the director, or perhaps the teacher of the drama class, again echoing The Puppet Show: he was forced to run the talent show in that episode. It also reflects Giles' role as authority in Willow's and all the Scooby's life, as elder, teacher, and Watcher. "Uh-oh, Daddy's home," Willow, evil at that time, remarks upon his arrival in Grave (B6021).) His speech is aimed very much at Willow. "We have to be perfect," Giles says. Remember Willow's reaction to her impressive SAT scores in Lovers Walk (B3008): "This is a nightmare. This is—my world is spinning... 740? Verbal? I'm—pathetic! Illiterate! I'm Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel!" She is a perfectionist, and her self-worth is primarily based on successful performance. She holds herself to the highest standard in everything she does. The very real possibility she will fail in acting, an area she's not comfortable with, terrifies her, as does the idea of failing in her performance in any role she might perform in life.

[19] Giles also says, "It's all about the subterfuge." Subterfuge is a deception designed to fool an opponent; Giles specifically mentions subterfuge after talking about props. Willow is using her personal "props" to fool others. The deception certainly fits with Willow's psychological make-up, but the people she's fooling are her friends, not opponents. It's possible she means the Scooby's weekly enemies think she's a powerful witch when she feels she's still an unconfident schoolgirl. While that may be a component, it seems unlikely that's the whole meaning. Even if Willow doesn't view her friends as enemies, she certainly thinks they're people she needs to deceive. Perhaps it's because she fears them, or rather, their reactions, if they were to find out about her. At the end of the episode, in the classroom, her nominal friends act very much like enemies. Subconsciously, she seems to believe that she needs to defeat not them, but their perception of her, which rings true in season six when she frequently deceives her friends about her magic use.

[20] Returning to The Puppet Show and Nightmares, it's worth exploring the fact that those episodes—as well as this dream—indicate that Willow has a deep-seated fear and horror of performance. But now, she feels that she is performing constantly in her day-to-day life. Small wonder her dream is so obsessed with this fear. She knows that she's not a very good actress, and so surely someday her deception will be found out and everyone will discover that she's not who she's purported to be for some time now.

[21] As the dream continues, Willow goes into a tunnel made of the red curtains. This set is reminiscent of Tara's room in that there are soft red walls, but it is much more imposing. A low, cozy ceiling is implied in Tara's room, while here, the ceilings are shown to be extremely high and lights hang from them (while all illumination in Tara's room comes from eye level or below). Willow now runs into Tara, who seems to call her back again to the main themes of her dream, perhaps closer to herself. Tara is likely a guide for Willow, possibly a representation of Willow's Self. "Everyone's starting to wonder about you. The real you. If they find out, they'll punish you. I can't help you with that," Tara says. Here is another reinforcement of Willow's insecurities. Willow asks if there's something she was supposed to do, but Tara shushes her.

[22] Then a knife with serrated edges pierces the enveloping red curtains. Willow is quickly saved by Buffy (now in normal clothing), who leads her into a Sunnydale High classroom. Buffy says, "You must have done something." "No," Willow replies quickly. "I never do anything. I'm very seldom naughty." This is an inverse of her conversation with Tara moments earlier. Before she was afraid of having failed to do something, now she says she never does anything. Willow's conscious self still seems to be denying that she's done anything wrong, but, on an unconscious level, it's already been made abundantly clear that she does feel guilty for lying to her friends, as she believes she has been doing. Buffy, however—probably representing a shadow self for Willow—knows that she is guilty: "You must have done something."

[23] Buffy then says to her, sounding annoyed, "The play's long over. Why are you still in costume?... Willow, everybody already knows. Take it off." "No, no," Willow says, "I need it." This exchange reflects another of Willow's fears: that everybody already knows she's a "big faker" (as Buffy will term her in Xander's dream). Everyone else is out of costume and aware that the play is over—they've returned to being their real selves. Willow shows her dependence on her props here; she needs her clothes and magical items to remain her new self at all times. At this point, Buffy rips off Willow's clothes, saying, "That's better. It's much more realistic." Buffy goes to take her seat in a classroom suddenly full of people, all of whom are mocking Willow. Willow's new, or rather old, appearance is revealed: she has long hair again and wears clothes almost identical to the outfit in Welcome to the Hellmouth (B1001) that prompted Cordelia to remark, "Willow! Nice dress! Good to know you've seen the softer side of Sears."

[24] All the people in the classroom, especially those that she knows and who speak, are shadow figures for Willow. They represent her fears and insecurities and perhaps her beliefs that she really is less than she seems. Most, especially Oz and Tara, could also be seen as Willow's interpretation of them if they were to find out about the "real" her. From her desk, Anya says, "My god, it's like a tragedy... It's exactly like a Greek tragedy," continuing the theater metaphor (and again referencing the performance of Oedipus Rex in The Puppet Show). Oz says to Tara, "I tried to warn you... " and looks scornfully at Willow's appearance. One of Willow's deepest fears is that, not only will Tara reject her, but that Oz left because he saw the real her and didn't like it. Willow begins to read her book report, which is on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Alyson Hannigan deserves praise for her excellent performance here: Willow not only looks like herself in season one, but talks, stutters, and even breathes like her.

[25] "Oh, who cares?" Xander says loudly and slowly as Willow reads her book report, emphasizing each word, particularly "cares." Here, he is not only cruel, but he mocks her while she attempts to perform something very important to her: schoolwork. In The Pack (B1006), Xander, beginning to show signs of possession, rejects both math and Willow's help, throwing his geometry book into the trash. "Look, just forget it, okay?" he says. "I don't get it. I won't ever. I don't care" (emphasis mine). He then walks away from her. By rejecting Willow's help in this matter, he seems to be rejecting both herself and school, something that's important to her and a place where she excels. Willow is deeply engaged with intelligentsia and the life of the mind. The references in this episode are all "high art." When still awake, she identifies Apocalypse Now as "Heart of Darkness-y;" in the dream she references to Sappho, Madame Butterfly and Death of a Salesman. Would Buffy or Xander pick a scene from Oedipus Rex for their performance in The Puppet Show? One can safely assume it was Willow, the child of a psychology professor. Though it wasn't entirely Xander's fault in The Pack, Willow's fear that he doesn't value something so important to her (and, by extension, herself) is somewhat justified, given how little Xander cares about academia and how boring he considers the pursuit of knowledge.

[26] To return to the dream itself, I'd like to note that Willow's fear about people she doesn't particularly like (Harmony and Anya) is that she will be mocked. But when it comes to Xander, the fear is that he no longer cares about her. Willow's unconscious signals a similar anxiety when it comes to her relationship with Buffy, who now puts her head in her arms and watches, uninterested and uncaring, as Willow is attacked by the first Slayer. While the anxieties sparked by her fast-growing powers and blossoming sexuality remain important, Willow's fear that her life's a show and she can't play her part is central to understanding her character's past, present, and future.

"It's all about the journey": Xander's dream

[27] Xander's dream comes pre-interpreted. Giles observes, not two minutes into Xander's dream, "Oh, I'm beginning to understand this now. It's all about the journey, isn't it?" Xander's dream, like his life in season four, is about movement. Fresh out of high school, without even the in-between state that is college, Xander is being forced to figure out what he wants to do with his life. On one level, he feels that he has been left behind by his college-bound friends, whose comfort with academic pursuits make him feel dumb and insecure. When Joyce tells him that Buffy, Willow and Giles have left the house, he replies, "Oh, I should probably go catch up." Buffy and Willow both tell him, "I'm way ahead of you." His dream also references his difficulty in dealing with women and sustaining a healthy, long-term relationship. Issues dealing with his anima and animus feature prominently in his dream, with his father and Snyder forcing him to confront his shadow.

[28] On another level, Xander moves continually without getting anywhere. It's revealed in the first episode of season four that he tried to road trip across America, but failed to make it out of California. Throughout this season, he holds jobs as a bartender, a hot dog vendor, a construction worker, a pizza delivery boy, a Starbucks employee, a phone sex line worker and an ice cream man. Despite these efforts, he can't make enough money to move out of his parent's basement. In his dream, this is exactly where Xander continually returns to, no matter where he tries to go. It is also the place where the first Slayer ultimately rips out his heart. As in his life, Xander cannot get out of the basement.

[29] The first scene of Xander's dream, in the living room with Buffy, Giles, and Willow, serves mostly to set up the rest of the dream. While watching an unfamiliar version of Apocalypse Now Xander says, "It gets better... I remember that it gets better." This is in part Whedon demonstrating his comprehensive understanding of dreams. (Who hasn't had a dream in which one watches a favorite movie that is somewhat "off" with a dim sense of what is to come?) Xander's statement also reveals something fundamental about his life: he would like it to get better, and even seems to be confident that it will get better—a fact which will be proven in later seasons.[5] This dream is a largely wake-up call from Xander's Self, showing him that this ceaseless, directionless movement is getting nowhere, and that he will need to focus in order to move ahead in his life.

[30] After Giles' remark about the importance of the journey, Xander sighs as he replies, "Well, thanks for making me have to pee." His resulting exit is what begins the main part of his dream (the journey), and makes him vulnerable to the first Slayer. As Giles will tell him later, this room is the one in which he is safe. But Xander is eager to begin the journey. He moves constantly, afraid of being left behind.

[31] When Xander goes upstairs, he encounters Joyce, lounging against the threshold of her bedroom in a sexy red nightgown. Red is the classic color of sexual passion and love. In this scene, Joyce embodies such for Xander. As a reiteration of the themes of his dream, Xander says to Joyce, "I move pretty fast." However, we know this not to be true of Xander with girls. So far, the only women he has had sex with have been more dominant. Even Cordelia, with whom he was not fully intimate, was more forceful in the relationship. Xander does seem aware of this on some level, however, because it is still Joyce who does the seducing, inviting him into her bed. Joyce represents an anima figure for Xander, in this case both a mother and a lover. "In this tale the anima symbolizes an unreal dream of love, happiness, and maternal warmth... a dream that lures men away from reality." (von Franz 190) (Note also that Xander's mother has never been seen at this point in the series. Even in his dream, which is deeply concerned with his parents, she does not appear. She is, in fact, "upstairs crying her guts out," unwilling or unable to descend to him in the basement.) Xander is not entirely lured by Joyce. Though he seems like he plans on coming back to her, he is intent on his quest for the bathroom. Despite the fact that he is the heart of the group, an organ often associated with feminine qualities, Xander is not ready for a real relationship with a woman, nor will he be anytime soon. This is made very obvious when he leaves Anya at the altar in season six, which has to do in large part with his parents. Their model of a failed marriage makes him fear that he is destined for the same problems, that he will be trapped into a life just like theirs. At the end of his scene with Joyce, she says to him, "Don't get lost." Xander's problem throughout season four is that he is lost in life.

[32] In the playground scene we see yet another repetition of Xander's theme of movement: "You gotta have something," he says to Buffy. "Gotta be moving forward." This ceaseless, directionless moving has not gotten him anywhere. He has moved "forward" though half a dozen jobs this season, but not made any real progress in any of them, nor found what he is looking for. But to Xander, moving forward, even if he has no direction in mind, is preferable to staying still. Moving, he feels like he is accomplishing something, even if he isn't. In the next scene, Xander drives his ice cream van with Anya in the front seat. Rather than driving down a real street, they are sitting in front of a ridiculously obvious '50's-style green screen, making it clear, once again, that Xander appears to be moving constantly while actually going nowhere. And again, Anya asks him, "Do you know where you're going?" Xander doesn't reply, because he doesn't know. (Anya, incidentally, has "figured out how to steer by gesturing emphatically"—she knows where she's going, and knows how to direct herself there, unlike Xander, who, despite his constant movement, lacks direction.) The enterprising spirit of Xander's animus is misdirected.

[33] Back in the basement, the pounding on the door grows louder. "I know what's up there," Xander calls, as the camera slips to a disorienting Dutch angle so that everything appears tilted. Xander's ego, his conscious self, does not, in fact, know what's up there. His lack of confidence due to his own perceived stupidity will feature largely in the next scene. There, Xander finds himself in the halls of Sunnydale High, where everything is a sickly green and purple, perhaps signifying the wrongness of what is happening to him. The scene also starts with a Dutch angle, further throwing off the viewer and expressing Xander's confusion. He runs into Giles, whose first words to him are a surprised "Xander! What are you doing here?" He is perhaps expressing his shock at seeing Xander in a school. Xander feels that, having graduated from high school and not attended college, he's outcast from places of learning, where he was never particularly comfortable. Giles is also eating an apple, marking him even more a teacher (apples being the traditional present) and holder of knowledge (e.g. the apple from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden). This could also be seen to foreshadow Giles' struggle with knowledge and intellectualism in his own dream, further indicating the connection the Scoobies share.

[34] Anya also shows up in this scene, and she and Giles speak to Xander mostly in French (which I will translate here, as well as transcribe some of the English):

Giles: Now, the others have gone on ahead. Now listen very carefully. Your life may depend on what I'm about to tell you. You need—(in French)—the house where we're all sleeping. All your friends are there having a wonderful time and getting on with their lives. The creature can't hurt you there.
Xander: What? Go where? I don't understand.
Giles: (in French) This is not the time for games.
Anya: (in French) Xander! You have to come with us now! Everyone's waiting for you!
Xander: Honey, I don't—I can't hear you—
Anya: (in French) It's not important. I'll take you there.
Obviously there is more in here about Xander's fears about his friends, but also significant is that he can't understand what Anya and Giles are saying to him. On one level, this probably signifies his inability to accept what Buffy and Willow are doing with their lives, without him. The fact that he cannot understand Giles is not wildly surprising. Giles is deeply engaged with intricate problems, while Xander is more plain-spoken, reducing Giles' complex thoughts "into [their] simplest possible form[s]" (Passion, B2017). Though Giles tells him how to defeat the creature Xander cannot understand this and so cannot save himself. (They must all be together, in the house where they're all sleeping, which is where Buffy ultimately defeats the first Slayer.) He is pushed and pulled down the hall, despite his protests. Clearly, Xander wishes to continue moving, but only on his own terms. He does not want to be forced onto a particular course by anyone.

[35] They march Xander off to see Snyder, or rather Snyder as Marlon Brando as Kurtz in the movie Apocalypse Now. Xander admits that he's from "the basement, mostly" and that he may have been born there, showing awareness of his current situation. Snyder recalls walking by Xander's guidance counselor's office. "A bunch of you were sitting there, waiting to be shepherded. I remember it smelled like dead flowers. Like decay. Then it hit me. The hope of our nation's future is a bunch of mulch." Xander does not want to be shepherded. Snyder is a dark part of Xander's psyche, embodying his shadow: he's a part that believes no good can ever come of him. This idea is supported by Snyder's condemnation of Xander as "a whipping boy, raised by mongrels and set on a sacrificial stone." There's an inkling there of Xander's feelings about his parents, which are connected to his feelings about himself. He considers them "mongrels," and wishes to distance himself from them. Xander also tells Snyder that "[He's] just trying to get away." While he's ostensibly talking about getting away from the First Slayer, he is also trying to get away from the basement and his parents' legacy. This, too, is "something [he] can't fight," or so he fears. Snyder asks Xander where he's heading. Xander can only reply with fantasies, saying he's meeting Tara and Willow, and "possibly Buffy's mom." As Xander says this, Snyder is running water from a bowl over his head; both bowls and water are classic symbols of the feminine. Willow, Tara and Joyce signify Xander's difficulty engaging in relationships with females, both in his outer life and within himself in the form of his anima.

[36] Back in the basement, someone or something is still pounding on the door, and as Xander looks up he repeats, "That's not the way out." When the door is finally flung open, though, it's not the first Slayer, as we would expect. Instead, it's Xander's father, who says, "What the hell is wrong with you? You won't come upstairs? What are you—ashamed of us?...The line ends here with us, and you're not going to change that. You haven't got the heart." It's important to note that this is the first time we have ever seen Xander's father in the series (or, indeed, either of his parents).[6] And this has a great deal to do with what is explained for us in Xander's father's speech. Xander fears that he will inevitably fail in life and become like his parents. This is the fear that will drive him to leave Anya at the altar in little over a year and a half, and this is what drives him from job to job, trying desperately to get out of the basement. He fears that his parents are the end of the line for him, and that he can't ever change that fact, which is why he fights it. "That's not the way out" means that he can't get out of the basement by taking the same route his parents took, though their house, living a life similar to their lives.

[37] Fortunately, Xander has a happy future, at least in the immediate sense. Only three episodes into season five (The Replacement, B5003), he will get a long-term job as a construction worker and finally move out of the basement, into an apartment of his own. He will come literally face-to-face with his stronger half. Xander's life will not be perfect: I've already referenced his desertion of Anya, and by the end of the series, he will not have a steady girlfriend. However, his dream in Restless seems to be instrumental in waking him up to his immediate crisis and to enabling him to move on (while actually moving forward in a concrete way) to the next stage of his life.

"What are you wasting your time for?": Giles' dream

[38] Giles' dream reflects his intellectualism and brings to the forefront the current conflicts in his life. Most notable are his worries about aging, demonstrated by the dream's constant references to time, and his confusion about whether to stay with Buffy or leave to pursue his own life. This can be viewed as a pull between his anima and animus. His anima pulls him towards a more traditional life, with a wife and children. His animus reminds him of the importance of the work he does in Sunnydale, where he is often very literally called upon to save the world. Neither choice means a complete refusal of the other side. He is clearly emotional and nurturing in his relationship with Buffy and the Scoobies, and surely he could find a way to utilize his intellect and work for good if he chose a quieter home life. But this choice will decide which aspect of his psyche takes greater prevalence. Both his heart and intellect are portrayed as good and important parts of him, and his dream reflects Giles' attempts to balance between them. His dream addresses his tendency to slip into overdependence on his intellect.

[39] The dream begins with a shot of a watch swinging in slow motion in front of a chest covered in tweed. We hear Giles say, "You have to stop thinking. Let it wash over you." For Giles, this is an odd first statement, as he is constantly thinking. He does little, in fact, besides think. He is an intellectual, usually not much of a fighter.[7] His rejection of the physical may have something to do with the fact that his most intense physical experiences were when possessed by a demon, in his youth. Because he has since repented of that and turned to the path of good, it seems likely he has—consciously or not—repented also of things he associates with it, and grown less physical through the years. In Nightmares, we learned that Giles fears losing his role as knowledge-giver. His nightmare is finding himself unable to read. He gets lost in the stacks. This could indicate an early attempt by his subconscious to reveal his overdependence on his intellect. He is metaphorically lost in the stacks, unable to find his way to other parts of himself to balance his intellectualism.

[40] It's also significant that Giles is telling Buffy to stop thinking. Traditionally, it's not a Slayer's job to think; that's the Watcher's duty. Her task is entirely a physical one. While Buffy has proven herself capable of much more than that time and time again, Giles is still a classically-trained Watcher. On some level, he is conditioned to believe that the Slayer slays and that a Watcher watches—or rather, trains and prepares her, to paraphrase Welcome to the Hellmouth. In that same conversation, Giles said that he doesn't kill vampires because he "hasn't the skill." Giles has come a long way since then, and appreciates Buffy for more than just her fighting skills. At the same time, he remains to a large extent primarily the intellectual in the relationship, while Buffy is primarily the fighter.

[41] To continue the scene, we now see Buffy's face, the reflection of the watch moving across it. "Don't you think it's a little old-fashioned?" she asks. Again, a comment like that is more reminiscent of Buffy and Giles' early relationship than their current one. At that time, Giles perceived Buffy as viewing him as extremely old-fashioned, and so she probably did, much of the time. However, she also had more respect for him as an authority figure at that time. She used to feel obligated to skip dates at his word (Never Kill a Boy on the First Date, B1005) or lie and sneak out to avoid her duty (Reptile Boy, B2005). Now, she no longer recognizes the authority of the Watcher's Council (even if Giles was still a member) and though she still looks to Giles for help, she does so far less frequently, particularly in the fourth season. This has been a source of injury to Giles, as he begins to feel less important in her life (see A New Man, B4012). Such feelings are common byproducts of aging, hence Giles' obsession with time in this dream (signaled first by the watch itself, which is also a pun on the title of 'Watcher').

[42] "This is the way women and men have behaved since the beginning, before time," Giles says. This phrase is a strange one in this case. Taken out of context, most people would assume Giles was talking about sex. However, Giles and Buffy have never had that kind of relationship. Theirs has been a father-daughter bond. But Giles doesn't say "fathers and daughters," he says "women and men." Returning to the action in this scene, remember that Giles is swinging a watch, the classic way to hypnotize someone. As he does so, he tells Buffy to "stop thinking" and "let it wash over you." This could be read as Giles attempting to subordinate Buffy as men have done to women "since the beginning." I believe it has a more specific meaning in this context: Giles and Buffy are enacting the Watcher/Slayer relationship. Though a Slayer is far stronger than a Watcher physically, it's he who controls her.[8] Note that in Welcome to the Hellmouth, during the aforementioned conversation, Giles uses the masculine pronoun to encompass all Watchers, creating a binary construction of female Slayers and male Watchers. While this may have changed in recent years, as evidenced by Gwendolyn Post in Revelations (B3007) and the female Watchers in Checkpoint (B5011), they're still outnumbered by men and as far as we know, assigning a female Watcher a Slayer is a rare occurrence. It's clear that the Watcher's Council is traditionally a patriarchy, just as Slayers are always female. The members of the Watcher's Council, arguably including the women, are much more heavily in touch with their masculine sides, often deficient in the compassion their animas would give them to balance their impartial intellects.

[43] A long shot reveals that Buffy and Giles are in his apartment. It is empty except for a large rug and a chair that Buffy sits on as Giles stands in front of her. The emptiness of the room suggests that Giles is moving out, a decision he is struggling with in this dream. Buffy, one of the few things in the room, is one of the few things that are keeping him in Sunnydale. The room could also be a symbol for Giles' Self, its emptiness reflecting the inner emptiness he feels at the prospect of missing out on life outside his work. In this tableau, Buffy is in a subordinate position, but the long shot puts them on essentially the same plane. Note also that Giles is wearing his tweed, an outfit which appeared frequently in the early seasons but which he hasn't worn for all of the fourth. Again, this highlights the differences between the early and current Giles and his role, especially when it comes to Buffy.

[44] Buffy laughs instead of concentrating on the task at hand, making it clear that she finds it absurd. This reflects Giles' worry that she no longer accepts his guidance and training. The scene is also extremely reminiscent of Helpless (B3012), in which Giles actually does hypnotize and subsequently betray Buffy's trust by weakening her, as per the orders of the Council. That episode was an important turning point for Giles, who, besides being forcibly expelled from the Council, parted ways with them in their thinking by ultimately trying to help Buffy. In that instance, he chose to follow his feelings for Buffy (the promptings of his anima), rather than the traditional processes dictated by the Council (which his animus would have pressured him to follow, at first did so successfully). Giles has remained Buffy's helper, but with less and less authority and influence as time passed. Recall his speech at Buffy's grave in Nightmares: "I've failed in my duty to protect you. I should have been more cautious. Taken more time to train you. But you were so gifted. And the evil was so great. I'm sorry... " He blames himself for his failure to protect her. Though he recognizes her abilities, he feels guilty for being unable to act as a father to her, to protect and prepare her. Though his influence over her has lessened, his feelings about her remain essentially the same. Jungian theory describes the relationship of hero and guide: "In many of these stories the early weakness of the hero is balanced by the appearance of strong 'tutelary' figures—or guardians—who enable him to perform the superhuman tasks that he cannot accomplish unaided" (Henderson 101). This is very much like the Watcher/Slayer relationship. Buffy's "early weakness" is long gone, however, producing Giles' worry that she no longer needs him as she once did.

[45] The next scene features a kind of exaggerated return to the time when Giles still retained more influence over Buffy. It takes place at night. Giles' dream is the only one to feature a nighttime scene, perhaps another reinforcement of the time metaphor. He is approaching the twilight of his life. The nighttime setting drives home the fact that he is running out of time. Giles wears jeans, a sweater, and a pea coat. In the original script, Whedon describes Giles' dress as "casual, hip but not undadlike." It's the kind of outfit he's worn for much of season four. Buffy, in overalls and pigtails, pulls Giles along by the hand through the cemetery, which hosts a carnival and has many people milling about. Buffy is excited like a little kid, saying, "Come on! Come on! We're going to miss all the good stuff!" Here, Buffy verbalizes Giles' fear that by spending time with her, he'll miss all the "good stuff." This is also made clear in the fact that she is pulling on his hand and he is somewhat reluctant to go along with her.

[46] Giles' "good stuff" is symbolized by a pregnant Olivia, who is walking next to him and pushing an empty baby carriage. Giles and Olivia are frequently framed together in this scene, giving them a sense of togetherness. They seem to explicitly represent Giles' anima and animus. Olivia is his anima because she represents fertility and caregiving in a very literal way. In this scene, Giles seems to have tapped in to his masculine side very strongly. He is the father: stern, impatient, patriarchal. He has difficulty giving praise even when it's deserved (such as when Buffy "stakes" the vampire). He plays the father, but he lacks the love, affection, and emotional connection we would expect (and have often seen demonstrated) in his relationship with Buffy.

[47] Olivia asks, "Does she always want to train this badly?" This is again an indication of Giles' nostalgia for his early days with Buffy, or perhaps an idealized version of them, in which she is eager to train. It could be read as foreshadowing of the season to come, where Buffy will tell Giles she wants him to be her Watcher again at the end of the first episode, and to begin training once more. To a certain extent, she puts herself in his care, allowing him to resume the role of the parent figure. In the dream, Buffy's childlike appearance and actions also, of course, indicate the paternal fondness Giles has for her.

[48] Giles goes on to make mention of a "fable about patience." The reference suggests that his construction of Buffy lacks this virtue, but it is also something he's worried about in himself. He's afraid that he's being so patient and waiting so long that life is passing him by. This scene is in the graveyard, which, as mentioned, appears to be a somewhat macabre carnival. The audience is further disoriented by the Dutch angle that sets the scene. Buffy plays a carnival-game version of training, in which she "stakes" a vampire by throwing a ball at it. Giles chastises her, reminding her that "You have a sacred duty to protect mankind... Don't stick out your elbow." Though he has cast her as a childlike parody of herself, he still expects a great deal from her. And when she successfully "stakes" the "vampire" and turns to him looking for praise, he only looks unimpressed and says, "I haven't got any treats," diminishing her further by making her sound like a pet. This reaction could be born out of the fear that, having regained her (in the dream) as a child, with too much praise she will grow confident and thus away from him, as has happened in real life.

[49] Of course, part of him loves and wants to indulge her, as evidenced by Olivia's "Go easy on the girl." The sterner part of him replies, "This is my business. Blood of the lamb and all that." Though the strong language is off-putting, this could also be seen as a more positive side of Giles-as-animus. He is determined, and intent on doing the important work to which he has dedicated his life—despite the ambivalence the non-animus parts of him feel about whether or not he actually wants his whole life to be this work. The first sentence reveals another aspect of Giles' conflict over whether or not to leave Sunnydale: being a Watcher, and being a member of the battle against evil is his life's work.

[50] Spike calls to Giles, "Come on! You're going to miss everything!" Distracted, Giles now misses things. After this point, Buffy disappears from Giles' dream. He has been distracted, appropriately, by Spike, who has just done his best to rip the group apart and nearly succeeded (The Yoko Factor, B4020). Note Spike's language: he's not speaking there as Giles' perception of Spike, but as Giles' Self, restating yet again Giles' fears. The long shot of him in front of the crypt, given the language he employs during it, visually reinforces Giles' fears that certain aspects of his life are getting farther away from him as possibilities.

[51] After descending into Spike's crypt, Giles passes by Olivia, sitting on a tomb crying with the overturned baby carriage next to her. Again, Giles worries that acting as a father to Buffy, much as he loves her, will prevent him from having a wife and family of his own. Olivia sits on a tomb, and though she is pregnant, her crying and the baby carriage underscore the death symbolism of the tomb. She represents Giles' fear of losing his virility while it is still useful to him. As an anima figure, she is perhaps an anima that has been or is being stifled: Giles' desire to give life. "Don't push me around," Giles says. "You know I have a great deal to do." Again, he exposes his fear that there isn't enough time for him. As he sings in Once More, With Feeling, he wants to "play the father" to Buffy. But a part of him wants to be a father, too; to have a life separate from her, and to allow Buffy her own life, to let her go and see what she can do on her own, without him to rely on. That impulse might be interpreted as coming from Giles' Self: it knows that Buffy is strong and capable, and wants to allow her to grow on her own without the fatherly authority or motherly protectiveness he can provide. It shows the wisdom of the Giles' united psyche.

[52] Giles looks around, confused. He asks Spike, distracted and overwhelmed by the plethora of information: "What am I supposed to do with all this?" Spike replies, "You've got to make up your mind, Rupes. What are you wasting time for? Haven't you figured it all out yet, with your enormous squishy frontal lobes?" Here again, Spike has switched back to being an aspect of Giles, perhaps even his Self (though his language is still in keeping with Spike's characterization; he's filtered through Giles' perception of him). He tells Giles that he has to make up his mind about whether he wants a normal life (symbolized by Olivia, even though they've broken up, due largely to the dangerous nature of Giles' work) and that he's wasting time. He also references Giles' intellectualism, but this isn't a decision that Giles can really make with his head. He has to go with his emotions and gut instincts, two things which Giles is still re-learning to negotiate with his rational mind. Giles has also cast someone whom he hates to tell him to get a move on, making it clear how much he doesn't want to hear that he has to make a choice. "I still think Buffy should have killed you," he tells Spike (possibly predicting Lies My Parents Told Me B7018).

[53] Giles now meets the Cheese Man, who greets him with cheese slices placed neatly on his head. His finger is outstretched, as if to correct a mistake Giles has made, or to make sure his meaning is clear. "I wear the cheese," he says. "It does not wear me." (Perhaps the cheese is a costume, tying in with the Giles' engagement with performance that I discuss below.) He walks past him, all dignity. "Honestly, you meet the most appalling sort of people," Giles says. I believe that the Cheese Man could be read here as another reference back to early Giles, who had that sort of stiff dignity that was constantly being undermined. The fact that Giles is now appalled by this shows how much he's grown as a character since the first season. He meets the Cheese Man in the crypt, maybe indicating the death of that part of Giles' personality.[9]

[54] Jungian theory provides another explanation:

People who rely totally on their rational thinking and dismiss or repress every manifestation of their psychic life often have an almost inexplicable inclination to superstition. They listen to oracles and prophecies... And because dreams compensate one's outer life, the emphasis such people put on their intellect is offset by dreams in which they meet the irrational and cannot escape it (Jacobi 355).
While not quite as extreme as this case, Giles does often rely on his intellect. He also consults oracles (The Zeppo B3013) and believes in prophecies (one example of many would be Prophecy Girl B1012). Giles' dream has perhaps the most non sequitors (the graveyard carnival, the gnomes in front of Spike's crypt, arguably the silliest Cheese Man appearance, Anya's joke). This could indicate that, as Jacobi says, his dreams are compensating for the rationality of his conscious mind.

[55] Giles walks from Spike's crypt into the Bronze, where Giles begins by apologizing to Xander and Willow: "I'm so sorry I'm late. There's so much going on. And all at once!" Here, yet again, we see Giles' worries about his life: being torn in several directions at once by all the potentialities facing him; his fear of being not just late, but too late for some of them.

[56] Giles' dream, like Willow's and Xander's in parts, is now partially focused on performance. This has been the first season that has featured Giles as a performer. He was shown singing in two prior episodes. One of those was actually intended to be a performance, as which he sang "Behind Blue Eyes" at the Espresso Pump (Where the Wild Things Are B4018). He hides this from the younger members of the Scooby gang, saying "It's a meeting of grownups. It couldn't possibly be of any interest to you lot." And when Anya, Willow, Tara, and Xander see him there, their reaction (particularly Xander's) is one of shock:
Xander: Um, could we go back to the haunted house? 'Cause this is creeping me out.
Tara: Does he do this often?
Xander: Sure. Every day the earth rotates backwards and the skies turn orange.
Willow: Now I remember why I used to have such a crush on him.
Tara: Well, he is pretty good.
Anya: His voice... is pleasant.
Xander: What?
Willow: Oh, come on, he is kinda sexy.
Xander: I'm fighting total mental breakdown here, Will. No fuel to the fire, please.
Giles' next performance occurs in The Yoko Factor (B4020) when he sings "Freebird" alone in his apartment, until he is startled by Spike. For Giles, performance seems to essentially be a private thing, something to do in front of a small group or alone. It's not something he wants witnessed by the other Scoobies, perhaps indicating his desire to have certain parts of his life that are separate from them. However, they inevitably find out about it, and this dream is no exception, as he begins to sing when still sitting with Willow and Xander.

[57] Janet K. Halfyard discusses Giles' performances in her paper "Singing Their Hearts Out: of Performance in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel":
Giles has tried quite hard to keep this side of himself hidden from [the Scoobies], as if he is aware of the complex problem that performance represents. On the one hand, it is likely to reveal too much about him on an emotional level, making him vulnerable and undermining his status within the group as a figure of authority and unflappable English calm. On the other hand, it sets him apart from them, turns him into a performer rather than simply a person. (14)
In his dream, however, he seems to wish to overcome these difficulties and share this part of himself. This may tie in to the fact that season four has already greatly undermined his status as an authority figure, providing a better understanding of him as a real person by both the audience and the Scoobies. There's also the fact that in his song, Giles is issuing commands to Xander and Willow. His status as an authority figure is reinforced rather than shattered by his song, at least in terms of its lyrics. In this way, the song could be interpreted as a good balance between his anima and animus. Per the promptings of his anima, he opens himself up, sharing through the emotional nature of performance. But since he retains his authority and thinks critically throughout the song, his animus is satisfied as well.

[58] "Rupert," Willow says, "You've got to focus. You must have some kind of explanation. If we don't know what we're fighting, I don't think we stand a chance." Willow seems to here be speaking to Giles as an aspect of himself. For one thing, she calls him "Rupert," which is not something Willow usually does. She also tells him to focus, quite possibly referring to his need for focus and direction in life. It shows his confidence in the importance of his own role as researcher and knowledge-giver. He is the one who prevents them from fighting blind. This is also yet more evidence of his intellectualism: they need to know what they're fighting. In this case, it seems that Buffy is the only one who figures out who the first Slayer is fully and in time to do something about it—however, the cumulative experiences of her friends are very likely part of the reason she was able to discover the first Slayer's identity.

[59] During his song, Giles realizes the cause of the events of their dreams was "the spell we cast with Buffy," and perhaps starts to realize what's after them when the mic goes dead. Crawling on his hands and knees, he follows the cord backstage, where it ends in a tangled pile in which he finds his pocket-watch from the first scene, symbolizing the Watcher. "Well that was... obvious," he says. "I know who you are. And I can defeat you with my intellect. I can cripple you with my thoughts. Of course, you underestimate me. You couldn't know. You never had a Watcher." This is probably the most obvious instance of Giles relying on his intellect. He claims to be able to defeat her with his intellect (reminiscent of the moment in the first scene when he refers to Watchers ruling Slayers). He says he can cripple her with his thoughts, but he takes no action, like in his life. He is perhaps, at the moment, crippled by his own thoughts, unable to make a decision one way or the other. The first Slayer "couldn't know," because she had no Watcher to guide her and provide a model for her.[10] The first Slayer looms over him and the audience, through the use of a low-angle shot, and she fills the frame. She has the most physical power over Giles, who is most focused on the mind. Note also that Giles' lips don't move when he says "You never had a Watcher." In the end, even words fail him. He may be thinking that in his head, finally trapped there, as the first Slayer slices it open. In the final shot of his dream, we see Giles outside his own dreamscape; twitching, he drops his glasses, a classic symbol of intellect and a prop necessary for him to read his books and impart knowledge, on the floor.

[60] Giles' dream deals with his struggle over the choice he has to leave Sunnydale and start a family or stay and continue his work and his relationship with Buffy. His obsession with time is caused by his indecision, worried as he is that he'll miss out on some important aspects of life. Finally, the dream reflects his attempts to negotiate between his intellectualism and his emotions, to balance the needs of his anima and animus. His struggle to decide whether or not to stay in Sunnydale is one way which could demonstrate which will be the stronger force in his life to come.

"You haven't even begun": Buffy's dream

[61] Buffy's dream focuses on the tug of war between Buffy-as-person and Buffy-as-Slayer. It examines her relationship with her mother and, to a lesser degree, with Riley. It also reaffirms her connection with her friends, and the importance they have in her life and in shaping her as a human being. This dream prepares her to accept future revelations from her shadow and emphasizes the importance of her anima.

[62] Buffy's dream opens with her waking up in her dorm room. Anya is in Willow's bed, whispering to her: "Buffy! You have to wake up right away!" And, as Buffy will later find, waking up is the solution. At this moment she fails to recognize that: "I'm not really in charge of these things," she says. Anya seems to function on several levels in this scene. She is a stand-in for Willow, who has been "taken" by the first Slayer and thus cannot appear in Buffy's dream. She is also part of Buffy's Self. She provides guidance—in fact, she flat-out tells Buffy how to solve the problem. The fact that Buffy's subconscious uses Anya is perhaps part of the reason Buffy fails to listen to it. If it had been Willow, she might have been more inclined to take her advice.

[63] In the next shot, Buffy rolls over to see the first Slayer hanging from the ceiling by chains. She snarls at her. The first Slayer's position, framed by a very low-angle shot, has a great deal of symbolism. The shot itself comes quickly, startling the audience as well as Buffy. She is set above Buffy, in a position of power. This implies a certain superiority (she is above Buffy) as well as indicating that she came before. She could also imply a "higher" power—e.g., the Slayer line. But note also that she is chained. Not only do we see the chains, but we hear them clinking. The first Slayer is shackled, by tradition, and by her role, something to which Buffy refuses to be bound. This becomes an important theme in Buffy's dream and in the upcoming season.

[64] After this shot Buffy wakes up once more, this time in her bed at home. Again, it seems that something is pushing her to wake up. This theme of awakening is also related to the revelations that occur in the dream, recognized or not (such as the identity of the Primitive, the coming of Dawn, etc.). Buffy is close to figuring out what's going on. It seems that she's already realized it on some level but not consciously yet—that is why she continually wakes and yet fails to waken.[11]

[65] Now Buffy stands in the doorway of her room, looking at her bed, the sheets still rumpled. "Faith and I just made that bed," she says. This references a dream that was actually Faith's, from earlier in season four. The Slayers have a history of shared dreams. Faith is the other Slayer, an occurrence unprecedented before Buffy's time. Not only that, but Buffy and Faith have repeatedly betrayed each other. Faith's dream calls that to mind. In it, she is being stabbed by Buffy, an event which actually took place. "Are you ever going to take this thing out?" she asks of the knife Buffy is holding, stuck deep into Faith's stomach. To the first Slayer, Buffy using her friends to invoke the power of the Slayer line is a betrayal; hence, former Slayer betrayals are invoked. Dreams are also an important part of being the Slayer; they are one of the ways in which a Slayer is recognized. Buffy is frequently shown receiving information this way, and it goes a long way towards explaining both her connection with Faith through dreams and the first Slayer's ability to enter the dreams of Buffy and her friends. The importance of Slayer dreams has been clear since the very beginning of the show. Our first glimpse of Buffy is of her dreaming about the Master. Later in Welcome to the Hellmouth, Giles says to her, "Perhaps you're right. Perhaps there is no trouble coming; the signs could be wrong. It's not as though you've been having the nightmares." This gives her pause, becoming one factor in her decision to take up her duties again.

[66] In response to Buffy's "Faith and I just made that bed,"[12] Tara asks, "For who?" No answer is forthcoming, although one possibility is that it is for Dawn. Buffy replies, "I thought you were here to tell me." Tara's role as a guide is articulated here. She acted as one for Willow as well, but does so much more overtly for Buffy. She's also an anima figure for Buffy. Buffy exists as part of a feminine tradition, but not one that is matrilineal. It is, in fact, without mothers. The patriarchal Watcher's Council guards the records of Slayers, coming closest to creating the chain of their ancestry. Being a Slayer is also a duty that employs traditionally masculine traits (such as strength) and roles (such as fighting, protecting, and leadership). Tara may be an anima in part to remind Buffy of the feminine that must balance out the masculine in her psyche. Buffy realizes that "the guys" aren't here, and Tara tells her, "You lost them." "No," Buffy says. "No, I think they need me to find them." Kip Manley suggests:

And that, for me, is the essence of Buffy's dream, and Buffy herself. Forget Slayer strength and a tendency to favor pointed wooden weaponry—this is her real strength, the source of her. She takes a negative situation—'You lost them'—and turns it on its head, reformulating it as a problem to be solved—'I think they need me to find them.' And once she does that, she can solve the problem. Nothing can stop her.
At this moment, Buffy strikes her signature balance between the prophetic hunches of the anima and the animus' problem-solving and courage.

[67] Tara attempts to hand Buffy a card that says "Manus" and has a picture of two hands on it, one in a fist, the other open. It also has a crescent moon on the top, representing femininity, and probably the Slayer line – their duties take place at night, when the moon is visible. This is the card that represented Buffy when she, Giles, Xander, and Willow joined in Primeval. "I'm never going to use those," Buffy says, refusing it. Here, the first Slayer could be trying to force "pure" Slayerness on her, which Buffy refuses without the other cards representing her friends. "You think you know—what's to come, what you are—you haven't even begun," Tara says, with a prophetic tone. Her words foreshadow (as does much of Buffy's dream) the events to come in season five, and Buffy's attempts to discover more about herself as a Slayer.

[68] These words will be echoed by Dracula in the first episode of season five, as he offers to teach her about her history and power. And at the end of Buffy vs. Dracula (B5001), she admits to Giles that:
This whole thing with Dracula—it made me face up to some stuff. Ever since we did that spell where we called on the first Slayer, I've been going out a lot. Every night... Hunting. That's what Dracula called it. And he was right. He understood my power better than I do. He saw darkness in it. I need to know more. About where I come from, about the other Slayers.
She continues to search for answers in this vein throughout season five, going to Spike for help (Fool for Love B5007) and eventually on a vision quest (Intervention B5018). Buffy also says that she was forced to "face up to some stuff," all of which was initially presented to her in this dream. The moment when she actually experiences this is when she drinks Dracula's blood. He instructs her to "Find your true nature." As she drinks, we see (and presumably she does as well) shots of her fighting, of the first Slayer, and of blood running through veins. She discovers, not the darkness Dracula was hoping for, but rather herself as a Slayer, symbolized by the shots of the first Slayer and of the blood (i.e., bloodline). The demonic power and darkness inherent in the Slayer line make that aspect of herself a part of Buffy's shadow. However, her decision to learn about and embrace this part of her demonstrate well the power the shadow can provide when healthfully integrated with the ego.

[69] In the next scene, Buffy walks through the halls of UC Sunnydale. "Have you seen my friends? They wouldn't just disappear," she asks a random passerby. The second sentence rather contradicts what has been going on throughout season four. The Scoobies have been growing apart, disappearing from each other's lives, and Spike nearly tore them apart completely. Buffy is guilty of this as well as the others. They have made up and the spell they worked has certainly drawn them together again. However, I believe that this statement has deeper implications for Buffy. On some level, she must have always believed that they would all stay together. In The Yoko Factor, Spike doesn't even try to turn Buffy against any of her friends—it's all them against her. Perhaps he realized that she has an unshakable faith that the four of them will remain a unit, which also makes her vulnerable to being betrayed.

[70]Buffy notices her mother, who is almost totally bricked up in a wall; only her face shows through.
Buffy: Why are you living in the walls?
Joyce: Oh, sweetie, no, I'm fine here. Don't worry about me.
Buffy: It looks dirty.
Joyce: Well, it seems that way to you...I made some lemonade, and I'm learning how to play Mah Jong. You go find your friends.
The symbolism of this is clear. Buffy has made her mother a background presence, and rationalized it to herself—in this dream Joyce assures her she's fine and that she has activities to keep her busy. (Note also that they're very stereotypical "mom" activities.) Interestingly, Jung identifies the university as one possible representation of the mother (Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious 81). In some ways, college has acted as a surrogate mother for Buffy (as it does for many who attend a college, especially when living away from home). It provides a home and food and allows growth at a time when many people feel ready to move away from their families and yet still feel some attachment to them; when they are legally adults but do not feel grown up. In this scene, Joyce's position explicates that meaning. She takes a background position in Buffy's life but is a part of the structure of it.

[71] Buffy has dismissed any concern she has —"It looks dirty"—as being all in her head —"It seems that way to you." Tellingly, Joyce is in the walls of the school—she has taken a backseat to Buffy's college life and her relationship with Riley. This has clearly been going on for some time: in This Year's Girl, when Faith goes after Joyce, she finds a stack of mail, all of it addressed to Buffy, and says to Joyce:
A lot of letters. She hasn't been by in awhile, huh? And you'd think with a crazy chick like me on the loose—a crazy chick with a wicked grudge against her, no less—she'd call and give you a heads-up. But Buffy's too into her own deal to remember dear old mom... Don't tell me you don't see it, Joyce. You served your purpose. You squirted out the kid, raised her up, and now you might as well be dead! I mean, nobody cares! Nobody remembers! Especially not Buffy-fabulous-super-hero! Sooner or later you're going to have to face it. She was over us a long time ago, Joyce. Too busy climbing onto her new boytoy to give a single thought to the people that matter! I mean, you're her mother and she just leaves you here to die!
To Buffy's credit, she then crashes through the window to save her mother. However, Faith still makes some valid points. Even after the devastating episode in which Faith steals Buffy's body, Buffy doesn't seem to have learned her lesson with her mother. At the beginning of Restless Joyce says to Riley, "It was nice to finally meet you," and then to Buffy, "Did you notice how pointedly I said finally?" "No... " Buffy replies.

[72] Buffy's relationship to her mother seems almost incidental, insignificant compared to the themes of the rest of her dream and the season. She and her mother have grown apart; this is not uncommon for a child living away from home for the first time, beginning to move into the adult stage of his or her life. But on a symbolic level, this relationship is crucial: the archetypal figure of the mother is a significant one for everyone.
This is the mother-love which is one of the most moving and unforgettable memories of our lives, the mysterious root of all growth and change; the love that means homecoming, shelter, and the long silence from which everything begins and which everything ends. Intimately known and yet strange like Nature, lovingly tender and yet cruel like fate, joyous and untiring giver of life.
(Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious 92)
Buffy's connection to her mother is literal, as discussed above, but symbolically it relates to her connection with her friends and to life itself. This feminine archetype, which can be a component of the anima or at least affect it, is therefore also connected to the femininity of being a Slayer. Buffy's dream provides the beginnings of her struggle with the idea of a Slayer as a death-bringer, and her attempts to preserve life instead of just providing death. A loss of connection with her mother is a warning: Buffy will need to get in touch with her own feminine side to find wholeness.

[73] In the Initiative complex, Riley greets Buffy: "Hey there, killer." Calling her "killer" is important on several different levels. First, it reveals some of Riley's problems with her life as a Slayer. He's expressed admiration for her abilities as a leader: "You're in charge. You're like, make the plan, execute the plan. There's no one giving you orders" (A New Man B4012). Despite this admiration, there's a certain lawlessness that comes with that freedom which is antithetical to Riley's military-trained mind. He's also jealous of it, and that jealousy leads him to condemn it on some level, in a fit of sour grapes. It will become obvious in the next season, as well, that Buffy's powers make him feel insecure. Perhaps his labeling her negatively allows him to feel more confident. Of course, this is Buffy's perception of Riley, not Riley himself, but she must already sense from him some of what is to come. He may also be a self-accusatory part of Buffy herself, one that knows her powers are darker than she'd like to believe.

[74] The (entirely human) Adam speaks. "She's uncomfortable with certain concepts," he says. "It's understandable. Aggression is a natural human tendency, though you and me come by it another way." He looks at Buffy when he says this, and in the next shot of her the first Slayer is behind her, out of focus. "We're not demons," she says. "Is that a fact?" he replies, in a tone that makes it clear he disagrees. Adam seems here to be speaking as the first Slayer, starting to educate her on her heritage. As will be revealed near the end of the seventh season, the power of the Slayer is connected to that of demons; it seems, in fact, to be derived from it. Like Adam, the first Slayer was "spliced" with a demon, though with fewer visible consequences.

[75] Riley now seems to be trying to get rid of Buffy: "We've got important work here. A lot of filing, giving things names." (Buffy views the government's approach to fighting evil as useless at best.) Buffy asks Adam what his was. "Before Adam?" he replies, as the lighting suddenly becomes much darker, with blue tinges. "Not a man among us can remember." This moment underscores the importance of names in Buffy's dream. At the beginning of this scene, Riley "named" Buffy "killer" by greeting her as such. The distinction between "Slayer" and "killer" is an extremely important one for Buffy. In Buffy vs. Dracula, Dracula will also call her "killer:"
Dracula: I came to meet the renowned killer.
Buffy: Yeah, I prefer the term 'Slayer.' Killer sounds so—
Dracula: Naked?
Buffy: Like I paint clowns or something.
Dracula: Perhaps, but your power is rooted in darkness. You must feel it.
Like Adam, the first Slayer has no name. Considering also how little we know of Buffy before she was a Slayer—a scant few references and a very short scene in Becoming Part I (2021)—her identity is very much bound up in her role as the Slayer. Even the title of the show marks her in this way. This preoccupation with names is also reminiscent of Willow's dream. Buffy, too, is not entirely sure what hers is, although for different reasons.

[76] After Riley and Adam have left the scene, Buffy notices that her weapons bag is by her feet. When she tries to call out after Riley and Adam, she appears to be very frightened, practically whispering: "Wait! I have weapons!" She drops to her knees and opens the bag, only to discover that it is full of mud. She begins to put it on her face; the shot goes into negative, as in Giles' dream. When in negative her skin, eyes, and hair seem to glow; only the mud on her face is dark. She is reminiscent of the first Slayer and yet her opposite: the first Slayer is black with white paint on her face. Also, Buffy puts the mud on her face voluntarily—rather the opposite of her experience of being "called," given a power she didn't ask for. The first Slayer is also associated with the desert, and even the paint on her face is dried, while Buffy uses a rich mud that looks like it could be a face mask. It appears life-supporting, rather than the wasteland represented by the desert. This could be read as another reference to the mother archetype and the anima: it is the traditionally feminine energy that is life-giving.

[77] Buffy stops suddenly when she hears Riley's voice. "I thought you were looking for your friends," he says. She looks up at him, and he's now in normal clothes. "Okay, killer, if that's the way you want it—I guess you're on your own." Riley functions here as Buffy's Self. He calls her back to her mission and essentially tells her that she needs to choose between emulating the first Slayer by giving up her identity or being with her friends. Riley could also be seen as an animus figure, reminding her to take action. As her boyfriend, he is a major male presence in her life. He could even be a shadow figure, given that he calls her "killer" again. After this moment, the lights come on again, perhaps representing the metaphorical glow of illumination the appearance of Riley has provided for her.

[78] The next shot is again of Buffy's sandaled feet, as she walks through a hall of the Initiative that becomes sandy until she is in a vast desert. A high-angle shot from far above dwarfs her, setting up the hopelessness of her next statement. "I'm never going to find them here," she sighs. She sees Tara walking towards her, wearing an ultra-feminine pink outfit (described in the original script as an Indian outfit, perhaps to give it an exotic tone). "Of course not," she says. "That's why you came." According to Tara, who is speaking for the first Slayer, Buffy has come to discover her roots, and this would seem to be true. It also foreshadows her physical journey to the desert in Intervention. "You're not in my dream," Buffy observes. "No," Tara replies. "I was borrowed. Someone has to speak for her."[13] "Let her speak for herself," Buffy says, showing characteristic individualism and feminism. "That's what's done in polite circles." With an almost offensive statement, Buffy has cut straight to the heart of the matter. She participates in polite circles, but the first Slayer does not, and Buffy cannot accept that there is a part of her that is not of this world. With the first half of the sentence, however, Buffy seeks to empower the first Slayer.

[79] Throughout this conversation, the first Slayer circles Buffy, knees bent, constantly in motion, while Buffy stands up, back straight, very still. Again, we see a contrast between the two of them. The first Slayer wears paint on her face; her hair is in dreadlocks; she dresses in rags, and she doesn't even walk upright. Buffy stands straight with her clean, fresh face, well-conditioned blond hair, and machine-made dress (though it does appear to be made of a natural fabric). Buffy asks why she follows her. "I don't," Tara/the Slayer responds. This is because the first Slayer is a part of Buffy; a shadow figure, the source of some of her power. "Where are my friends?" Buffy asks. "You're asking the wrong questions." Perhaps the first Slayer can only tell her about herself. "Make her speak," Buffy orders, her emphasis possibly an attempt to force agency on the first Slayer. "I have no speech, no name. I live in the action of death. The blood cry, the penetrating wound. I am destruction. Absolute, alone." "The Slayer," Buffy realizes. "The first," she/Tara reveals. Though I've been referring to her as the first Slayer throughout this paper, this is the moment when it all comes together, for Buffy as well as the audience. Buffy realizes her identity right away, unlike Willow and Xander, who never do at all, or Giles, who figures it out but too late to do anything about it. Buffy seems to instinctively recognize her.

[80] Notice also that the first Slayer says she has "no name."[14] Earlier I discussed the importance of names to Buffy; I posit that to have no name would be the most frightening thing to her. Throughout the course of the show she has fought to be a normal girl as well as the Slayer. To have her identity completely subsumed by her calling is one of Buffy's deepest fears. To have no name except "the Slayer" would be nightmarish to her. And, of course, the Slayer is also "alone." In season two, the appearance of Kendra made it very clear that Buffy having friends is extremely unusual:
Giles: Kendra, there are a few people—civilians, if you like—who know Buffy's identity. Willow is one of them, and they also spend time together socially.
Kendra: And you allow this, sir?...But the Slayer must work in secret for security.
Giles: Of course, but with Buffy, however, some flexibility is required.
But Buffy's friends have always been a huge asset to her, something Spike recognized: "The Slayer's got pals. You want her evening the odds in a fight, you don't want the Slayerettes mucking about" (The Yoko Factor).

[81] And Buffy is not willing to let her friends go. She looks at a stack of Tarot-sized cards in her hands. The top one features a moving image of her with Giles, Willow, and Xander in her living room, perhaps as they would have been had the first Slayer not interfered. "I am not alone," she says. "The Slayer does not walk in this world," Tara/the first Slayer replies. "I walk. I talk. I shop. I sneeze. I'm going to be a fireman when the floods roll back. There's trees in the desert since you moved out, and I don't sleep on a bed of bones," Buffy states, in a series of quick cuts. Some of these are long shots, juxtaposing her and the First Slayer. Many of them end up with a close up on her face, highlighting her strength as an individual. There are several elements to unpack in this speech. Buffy is refusing to be taken over by her calling. She is part of the world in a way that few other Slayers have been. She not only has a voice, but uses it. She shops—a reference, it would seem, back to the most basic conception of Buffy, as a blond southern Californian girl who is obsessed with boys and clothes and who incidentally fights vampires at night. "I'm going to be a fireman when the floods roll back"—this is a powerful statement. She's saying she will fight whatever comes her way. After one disaster, she will be ready for the next. The fire and water metaphor makes the statement especially potent and primitive. "There's trees in the desert since you moved out" seems to suggest renewal, a wasteland becoming an oasis. It also suggests California, the setting of the show but more specifically a cultivated desert, connoting civilization. She could be speaking here of the Slayer line, which, as I discuss below, experiences not only renewal but a fundamental change because of Buffy. Jung has this to say about the symbolism of trees:
The unconscious of present-day man, who no longer feels at home in his world and can base his existence neither on the past that is no more nor on the future that is yet to be, should hark back to the symbol of the cosmic tree rooted in this world and growing up to heaven—the tree that is also man. In the history of symbols this tree is described as the way of life itself, a growing into that which eternally is and does not change; which springs from the union of opposites and, by its eternal presence, also makes that union possible. It seems as if it were only through an experience of symbolic reality that man, vainly seeking his own 'existence' and making a philosophy out of it, can find his way back to a world in which he is not longer a stranger.
(The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious 110)
Buffy is attempting to reconcile two things which have, in the past, frequently been opposites: being a part of the world, and being a Slayer. She refuses to be a stranger in the everyday world, choosing to be rooted there even as she performs her duties as a Slayer with astonishing capability and talent.

[82] Buffy ends her speech to the First Slayer by saying that she doesn't sleep on a bed of bones. This is both literally and metaphorically true. She isn't consumed with thoughts of death, but this is also indicative of a side of herself she is unable to accept. There is darkness in the powers of a Slayer that Buffy prefers not to think about, as evidenced in her conversation with Dracula, quoted above. Also, in season five, she will be told (by a guide in the form of the first Slayer and played by the same actress, an obvious reference to Restless) that death is her gift. In that prophecy and the events that follow it, Buffy's darker side is reconciled with her light side. While she has brought death to many creatures, she doesn't like to believe that's all she is, and her sacrifice at the end of the next season proves that she is not only a bringer of death but a preserver of life.

[83] "Now give me back my friends," Buffy says. And finally, the first Slayer speaks for herself. "No friends! Just the kill! We are alone," she says. "We" refers to the Slayer line. But Buffy is not alone. For the first time in history, there is more than one active Slayer at a time, which will continue to be true as long as Buffy lives. Faith refers to them as "the Chosen Two" (Bad Girls, B3014) and, at the end of What's My Line? Part Two, Buffy and Kendra have the following conversation:
Kendra: You talk about slaying like it's a job. It's not. It's who you are.
Buffy: Did you get that from the handbook?
Kendra: From you.
Buffy: I guess it's something I really can't fight. I'm a freak.
Kendra: Not the only freak.
Buffy: Not anymore.
Not only this, but Buffy will end the Slayer's curse of loneliness at the end of the series, when she and Willow endow all potential Slayers with their power. Of course, the first Slayer is primarily referring to Buffy's friends here. After she says "we are alone" the Cheese Man leans into the frame, waving his slices at Buffy. "That's it," she says. "I'm waking up." For Buffy, the Cheese Man is a call to action, and remember, Buffy is an extremely action-oriented character. His appearance seems to take her back to her true self. He is also a reminder to the audience of the connection between Buffy, Giles, Xander, and Willow, having appeared to all four of them.

[84] The First Slayer now attacks Buffy. They fight until Buffy says, "It's over. We don't do this anymore." Here, she is referring not only to her fight with the first Slayer, but to the role of all Slayers. They don't exist as the first Slayer did. They are a part of the world, and aren't consumed by their identity as Slayer. The first Slayer attacks again and they roll down the hill until Buffy cries, "Enough!" and she wakes up on the floor of her living room—just where she needs to be, as Giles said in French in Xander's dream: "You need the house where we're all sleeping... The creature can't hurt you there." And, in fact, though the first Slayer lands on Buffy and stabs her repeatedly, it has no effect. This is because the friends are united again, proving, as usual, that they are strongest together. "Are you quite finished?" Buffy asks. "It's over, okay? I'm going to ignore you, and you're going to go away." While this is true for the episode, in the long run, Buffy will have to make peace with this side of herself. "You're really going to have to get over the whole primal power thing. You're not the source of me," Buffy tells the first Slayer. Buffy, however, needs to get more in touch with the 'whole primal power thing.' And while the first Slayer isn't the source of her, she is a part of her. The first Slayer is a component of Buffy's psyche, a shadow self. She is a part of Buffy's history and herself, and Buffy will have to find a way to accept that. Jung says that "the shadow is a living part of the personality and therefore wants to live with it in some form. It cannot be argued out of existence or rationalized into harmlessness" (The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious). This is a lesson Buffy will learn in seasons to come. "The spirit of the first Slayer tried to kill us in our dreams": The denouement [85] Buffy, Giles, Xander, and Willow sit at Buffy's dining room table, clearly rather shell-shocked. "Somehow our joining with Buffy and invoking the essence of the Slayer's power was an affront to the source of that power," says Giles, in his traditional role providing exposition. "The first Slayer," Buffy says. "I never really thought about it. It was intense." As she passes her bedroom, she looks in and recalls Tara/the First Slayer's words to her: "You think you know—what's to come, what you are—you haven't even begun." Buffy has been shaken by her experience. She and her friends now have a great deal to think about. Willow has the strength of her new identity to consider and must face her worst fears, as expressed by her various shadow figures here. Xander must deal with imbalances in his female and male sides to decide the direction his life will take. Giles must balance the intellectualism of his animus with the emotional needs of his anima through his decision about whether to live in Sunnydale or return to England. Buffy must learn more about herself as a Slayer and as a person to acknowledge her shadow's insights while not being totally defined by them.

[86] Restless is an important episode for both the characters and the fans. Throughout the fourth season, the Scooby gang has struggled with the fact that they have increasingly grown apart. No longer coming together daily in the high school, it seemed that they might go their separate ways. Their joining in Primeval and its consequences in Restless reaffirmed their strength and unity as a group. Their dreams provided a reminder of past events and a taste of what's to come.

[87] For fans, the episode has even more meaning. They, too, have watched with sadness the Scooby gang growing apart over the last season. For many long-time fans, the fourth season was a disappointment. Some believed that with the characters out of high school, the show was on a downward spiral. Restless affirmed the value of their investment and time, giving them a chance to think deeply about the characters' growth and how it might have paralleled their own. It also promises much to come.


Aloi, Peg. “Skin as Pale as Apple Blossoms.” Seven Seasons of Buffy.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Cr. Joss Whedon. Perf. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Stewart Head, Nicholas Brendan. Twentieth Century Fox, 1997-2003. DVD.

Halfyard, Janet K. “Singing Their Hearts Out: The Problem of Performance in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.” Slayage: The Whedon Studies Association Journal. Eds. David Lavery and  Rhonda V. Wilcox. June 2005 <>.

Henderson, Joseph L. “Ancient Myths and Modern Man.” Man and His Symbols. Ed. Carl G. Jung. London: Aldus Books, Limited, 1964, 104-157.

Jacobi, Jolande. “Symbols in an Individual Analysis.” Man and His Symbols. Ed. Carl G. Jung. London: Aldus Books, Limited, 1964, 272-303.

Jaffé, Aniela. “Symbolism in the Visual Arts.” Man and His Symbols. Ed. Carl G. Jung. London: Aldus Books, Limited, 1964, 230-271.

Jung, C. G. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. New York: Bollingen Foundation Inc., 1959.

Jung, Carl G. and M-L von Franz, Joseph L. Henderson, Jolande Jacobi, Aniela Jaffe. Man and His Symbols. Ed. Carl G. Jung. London: Aldus Books, Limited, 1964.

Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York: Vintage Books, 1961.

Manley, Kip. “A Restless Exegesis.” June 2000. <>

Rayor, Diane (translation). “‘On the throne of many hues, immortal Aphrodite,’ by Sappho.” Isle of Lesbos. 2007. Web. 25 May 2010. <>.

Russell, Howard. BuffyWorld: A complete guide to all of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel episodes. 2007. Web. 25 May 2010. <>.

Sayer, Karen. “‘This was our world and they made it theirs’: Reading Space and Place in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.” Reading the Vampire Slayer. Ed. Roz Kaveney. London: Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2001, 132-155.

von Franz, M.-L. “The Process of Individuation.” Man and His Symbols. Ed. Carl G. Jung. London: Aldus Books, Limited, 1964, 158-229.

[1]There are a number of other indications of the Scoobies' connection in this episode, such as Giles' giving Xander true information—"You need the house where we're all sleeping... The creature can't hurt you there"—which he is unable to understand, as it's in French, but it is then utilized by Buffy to defeat the first Slayer.

[2] There are a number of other ways in which characters appear that are specific to Restless. Several times, they are appropriated by the first Slayer (e.g. Tara in Buffy's dream, Xander's father in Xander's dream). And because the dreams are occurring on a television show, there is also the actors themselves, and their performance of themselves. Joss Whedon describes on the commentary to Restless Marc Blucas' very real enthusiasm for playing Cowboy Guy, and how Whedon made faces behind the camera at Sarah Michelle Gellar to make her laugh at the beginning of Giles' dream. (I can recall, upon watching Restless for the first time, thinking how very natural Gellar's smile was in that shot.) Consider also Alyson Hannigan's spot-on return to the Willow of season one at the end of Willow's dream, or the thrill of seeing Anthony Stewart Head sing in Giles' dream. We're also aware that it's Giles singing, bringing to mind the duality of character/actor. In an episode that rewards fan investment in the series both before it aired (due to its numerous references to past events) and after (in that fans could then return to it and be able to spot foreshadowing), performance is clearly as integral to the feedback loop as plot.

[3] Her "homework," e.g., the poem she is painting on Tara's back, is by Sappho, and is an ode to Aphrodite. Saphho, of course, is well known as a poet who sang about love between women. One translation of this poem is as follows:

On the throne of many hues, Immortal Aphrodite,
child of Zeus, weaving wiles--I beg you
not to subdue my spirit, Queen,
with pain or sorrow

but come--if ever before
having heard my voice from far away
you listened, and leaving your father's
golden home you came

in your chariot yoked with swift, lovely
sparrows bringing you over the dark earth
thick-feathered wings swirling down
from the sky through mid-air

arriving quickly--you, Blessed One,
with a smile on your unaging face
asking again what have I suffered
and why am I calling again

and in my wild heart what did I most wish
to happen to me: "Again whom must I persuade
back into the harness of your love?
Sappho, who wrongs you?

For if she flees, soon she'll pursue,
she doesn't accept gifts, but she'll give,
if not now loving, soon she'll love
even against her will."

Come to me now again, release me from
this pain, everything my spirit longs
to have fulfilled, fulfill, and you
be my ally (Rayor)

[4] It's also interesting given that later, Willow will use magic to turn all potential Slayers into Slayers with fully actualized powers, usurping the original Slayer magic. This connection between Willow and the first Slayer could be read as subtle foreshadowing of this event.

[5]The line could also be argued to indicate class anxiety. This is tied in with Xander's feelings about his parents, which come up repeatedly throughout the course of his dream. His deepest fear is that he will become like them, that he is destined to lead a lower-class life, which he perceives as inevitably miserable.

[6] Xander's father in Restless is extremely different than his father in Hell's Bells, down to being played by a different actor. His mother seems different than described as well; it's hard to imagine her "crying her guts out," or his father caring if she did. One possible reason for this disconnect is that Xander's fears go deeper than a literal fear of becoming his parents as he sees them. It could also have to do with class fears and Xander's desire to move up and not become stuck in a working-class life. Or his fears could be seen as more general. Xander fears a failed life, one with a bad marriage, alcohol dependency, and a lack of success. These fears are embodied by his parents but are not restricted to them.

[7] "I'm not dead or unconscious, so I say bravo for me," Giles states after his encounter with the demon Toth in The Replacement (5003). (Espenson)

[8] It's worth mentioning also that the watch's face is turned away from Buffy--the Watcher controls all knowledge, even that of time. This is why Giles doesn't ask Buffy how she would feel about him leaving.: on some level, he doesn't believe that she could understand his concern about time. Considering the difference in their ages, this may be true.

[9] It's also important to remember that Whedon has said that the Cheese Man is meaningless; and while meaning can still occur without the intention of the author (especially in so collaborative a medium as television), the interpretations I offer should be taken with quite a few grains of salt. The Cheese Man could also be taken as an embodiment of the tone of the episode—either rife with meaning or utterly lacking it; one big non sequitur or worth, say, writing about in a thesis paper that explicates its meaning as fully as possible.

[10] This moment is also important for its shock value, when first viewed. It's the biggest clue to the identity of the creature we've had thus far. The audience has a chance to figure it out nearly at the same time as Giles.

[11] One possible reason for Buffy's quick recognition of both the problem and the solution is the fact that Willow, Xander, and Giles have all gone before her, each one coming closer to figuring everything out. It's obvious that their connection from Primeval has left its traces, and perhaps Buffy is unknowingly benefiting from their information.

[12] Faith and Buffy have experienced shared dreamspace before (or at least, the possibility existed--"Is this your head or mine?" Buffy asks her in Graduation Day Part 2). Referencing the dream from This Year's Girl reinforces that possibility, setting a precedent for the shared dreamspace of Buffy, Willow, Giles, and Xander in Restless.

[13] Why was it Tara who was "borrowed" to be the mouthpiece for the first Slayer? I have several ideas on this point. For one, she exists in Buffy's mind as a fairly neutral figure. One of her closest friends trusts her, so Buffy has some trust for her. But, not having spent much time with her personally, she doesn't have complete confidence in her yet. (She will also later confide in her in real life: Tara is the first she tells about her destructive relationship with Spike. Tara is an outsider, making it easier for Buffy to confess to her.) The fact that she's a woman, and the Slayer power is strictly a feminine one, should be noted as well. Tara is also described by Peg Aloi (in the essay I quoted during my discussion of Willow's dream) as "a natural witch... In 'Tabula Rasa"... Tara's face is knowing when she proclaims 'This is a magic shop,' as if even total amnesia could not erase her intuitive grasp of her own talents, nature, and karmic destiny" (45). It was Tara who intuitively went to Willow for help during Hush (4010), and she who recognized Faith and Buffy's switch in Who Are You, a feat that Buffy was aware of: "She knew right away you weren't you," Willow tells her. I believe that Tara is in tune with magical forces in a way none of the other characters are, and because of this she was both available for and capable of service to the first Slayer.

[14]Kendra and Faith only have first names, despite the latter being on the show for a whole season. In What's My Line? Part Two Buffy mocks Kendra for being "stuck in the 80s" (Noxen).

© Laura Kessenich 2010

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