It does not surprise me that it gets even more complicated Of course if makes far more sense that Joyce is a dream. I assumed she was The First becasue she was so negative, but it certainly fits that she's speaking Buffy's own beliefs. The Andrew scene was over my head and I didn't understand it at all and I'm not sure I do even now. I think I have to watch this episode again and again, and I'll still not pick up on everything that's going onLOL! I know what you mean. I've identified what I think are two references to Shakespeare and (possibly one to Sylvia Plath - all I know about Plath is Daddy!). I can't put my money where my mouth is because it involves pretending I've read Othello when I haven't and Hamlet which I have (but to be honest I was that long ago it could have been a proof given to me by the bard himself). The underground scene is possibly a reference to the myth Orpheus and Eurydice - I know it occurs elsewhere in the series. TBH - I think the writers are showing off. If the wheel is a reference to Leonardo's Vetruvian man it's quite interesting (Oh cr*p - it's not - I'm boring). It's usually used to illustrate the idea that man is the measure of all things - which I could have fun with (I've just said that? Kill me now!!)
I wondered about the reference you made to the First appearing as Joyce and I thought perhaps it was more complicated than that. Prefix everything that follows with IMO. On both occasions Buffy's asleep (isn't she?) - so aren't both these occasions dreams? If so, it could be a) a manifestation of The First in her dreams; b) Buffy unconsciously manifesting her Mother as the First or c) it could be Buffy unconsciously manifesting Joyce - no First involved. I'm not sure.
In the prologue, Xander wakes Buffy. She's been doing a “little dream talking” – dreams are the royal road to the unconscious. The talking cure is therapy (a feature of the series). It's possible that all the characters are simultaneously aspects of her and themselves (Andrew’s "fugue state") AND representing concepts. It’s displacement and condensation – it’s how the manifest content of a dream emerges from the latent wishes/fears she's repressed. I presume she’s turning her own unconscious wishes and fears into a narrative she (and we) can understand (LOL!) in order to make sense of them. In which case, everything in the scene is probably a metaphor. It could be read simply as realism but that doesn't really explain why she was shown waking up. I'm mentioning the following because they're Spike-centric - I'm ignoring any references to her wanting World Peace and Saving Orphans on the grounds I don't think you'd be interested.
I'll get my coat...On the subject of which...does she wear a black leather coat in OMWF?