The commentary is by David Fury, writer of the episode.
Buffy and Angel are dealing with the fact that they really can't ever consummate their relationship, and then he disappears for the rest of the episode inexplicably.
This episode deals a lot with father figures betraying you. The patriarchy oppressing you, and in this case Buffy's father really never talks to her again and Giles ends up betraying "The Man" instead and choosing Buffy. He subverts the system, derails a tradition that's really just cruel and shitty (rendering the Slayer helpless with drugs in order to "test" her mental abilities? The premise doesn't even make sense. The fact that they're doing this to all Slayers on their 18th birthday is just a reassertion of their power over the Slayer. It's sick and gross and not cool at all. It's intensely dangerous to make a Slayer, someone who is used to having superpowers, suddenly helpless. But again, patriarchy of the Council...bullshit bullshit. They probably genuinely don't care if Buffy dies on her 18th birthday because if she does, a new Slayer will be called and everything will remain the same for them...wilted little boys not in danger ever. They're evil.
Urgh. There's a severe thunderstorm happening right now and a tornado watch and Michael just packed an Apocalypse bag and the puppies are a little worried and there are the words "storm cell" and "squall line" in my vocabulary and I hate it. It's also kind of the tornado anniversary in that it's a Sunday, like 5.22.11 and today was the high school graduation like 5.22.11 and I'm on my period like 5.22.11. It's all very scary and I'm trying to watch Buffy instead of think about it but when I saw Michael packing the Apocalypse bag I started to freak out. *deep breath* Buffy is strong, even in her helplessness. She can save me. Only an hour until the watch has passed and then I'll really relax.
I don't like that Buffy acts as helpless as she is. I realize she's really freaked out, but I think she would have acted a bit more fearless because even though the Slayer-strength is no longer there, she still has learned fighting techniques and has the memories of kicking ass for the last 3+ years. I just think the total helplessness is a bit exaggerated here.
Apparently, the fact that the vampire took Buffy's red-hooded jacket is a Red Riding Hood thing. Not sure if I'd noticed that before or not. Maybe the image, but not necessarily thinking so far as to call the vampire the wolf in the scenario.
I wonder if the reason B is more empowered at the end when she defeats the vamp is because she knows what's going on now or because she has just gotten used to the feeling of helplessness...or is she beginning to regain her prowess since she hasn't been dosed in awhile. This episode would have been way better if Joss had written it. The fact that Buffy is in overalls is pretty degrading too. It really denotes MORE of her lack of power.