Fabulous episode, guys: possibly your best yet. I loved, loved the connections, to Aquinas and Jung and the Book of the New Sun, and so much else. I loved how much you brought out of the story.
My comments, next to your discussion, are trivial, but FWIW here are a few minor thoughts:
1. You both (and Marc Aramini, too, in his write-up) seemed to take it for granted that the social worker fell in love with Frank in the story we read — that this is an example, like (perhaps) Packerhaus's growing consciousness, of change and growth. I must admit I read it differently: I read it that the (old) Social Worker, in life, fell in love with Frank, in life; that they were going to leave to get married; that to keep them around, the Old Woman poisoned them: that their realization that they were in love and going to be married was part of their limited recapitulation of their former life, not something new. (To back it up, I'd point out that they don't really interact much: nothing to form the basis of love. They do interact enough to jog mostly-dead memories and patterns, though.) But with all three of you on the other side, I feel like I might just be missing something.
2. One of you (sorry, I forget who) said that there was only one living person in the story, the Old Woman. Surely there are two — that the new social worker is, in this story, alive; and we are seeing her killed? Or is that supposed to be recapitulation too? I read it as the actual murder.
3. I definitely think the Old Woman is alive; the story doesn't work well the other way. The main counter evidence that I see is that she looked her part "perhaps almost too much"; but one can read that as her playing the part, getting ready to die. So yeah, I think she's alive.
4. One connection you didn't make is what happens to elderly people sometimes, that they loose their memories enough to live in the continual present (with memories of the distant, but not recent, past). One way to read this story is as a horrific embodiment of that situation. But I'm not sure that's in the story; it's just something I thought of.
5. One Book of the New Sun connection you didn't mention explicitly: the idea of people being alive after their death is important in that story. One thing to note: Thecla is said to have been brought back to life by the process of her memories being put in Severian: her memories, almost, are her self. (A view of the self like that in the story, which Brandon dismisses.) Now, that's not quite true — it seems that the Claw (or Severian's power as the once and future Conciliator) plays a key role; Thecla isn't alive in the other minds. (Although on the other other hand, it seems that the Autarchs live in their successors minds, without that magical/spiritual intervention.) Anyway, the connection between memory, personhood, consciousness & soul will be brought up again. (I can't wait! (Although I will, of course.)
6. I loved the idea of a story about someone committing suicide, inspired by this method, to preserve their younger self. You should write it! (I can imagine it in a future festschrift like the SHADOWS OF THE NEW SUN volume from a few years back; but could also just be a great story.)
Again: fabulous episode. Maybe my favorite yet.
Looking forward to Operation ARES!