(He was also looking at the DVD cover and is excited Saffron's coming back. I honestly think "Trash" is the weakest of the episodes. Has no pull for me except a couple of the gags at the end.)
When Simon said they cut into her skull, I said "Before now, he didn't know what they had done to his sister" (by way of explanation, primarily for Alyssa, who hasn't been around for much of this) and I realized after I said it how true this was. Throughout this viewing of the series, I kept telling people the government had cut up her brain at the Academy -- shorthand to help them understand what the deal with that situation was -- and Eric keeps saying how River's kinda psychic -- but up until this scene ("They opened up her skull... and then they cut into her brain. [...] They stripped her amygdala. [...] She feels everything. She can't not.") he really doesn't know.
He knows "They're hurting us. Get me out." ("Serenity" pilot) and in an early scene in "Safe" (not in the shooting script so I can't look it up exactly) he says something about paranoid schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress, but he really doesn't know the extent of it.
Eric said Mal was a softie (he was really hopeful when Mal headed for the stairs that he really was gonna kill Jayne) and I agreed, but I see that as a good thing. Plus, when Jayne says, "Make somethin' up. Don't tell 'em what I did," we see that he does Jayne does feel ashamed (and we know he'd been feelin' guilty with all Simon's hero talk).
Later, I was thinking about the episode title. "Ariel" conjures up Disney's The Little Mermaid for just about everybody. I'd already been thinking about the issue of Jayne's shame, and this got me thinking as well about the idea of things lost and things gained (since the costs and benefits of this job and of calling the feds is a major theme in the episode -- I'll spare you all the quoting). The mermaid gives up something precious (her voice) and then she feels like she's walking on swords (cf. Jayne's guilt) and in the original, she doesn't even get what she had sought, and there's also the idea of mercy (she uses the sword for self-sacrifice rather than personal [re]gain at the expense of another's life). And I don't quit have this hashed out, and obviously it doesn't work as a fully extended metaphor -- and wasn't intended to -- but I'm interested to revisit this at some point. (Yeah, making connections between things is one of my huge Things.)
P.S. Gina Torres in that medic outfit is so hot. Though really, when isn't she? /rhetorical
When I came back to my desk after lunch, Rich walked by and said, "You still watching that DVD series?" [He was with us for like part of one episode] I said yes, and he said it looked interesting. So I said I'd lend it to him after we were done.