Grass field on the Ohtori Academy grounds. Utena is laying on her back, looking up at the clouds, obviously deep in thought. After a few moments, she pulls out the NERV ID card and holds it up, looking it uncertainly. Focus on the card briefly, which has Utena's name and picture on it. Zoom in close on a field that reads Fourth Children.
Utena (whispered): Fourth Children...I wonder who the first three are...
Wakaba comes over the hill, and plops herself down next to Utena.
Wakaba to Utena: Good morning, Utena-sama!
Utena looks over at Wakaba and smiles.
Utena to Wakaba: Oh, good morning Wakaba.
Wakaba peers over at the NERV card curiously before Utena thinks to put it away.
Utena now thinks to put it away, and does so, but she doesn't make a scene of it.
Wakaba to Utena: What's NERV?
Utena to Wakaba: I guess they're the people that fought the creature that attacked the city. Dr. Akagi called it an Angel.
Wakaba looks at Utena in admiration.
Wakaba to Utena: Really? Wow! Are you joining up with them, Utena-sama?
The second use of "sama" brings a polite chuckle from Utena.
Utena to Wakaba: I don't know. They apparently think I should be. Dr. Akagi wants me to pilot one of their big machines.
Wakaba gets a little dreamy-eyed.
Wakaba: Oh, it's just like if you were really a Prince, and you were riding a noble steed into battle!
Utena seems to consider this.
Utena to Wakaba: You think so?
Wakaba to Utena: Mmm-hmm. Definitely. It's very Prince-like, anyway. Being the protector of Tokyo-3.
Utena considers that momentarily, then sits up. In the distance, she sees Rei. Rei is sitting alone, reading a book.
Utena to Wakaba: Wakaba, who is that girl over there?
Wakaba looks in Rei's direction.
Wakaba to Utena: Hmm? Oh, that's Ayanami Rei.
Utena to Wakaba: Is she always alone like that?
Wakaba to Utena: I think so. I don't think she's made any friends in the time she's been at Ohtori. I don't remember seeing her with anyone before.
Wakaba looks down and sees Utena's Rose Signet.
Wakaba to Utena: Wow, that's beautiful. Where did you get that?
Utena looks down at the ring, then back to Wakaba. She shifts a little nervously while she speaks, one hand behind her head.
Utena to Wakaba: Oh, well, this is a rather odd story. A Prince gave it to me when I was very young. I don't remember much about it, but he told me that one day this ring would lead me to him.
Wakaba to Utena: A Prince?
Utena to Wakaba: Yes. I know it sounds strange.
Wakaba to Utena: Is that why you want to be a Prince?
Utena to Wakaba: Partly, I guess.
Kensuke (off): Shinohara-san! Tenjou-san!
Wakaba to Utena: Oh! I forgot. Aida-kun made us lunch today.
Utena to Wakaba: Aida...cooks?
Wakaba to Utena: No, but he did for you, so let's not pass up a free meal!
The prospect of a meal from someone who doesn't cook makes Utena visibly uneasy, but Wakaba pulls Utena to her feet and begins leading her back over the hill. Utena turns her head once, for a last glance at Rei, and then the two of them vanish.
Switch to Gendo's Conference Room. Misato, Gendo, Mikage, and Ritsuko are there. They are watching footage of the first Eva fight. We see Unit 00, with Miki in the pilot's chair, stepping out of the lift and engaging the Third Angel. Almost immediately, the fight goes bad for Miki, with the Third Angel rapidly attacking. Soon, we end up where the fight began in Episode I. Footage pauses.
Mikage: The Angel displayed obvious problem solving intelligence, picking a single, fairly vulnerable point and wearing down the AT-Field until it penetrated.
Misato: Look at Miki's synch-rate. The AT-Field hasn't even been breached yet and it's already well below his tested levels.
Mikage to Misato: Why did Miki suddenly lose synchronization with the Eva? His test levels were even higher than Shinji's.
Ritsuko: We won't be able to answer that until Miki awakens. We have to know what he was thinking then.
Misato: If he wakes up.
Brief moment of silence, which Gendo breaks without caring.
Gendo: Has training on the Fourth pilot commenced yet?
Ritsuko shifts nervously.
Ritsuko to Gendo: She hasn't agreed to pilot it yet.
Mikage: What's holding her back?
Ritsuko: She didn't even want to get in the Entry Plug after seeing Unit 01. Said she needed some time to think about it. But I think even if she says yes, she's going to be hard to work with.
Gendo: What do you mean?
Ritsuko: I got the impression she has a highly developed code of honor she adheres to. I don't think she'll be very flexible. Not the type that takes orders well.
Misato: Hmm, reminds me of Asuka.
Everyone, except for Gendo, looks at her. Misato waves them off non-chalantly.
Misato: I meant the not-following-orders-well part.
Gendo: There's nothing we can do until she decides. If necessary, we will simply utilize Unit 01 until Kaoru recovers.
Misato frowns at this remark, but nothing more is said.
Switch to Misato and Ritsuko having drinks. Neither woman is intoxicated yet and they are both still in their work clothes.
Ritsuko to Misato: You seem really distant lately, Mi-chan.
Misato idly clinks the ice in her half-empty glass.
Misato to Ritsuko: Maybe you're right.
Ritsuko to Misato: Is it Miki?
Misato shakes her head.
Ritsuko to Misato: Shinji?
Misato shrugs again. Ritsuko smiles.
Ritsuko: You don't hide your true feelings very well.
Misato lays her head on the table. We hear her muffled through her arms, but we can still make it out.
Misato: Our first sortie against an Angel and we lose one pilot, and the morale of the other is shattered. Our replacement isn't certain if she even wants to do it, Arisugawa is even more withdrawn than ever, and Commander Ikari doesn't seem to care about any of it. I just feel overwhelmed by it all.
Ritsuko: (with minor surprise) Juri-san?
Misato nods as she sits up straight again.
Misato to Ritsuko: Hmm, yes. Despite all my efforts, I can't get her to open herself back up. I often wonder why she stays with us. And now, this with Shinji...
Misato shakes her head, then lays it back on the table.
Misato: I'm just failing at everything lately.
Ritsuko: You stopped the Angel.
Misato: Shinji stopped the Angel. We had nothing to do with it.
Ritsuko: You should see his synch-rate during the sortie, Mi-chan. As Miki's was falling, Shinji's reached a record point.
Misato sits up again, looking lazily at Ritsuko. Ritsuko glances softly at Misato.
Ritsuko to Misato: Don't be so hard on yourself. You couldn't have anticipated this.
Misato smirks, finishing off her drink. She then stands, and turns to leave. Before she goes, she jokingly looks back at Ritsuko.
Misato to Ritsuko: That's easy for you to say. You don't have to go speak with Arisugawa.
Ritsuko to Misato (jokingly): Be brave, my friend.
Switch to the Ohtori fencing gym. Two figures are facing off against each other, one is noticeably taller and feminine compared to the other, both are wearing masks. They are unmoving. The smaller one lunges at the larger one, who expertly parries it and lets the smaller figure go by. Stances resumes. Again the second figure lunges, and again, the taller figure parries and lets the second pass. Then the first figure presses an attack, quickly scoring the touché. The female removes the mask, revealing it to be Juri. The second removes his, and it is Shinji.
Juri (stern) to Shinji: Your heart isn't in it.
Shinji looks down.
Shinji to Juri: I suppose not.
Juri (stern) to Shinji: You left yourself open to every possible strike when you lunged that way, Shinji-kun.
Shinji (still looking down) to Juri: I know.
Juri (not as stern, but still stern) to Shinji: That lapse in concentration could mean the difference between life and death when you pilot Eva.
Shinji looks back up, but still doesn't look directly at Juri.
Shinji to Juri: I'm sorry, Arisugawa-sempai.
Shinji has a sudden burst of defiance.
Shinji to Juri: But I don't see why I have to do this. I'm never going to fence against an Angel.
Juri (indignant) to Shinji: That's not the point. You're learning this to-
Misato (off): Arisugawa-san? Do you have a moment, please?
Juri slowly turns her head, looking at the doorway where Misato stands. She then turns back to Shinji.
Juri to Shinji: We're done for the day, Shinji-kun.
Shinji walks off as Misato slowly approaches Juri.
Switch to Utena, Wakaba and Kensuke all eating a homemade lunch. They are still on the Ohtori Academy grounds. Utena and Wakaba are looking at the food suspiciously. It doesn't look quite right.
Kensuke: Go on! Have some! It's good!
Wakaba looks at Utena, and vice versa.
Wakaba to Utena: (whispered) You first.
Utena to Wakaba: (whispered) Why me?
Wakaba to Utena: (whispered) Because he made it for you. And as your innocent maiden, my Prince is supposed to protect me.
Kensuke is happily eating and doesn't notice their whispering. Utena fumes at Wakaba momentarily, then sees Kensuke eating without any problems, and starts eating. Utena takes one bite, then another. It's apparently not bad, and she continues eating.
Utena: (surprised) I'm impressed, Aida-kun. This is really good.
Wakaba sees this, eats some, and nods in agreement.
Kensuke to Utena: I'm so happy you like it, Tenjou-sama!
The third use of "sama" gives Utena another pause, but the earnest look on Kensuke's face prevents her from saying anything. She smiles back at him.
They eat for a little bit.
Wakaba to Kenuske: Why didn't you tell me you could cook? You've been holding out on me, Aida-kun!
Kensuke to Wakaba: Actually, I can't. This is my first time.
Utena and Wakaba share a moment of shock. They both look down at Kensuke's lunch, and again, it looks a bit wrong.
Wakaba (mumbled) to Utena: Thank you for being brave...
Utena (mumbled) to Wakaba: You're welcome...
SEELE conference, with Gendo, Chairman Keel Lorentz, three unnamed others, and Ohtori Akio.
Keel: We've been waiting for your report, Ikari-kun.
Gendo: The Third Angel made its appearance. As expected, it was protected by an AT-Field, and the JSSDF were unable to stop it. NERV defeated it with Evangelion Unit 01.
Unnamed 1: What about the failure of Unit 00?
Gendo: Simple pilot error.
Unnamed 2: Pilot error?
Keel: That's a very expensive error, Ikari-kun. The repairs to Unit 00 are exceeding the planned scenario.
Gendo: It will not happen again. A new pilot has arrived for Unit 00.
Unnamed 3: The Fourth Children?
Akio: Has training commenced for the Fourth Children?
Gendo: Repairs on Unit 00 are still not complete. We expect the first synchronization tests to take place within the week.
Akio: And she wishes to be a pilot?
Keel: And the progress on the Human Revolutionary Project?
Gendo: On schedule.
Keel: Good. Be careful in the future, Ikari-kun.
The SEELE chairs go dim, and Mikage steps out of the shadows and up to Gendo.
Mikage to Gendo: What if the Fourth Children refuses?
Gendo to Mikage: There's no need for them to know that now. We'll proceed as planned if she doesn't agree.
Mikage to Gendo: Dangerous, both to gamble on her like that and to depend on the other.
Focus on Gendo's face. It's unreadable, as always.
Switch to Ohtori fencing gym. Juri is leaning up against a wall, Misato is a few feet from her, arms crossed, also leaning against the wall. Juri is still holding her epee in one hand, and is still wearing her fencing gear.
Misato to Juri: Don't you think you were a little hard on him, considering?
Juri to Misato: With Miki unable to pilot Unit 00, the fate of humanity is resting on Shinji. Should I be coddling him?
Misato to Juri: Juri-san...
Juri to Misato: Is this where you remind me that Shinji is a special case?
Misato to Juri: No. But a little compassion might be appropriate. Shinji was close to Miki, too. What happened to him is not Shinji's fault.
Juri to Misato: I never said it was. But in light of what happened, Shinji needs to stay focused. What if an Angel attacked us today? What will we do if he doesn't want to get into Unit 01? Or worse, what if he gets in Unit 01 and performs as you just witnessed?
Misato falls quiet, looking down.
Misato to Juri: It's not your fault either.
Misato looks over at Juri. Juri doesn't look at her. Juri's expression darkens, and then becomes hard again.
Juri to Misato: How could it be? All I am is a trainer. You're the Director of Operations.
Misato to Juri: That's not fair. All of that was beyond my control. You should not be so selfish.
Juri snaps her head at Misato, glaring at her. Misato stares back. Rebuked, Juri backs down.
Juri to Misato: Did you come here to speak about Ikari or me?
Misato to Juri: The Fourth Children is here. She just transferred to Ohtori. I want you to talk to her, and look after her.
Juri (quietly) to Misato: How can you ask me to do that?
Misato to Juri: Because it's your job, Juri-san. And I need you to put this anger behind you and move on.
Juri looks down.
Juri to Misato: Are you ordering me to do this?
Misato looks stern.
Misato to Juri: If I have to order you, you have even less a place at NERV than you believe.
Juri is still for a while, then nods and begins walking off.
Juri (softly) to Misato: Of course, Misato-sempai.
Juri almost out the door. Misato looks like she wants to say something else, and just as Juri is at the door, she does.
Misato to Juri: Juri-san?
Juri stops and turns to Misato.
Misato to Juri: You haven't lost hope, have you?
Juri says nothing, and turns away, walking off. As soon as Juri is gone and out the door, Misato's stern posture fades and she looks very relieved to have that over with.
Misato: Oh man, can this day get any harder?
Switch to repairs in progress on Unit 00. It almost looks finished, the head unit is repaired. The body still has damage. Ritsuko is looking over some documents on her clipboard as Shinji approaches.
Ritsuko to Shinji: Oh. Hello, Shinji-kun.
Shinji to Ristuko: Ritsuko-san. Hi.
Shinji looks over Unit 00. Ritsuko watches him.
Shinji to Ritsuko: It's almost finished, isn't it?
Ritsuko to Shinji: Yes.
Shinji looks down, then after a while, back up to Ritsuko.
Shinji to Ritsuko: Will Miki be piloting Unit 00 again?
Ritsuko pauses, looking concerned for a moment.
Ritsuko to Shinji: When he wakes up, if he wants to.
Shinji to Ritsuko: What if he doesn't wake up? What if he doesn't want to?
Another pause as Ritsuko considers saying something elusive, but she takes off her glasses and tells him the truth.
Ritsuko to Shinji: We already have another pilot in mind if Miki can't pilot Eva.
Shinji looks taken aback.
Shinji: Another pilot?
Shinji to Ritsuko: Is the pilot here already?
Ritsuko shakes her head.
Ritsuko to Shinji: She doesn't know if she wants to pilot Eva yet. It might help her make up her mind if you talk to her.
Shinji to Ritsuko: The Fourth Children?
Ritsuko nods. Shinji looks thoughtfully at Unit 00, and then turns and leaves. Ritsuko watches him go then puts her glasses back on and looks back over her data.
Switch to Gate outside NERV HQ. Utena is alone, looking at the card-key access box. In her right hand, she holds her NERV card before the card slider. She moves it up once, then pulls it back without sliding it. Close up on her face.
Flashback: back in the cooling chamber with Unit 01, we see Ritsuko and Utena. This is a continuation from the previous scene in Episode I.
Ritsuko to Utena: We'd like you to pilot Unit 00.
Utena to Ritsuko: Me?
Ritsuko to Utena: We didn't choose you at random. Those with the potential to pilot Eva are rare. You are only the fourth we have located.
Utena looks pensively at Unit 01.
Panning shot of Unit 01, including that submerged in the cooling fluid.
Ritsuko (off): Evangelion was built by NERV to protect humanity from beings like the one that attacked Tokyo-3. We call them Angels. That is not the only one. More will follow it, and Eva is the only defense humanity has.
Utena (off): Why are they attacking?
Ritsuko (off): We don't know why they are attacking. We do know they caused the Second Impact.
Utena (off): I thought that was a meteor.
Ritsuko (off): That's what people were told. The truth is, an Angel was responsible for the Second Impact in Antarctica. An Angel caused the explosion that flooded the world. NERV is trying to prevent a Third Impact. To do that, we built Evangelion.
As the panning shot reaches the top of Unit 01, the flashback ends.
Utena is still holding the NERV card over the slider.
Rei (off): Are you going to move?
Utena jumps and turns around, startled. She looks at Rei; Rei looks impassively back at her.
Utena to Rei: Oh, I'm sorry, you startled me. I didn't hear you walking up.
Rei looks at Utena impatiently. Utena gets the hint, and steps out of the way. Rei slides a NERV ID card through the slider walks past Utena. Utena turns and watches her enter NERV.
Utena to Rei: Hey, wait a second!
The doors to NERV close. Utena looks at them, then at her own NERV card, and walks away from the entrance.
Utena (quietly): This place is really strange...
Switch to Misato's home, shot of outside the building. Then the interior door opening. Scene of the kitchen, we see Misato's jacket drape over a chair.
Misato (off): I'm home.
Shinji (off): Hello, Misato-san.
The kitchen door opens, we see a shelf entirely filled with beer. We then see Misato sit down in a chair, drink an entire beer at once, and slam the can upon the table.
Misato: What a trying week.
Shinji now walks in. He eyes the empty beer can once, frowns slightly, then his expression returns to normal.
Shinji to Misato: Misato-san?
Misato looks up at him.
Misato to Shinji: Hmm?
Shinji to Misato: Ritsuko said another pilot has arrived.
Misato gets an "I really don't want to have this conversation right now, face." Then she nods.
Shinji to Misato: Is she here to replace Miki?
Misato pales, obviously not wanting to talk about this. Shinji continues, getting more insistent.
Shinji to Misato: If I get hurt, will you already have someone to replace me?
Misato to Shinji: Shinji-kun-
Shinji to Misato: I'm the only one who can pilot Unit 01. That's what father said. I'm the only one.
Misato is shocked to see Shinji this angry and this focused.
Shinji to Misato: HE SAID I HAD TO DO IT BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE COULD!
Misato loses her composure.
Misato to Shinji: SHINJI-KUN!
Shinji looks numbly at Misato. As soon as he stops speaking, Misato no longer appears as authoritative.
Misato to Shinji: Shinji, when you came to us last year, we hadn't been able to locate any other potential pilots. We've had a year to look for one.
Shinji just stands there then, clenches his eyes shut and his hands ball into fists. Then he sobs and walks out. When he is gone, Misato lays her head upon the table. One arm reaches out blindly, opens the refrigerator, pulls out another beer, and opens it. She sits up, drinking this one just as quickly as the first. Misato's face then becomes pensive. She gets up, walking through her home. She opens the door to Shinji's room. He is upon on the bed, listening to music on his headphones. The music, we can hear, is the song "The Sunlit Garden." (only two instruments, piano and cello) He doesn't notice the open door. She slides it shut slowly, then collapses down the wall next to it. She holds her forehead in one hand.
Misato: (thought) Stupid, stupid, stupid...
Switch to Utena's room. It is almost barren, still with boxes that haven't been unpacked. She is upon her bed, thinking. Fade to Image of Unit 01.
Utena (thought): Evangelion.
Back to Utena on the bed, then image of Rei entering NERV.
Utena (thought) Is that girl one of the pilots?
Back to Utena, we are getting closer on her with each change of image. Then we see Ritsuko speaking.
Ritsuko (flashback): Eva is the only defense humanity has.
Back to Utena, then back to Ritsuko.
Ritsuko (flashback): NERV is trying to prevent a-
Utena: Third Impact.
She holds the hand wearing her Rose Signet up, looking it curiously. The view slowly zooms in on it.
Utena (thought): Should this be such a hard decision?
After a minute, a phone rings.
Gendo (off): Ikari.
Ritsuko (off): It's me.
Gendo (off): Yes?
Ritsuko (off): The Fourth Children is wearing one of the rings.
Gendo (off): So?
Ritsuko (off): Only the pilots are given those. And she hasn't agreed yet. Who gave it to her?
Zoom ends showing only Utena's hand and the Rose Signet.