NERV Headquarters. Sirens are blaring. The base is on alert status. Misato bursts through the door to control, Juri right behind her.
Hyuga: Pattern blue! Confirmed Angel!
Switch to the Fourth Angel, swimming through the water around the flooded areas of Japan. We are given our first look at the flooding Ritsuko mentioned last episode, with many buildings and streets submerged under countless meters of water.
Switch back to NERV Control.
Shigeru: It will arrive in Tokyo-3 in one hour if it maintains its current speed.
Maya: The Magi unanimously recommend waiting until it reaches Toyko-3 before striking.
Hyuga: Current JSSDF effective defense rate is 2%.
Switch to Fourth Angel. We see depth charges exploding all around it, dropped from JSSDF planes above, but it doesn't appear hurt or slowing.
Switch to Gendo and Mikage's vantage point over control.
Gendo: Prepare to sortie Unit 01.
Back to Control Room.
Misato: Yes, sir.
Misato turns to Hyuga.
Misato to Hyuga: Where's Shinji?
Hyuga to Misato: The Magi are unable to locate him. He's not within NERV.
Misato: Find the Third Children and get him here now!
Juri has been silent the whole time, staring at some of the monitors near Maya. After giving the order to find Shinji, Misato turns to Juri and they look at each other silently. Juri nods to her and walks out, and Misato looks back to the monitors.
Switch to Ohtori Academy. We see Rei, Kensuke, Kozue, Wakaba, Utena, and the rest of their class perk their heads up at the sounds of sirens going off.
Emergency Broadcast: Attention! A State of Emergency has been declared. All citizens please report to their assigned shelters immediately.
Wakaba: It must be another attack on the city...
Teacher: Ok class, everyone start evacuating to the shelter (fade into the background as the other characters talk over him) in an orderly fashion. It's in the north building, down the stairs into the basement level.
Utena: One of those creatures must be on its way.
Emergency Broadcast repeats in the background.
Rei (quietly): Angel.
Utena, who has heard the term, and Wakaba, who heard it from Utena, both look curiously at Rei. Kozue and Kensuke also look to Rei.
Rei (quietly): The creature is an Angel.
Kensuke: They'll probably send that big robot to stop it again.
Kensuke and Kozue give Utena the same look just given Rei earlier.
Utena: The machine that stopped the last Angel is called Evangelion.
Rei and Utena lock eyes for a moment. Both of them look curious. Kensuke looks at both Utena and Rei suspiciously, but says nothing. Wakaba notices that the room is empty save for them. Even the teacher is gone.
Wakaba: We should probably get to the shelter.
Kensuke looks both thoughtful and excited.
Kensuke: I want to see it.
Wakaba and Kozue (shocked): WHAT?
Utena: The Angel or the Eva?
Kensuke (excited): The fight!
Wakaba and Kozue (shocked): EH?
Switch to Misato's apartment. The sirens and emergency broadcast are playing in the background. Inside, we see Shinji wearing earphones, listening to "The Sunlit Garden." He is sitting in a chair, cello between his legs and bow in one hand. He obviously doesn't hear the sirens. His eyes are closed, and he has a stopwatch on a string around his neck. With his free hand, he holds the stopwatch up and clicks it, activating its clock. He then joins in with "The Sunlit Garden" on his cello. A cellular phone is ringing across the room, and it goes unanswered.
Black Title Screen: 2014, One Year Ago.
Train station. We see Shinji stepping off of it, backpack on and earphones in. He looks around, and we see a panning view of the station and its occupants. Pass by Misato, dressed very nicely. Pan back to her. Shinji holds up (he is not wearing a Rose Signet) a photo of Misato, and we briefly see the photo and Misato side by side. Misato waves.
Shinji: That's her.
Misato walks up to Shinji.
Misato to Shinji: Ikari Shinji?
Misato to Shinji: I'm Katsuragi Misato. It's good to finally meet you.
She holds her hand out to Shinji, and he takes it.
Switch to Ohtori Fencing gym. Two figures fencing, the scene looks like remarkably similar to the one in Episode II, except the smaller, male figure is holding his own. They battle skillfully for sometime, until the female scores the win.
Misato and Shinji have been watching. Shinji looks in awe, and Misato begins clapping wildly. Shinji slowly begins to do the same.
Misato: Bravo! Bravo!
The female removes her mask; it is of course, Juri. The male removes his mask; it is Miki. Juri smiles at Misato.
Juri to Misato: Thank you.
Miki smiles at Misato too.
Misato: Miki-kun, Juri-san, I'd like you to meet Ikari Shinji, the Third Children.
Juri looks honestly happier than we've seen her, but her anger is smoldering under the surface.
Juri to Shinji: Pleased to meet you.
Shinji senses this dimly, and is cautious around Juri.
Shinji to Juri: Likewise.
Misato to Shinji: Shinji-kun, this is Kaoru Miki, the First Children.
Miki, conversely, looks very happy to see Shinji, and this takes Shinji by surprise. Focus on Shinji and Miki as they meet, both of them smiling at each other.
Inside NERV: Miki and Shinji are walking around the cooling chambers. We see Unit 00 in the liquid. Miki is wearing a Rose Signet but Shinji still is not. The two talk as we begin to zoom in on them.
Miki: So you are going to pilot Eva, too?
Shinji: That's what they tell me.
Miki: It will be nice to have someone to work with. Since Asuka went to Germany to train with Unit 02, I haven't had anyone my own age here. I mean, there are other kids at school, but I can't talk to them about any of this.
Miki: The Second Children.
We are now focused on the two of them as they stand before Unit 00.
Miki: Evangelion Unit 00!
Shinji looks at it in awe.
Shinji: You actually pilot that?
Miki: Yes. Well, only in tests so far. But I will pilot it. You do know about the Angels, don't you?
Shinji: Misato told me about it on the way here. I guess it's all true.
Miki nods back.
Miki: Yes. We're here to protect everyone from a Third Impact.
Shinji looks to Miki, then back to Unit 00. Miki looks somberly at Shinji.
Miki to Shinji: I'm glad you're here, Shinji.
Shinji looks to Miki, surprised.
Miki nods, looking back to Unit 00. Shinji does too.
Switch to Gendo's conference room. Shinji is standing awkwardly before Gendo.
Gendo: What do you want?
Shinji: Well...it's been two years...since...uh...we've seen each other...
Gendo: I don't have time for this. Is there something you need?
Shinji begins to get frustrated.
Shinji: Is the only reason you called me here to pilot Eva?
Gendo: I called you here because I have need of you.
Shinji: To pilot Eva?
Gendo: What other reason would there be?
Shinji: Why me?
Gendo: Because no one else can.
That's it for Shinji, he screams.
Shinji: I HATE YOU!
Shinji storms out.
Inside NERV, the cooling chambers of Unit 01. Shinji is crying, curled up and holding his knees, face buried against them. After a few moments, we see Miki walk in. He pulls out a stopwatch, and watches the numbers go by, then clicks it to stop it. He walks out into Shinji's view.
Shinji looks up, wiping off his face.
Miki: Commander Ikari?
Shinji nods, still sobbing a bit.
Shinji: I hate him. I'm nothing to him. He wouldn't want me here if someone else could pilot Eva.
Miki looks down for a moment, then he looks back up at Shinji.
Miki to Shinji: I like you, Shinji. I'm happy you're here...
Shinji stops crying as Miki says this. His expression slowly changes; he eventually looks like someone who's been reunited with his dearest friend after a decade apart.
Shinji to Miki: Th...thank you, Miki.
Misato's apartment building, the hallway before Misato's home. Shinji and Misato are walking towards it. Shinji is carrying his things, and Misato has a bag of food in one arm.
Misato: I'm glad you decided to remain with us, Shinji-kun. I wasn't certain you'd want to.
Shinji: I wasn't either, but I think I want to be here. Are you sure it's okay for me to stay with you, Misato-san?
Misato: Think nothing of it. I'd hate to think of you living on your own in one of the cheap places NERV might set you up with. Besides, as your guardian, I insist.
The door opens, and Shinji sees the mess that is Misato's home. He twitches nervously. Misato walks in, oblivious to Shinji's reaction. Switch to the kitchen, and they are having dinner. Misato reaches into her pocket and pulls something out. She hands a Rose Signet to Shinji. Shinji takes it, and looks at it curiously.
Shinji: What is this?
Misato: A Rose Signet. It's given to the pilots. You can't activate Eva without it, so I guess it's kind of a key.
Shinji looks at it awhile, and then puts it on.
Switch to Ohtori Academy classroom: We see Wakaba, Rei, Miki, Kozue, Kensuke, and their class as their teacher (a different one than the previous scenes) walks in with Shinji behind her. The whole scene is reminiscent of Utena's introduction. Rei is looking out the window.
Teacher: Class, I'd like you to meet Ikari Shinji, a new student who will be joining us today.
Shinji is very nervous to be in front of the class.
Shinji (nervous): Good morning...
Miki smiles at him, and Shinji calms down. Rei looks at Miki suspiciously, then returns to looking out the window. She sees Shinji's Rose Signet, but it doesn't cause the same reaction Utena's did. Kensuke leans forward to speak with Wakaba. Kozue is next to Wakaba, and listens in.
Kensuke (whispered) to Wakaba: What do you think?
Wakaba (whispered) to Kensuke: I dunno, he's kind of cute.
Kozue grins at Wakaba.
Kensuke (mischievous whisper) to Wakaba: Oh? Is that love in the air?
Wakaba blushes and then brings her fist up and thwaps Kensuke in the nose. As he slumps back into his desk, she looks down.
Wakaba (whispered): Idiot...
Switch to Ohtori Music Hall: Miki pulls out his stopwatch, after a few seconds, stops it. He begins playing the piano alone. He is playing "The Sunlit Garden." Shinji walks by, hears the music, and stops to listen. When Miki is done, Shinji applauds. Miki blushes.
Shinji: That was really good, Miki-kun.
Miki: Thank you. I don't really play that much any more, in fact that's really the only song I care to play.
Miki: Yes. My sister and I used to play together when we were young.
Begin Sunlight Garden Flashback.
We see young Miki and Kozue sitting at the piano, playing.
Miki (off): She and I loved to play, and her music was some of the most beautiful I'd ever heard. One day though, we were to play a recital together.
Image of young Miki and Kozue.
Young Kozue: I don't think I can play in front of all those people.
Young Miki: Don't worry. It will be just like all the times we play together, and I'll be there right next to you like always.
Image of young Miki sick in bed with doctor over him.
Miki (off) But on the day of the recital, I fell ill and was unable to play. Without me with her, my sister refused to go on.
Image of young Kozue curled in a corner, hiding.
Miki (off) She never played piano again after the day, and without her next to me, music just isn't the same.
End Sunlit Garden Flashback.
Switch to NERV: We see Shinji and Miki on the monitor in their plug suits, with eyes closed, in the Entry Plugs of their respective Eva units. Ritsuko, Juri, and Misato are watching the monitors. We see a few different shots of both of them in their Entry Plugs, and a few displays on the NERV monitors.
Ritsuko: Shinji's synch-rate is excellent for a new pilot.
Juri: Look at Miki's...it's higher than it's ever been.
Switch to Ohtori Music Hall. Miki is playing "The Sunlit Garden" alone again. We see the bottom half of someone come in quietly, set down an instrument case, and set up a cello. A few moments later, someone is playing cello along with Miki. Miki looks up, and slowly looks over to see Shinji accompanying him. Shinji smiles, and Miki looks at him like Shinji is the long lost part of his life he's been missing, his shining thing. The music of the cello continues into-
Present Day: We're back in Misato's apartment, Shinji is still playing "The Sunlit Garden" on his cello amidst the sirens and the emergency broadcast. After a moment or two, Juri bursts through the doorway, out of breath. This actually gets Shinji's attention; his earphones pop out and he stops Miki's stopwatch.
Juri (furious): What the hell are you doing?
Shinji hears the alarms, realizes that Juri isn't in the mood to be trifled with and freezes. She storms over to him, grabs him by the arm, and yanks him out of the chair.
Juri (Angry, but not as menacing): The Fourth Angel's almost here, and you're playing some silly song. We'll be lucky to get back to NERV before it reaches the city.
Switch to Tokyo-3: Utena, Rei, Wakaba, Kozue, and Kensuke are all on a high hillside overlooking the city.
Kozue: This is a very bad idea.
Wakaba: Going to the shelter is a very good idea, though, Utena-sama. We shouldn't be out here.
Utena to Wakaba and Kozue: You didn't have to come along. Aida-kun and I were the only ones who wanted to see this.
The Fourth Angel comes into view. The JSSDF and UN aircraft are trying to stop it, but their weapons have no affect on it. It destroys most of them without any effort.
Kensuke (in awe): My god...
Wakaba (scared): We should not be out here.
Kozue (scared): I agree.
Rei to Wakaba and Kozue: Then go to the shelter.
Wakaba (shocked): What?
Rei to Wakaba: No one is keeping you here.
Wakaba looks at Rei like she is certifiably insane, but Utena will speak before Wakaba can retort. Utena is looking out at the scene unfolding. The Angel is ripping apart Tokyo-3 as it proceeds towards NERV.
Utena to everyone: Better not, I don't think it would be safe to try going back into the city right now.
Kensuke: Where is the Evangelion?
Utena: Good question...
The Angel continues to destroy the defense aircraft and portions of Tokyo-3.
Switch to NERV control: things are getting frantic.
Shigeru: It's almost on top of us!
Switch to Mikage and Gendo's vantage point.
Mikage to Gendo: What will you do if the Third Children doesn't show up?
Gendo picks up a phone.
Gendo: Have you located Rei?
Ritsuko (off): She is not currently in NERV.
Mikage watches with interest, but doesn't press the matter.
Back to the Control Room. Ritsuko is standing well away from Misato and the others; she closes her phone quietly and pockets it.
Misato's phone now rings. She answers it hastily.
Juri (off): Arisugawa. Is Unit 01 ready to sortie?
Misato gets animatedly frustrated when she hears Juri's voice.
Misato: Tell me you have Shinji with you, Juri-san!
Juri (off): We're at the gates now. Be ready for us when we get there.
Misato closes her phone.
Misato to control room: The pilot is here! Make certain Unit 01 is ready to sortie as soon as Shinji is in the Entry Plug!
Switch to Mikage and Gendo. Mikage looks at Gendo, who is still unreadable and inhumanly calm.
Back to Tokyo-3 hillside. The Ohtori students watch the Angel finish off the last of the UN and JSSDF planes.
Kensuke: Maybe they don't have a pilot right now.
This catches Utena's attention, and she looks pensive as the battle continues. It also catches Kozue's attention, and while she doesn't say anything, looks like she's about to cry. Rei watches Kozue clinically, then watches Utena.
Back to NERV: Shinji is in Unit 01's Entry Plug.
Shinji: I'm ready, Misato.
Back to NERV control: The panel comes alive as all the links and connections between Shinji and Unit 01 come online.
Maya: Unit 01 ready to sortie.
Juri enters the command center, again, out of breath. She stumbles into a chair, and collapses. Misato walks over to her, and puts a hand on Juri's shoulder. Juri does not refuse it.
Unit 01 launches; the lift on the surface opens up almost directly in front of the Angel. The Angel immediately attacks, and Unit 01 leaps out of the way, grabbing a rifle from the nearby lift. Unit 01 swings around and fires several volleys at the Angel, which is undamaged as the smoke clears.
Back to Tokyo-3 Hillside: the students all watch the battle intently, Utena more so than anyone else. Kensuke is happily cheering the Eva on. Wakaba looks in awe of it. Kozue still looks on the verge of tears, but she is watching. Rei watches Utena unnoticed.
Back to the battle: The Fourth Angel lashes out with its 'laser-whip' arms, knocking Unit 01 into a building, debris falling around it.
Inside Unit 01: Shinji grimaces, and forces the Eva back to its feet.
Inside NERV Control: Juri watches the battle intently, Misato over her. Misato's grip on Juri's shoulder tightens.
Back to the battle: The Eva grabs a hold of the Angel's 'arms' and throws it back. More debris is thrown into the air, some towards a nearby hill.
On the hillside: The debris heads towards the students.
Utena: Look out!
Kensuke and Wakaba look paralyzed as it comes in, for reasons unknown, Rei pulls Kozue behind her and then both of them out of harms way. Utena leaps and tackles Kensuke and Wakaba, shielding them both with her body as the debris rains down. When it is over, she gets up, and Wakaba and Kensuke look at each other, then at Utena.
Wakaba (whispered): My Prince.
Kensuke almost says the same thing, but hearing Wakaba say it, wisely does not. Utena stares intently at the battle. Rei watches Utena, Kozue looks over Rei's shoulder in awe at Utena as well.
Back to the battle: The Angel severs Unit 01's umbilical cable. The countdown from 5 minutes begins.
Inside Unit 01: Shinji sees this. A pop up visual of Misato comes on to his right.
Misato: Shinji, Eva's internal batteries will only give you five more minutes of power. You must defeat it now.
Shinji's eyes look at the timer. For a moment, we see Miki's stopwatch counting over it. Shinji goes into a rage again.
Unit 01's Progressive Knife pops out. Unit 01 grabs it, leaps at the Angel. The Angel grabs Unit 01, and grapples with it for a while. Unit 01 finally frees one hand and stabs it the Knife into the Angel's core. Sparks fly, but the Angel doesn't explode.
We see both the Eva clock and Miki's watch in motion, Eva's counting backwards, and Miki's forwards. This is a ghostly image over the Eva battle. The Angel stops sparking as both of them reach simultaneously at 15 seconds. Then Miki's watch disappears and the Eva counter runs out. Unit 01 powers down.
Switch to NERV Control:
Shigeru: Target has ceased movement.
Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Juri stands now, leaving Misato behind as she walks out. Misato watches her go but doesn't follow.
Misato: Take us off alert.
Switch to Gendo and Mikage:
Mikage: That was rather fortuitous, don't you think?
Gendo: Not at all. There was never anything to chance.
Switch to Unit 01: Shinji breathes out again too, relaxing. After a moment, he begins humming "The Sunlit Garden" to himself.
Switch to hillside: Kensuke, Kozue, and Wakaba are cheering. Utena looks deep in thought, then turns and leaves. Wakaba turns and notices.
She begins to follow, but Rei raises an arm and stops her.
Rei: Let her go.
Wakaba ignores her, but doesn't push past Rei either.
Wakaba: Utena-sama? Where are you going?
We see a NERV card slide through the lock. The doors to NERV unlock. (Start soundtrack "The Absolute Destiny Apocalypse.")
Various shots of the tunnels leading down to NERV Control. A few of them with Utena walking down them. This lasts just long enough for Utena to emerge in the NERV control room as the final strains of the song are playing. Misato, Ritsuko, Maya, Shigeru, and Hyuga all turn to her. Center on Utena's face.
Utena: I'll do it.
Behind Utena, we see Juri looking from behind a corner. Her expression drops, and she walks away.