FGC:Episode 05 Scene 01

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The Activation Experiment

Commentary Navigation
<< Back to Episode #04 Episode #05 Scene List Continue to Scene 02 >>
Screenshots Cut # Description/Dialogue Commentary

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"NERV Headquarters - 2nd Experiment Site”

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22 Days Earlier

IKARI (OFF):“Commence activation.”

Dr. Nick: And so part II of our story opens after a five-year-timeskip. The residents of Geofront Village have resettled the planet's surface and Shinji the Whiner has become the president of the Earth.

thewayneiac: Meanwhile, Kaji tried to resign from Nerv and found himself confined in a mysterious place known as "The Village". In order to come closer to the truth, he searches for the identity of "Number One".

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It's Ikari... but his glasses are different. His hands are bare.

RITSUKO (OFF):“Connect all main power supply circuits.”

IBUKI (OFF):“Main power supply connected. Starting the activation system.”

Mr. Tines: and the episode starts off with another of those scenes where you have to notice the little details.

UrsusArctos: Gendo looks strangely nerdish with those old glasses.

Kendrix: The glasses look rather cheap for being the possesion of someone who, according to ep 21, swims in money. As Ritsuko's later comment implies, Rei most likely got her spartan ways from him.

Sailor Star Dust: The third frame makes him seem somewhat ominous instead of mainly serious. Wonder if that was their intent.

FreakyFilmFan4ever: Gendo's glasses continue to visually hide him and separate him from both the viewer and the rest of the characters around him. AT-Field, anyone?

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A close up of Eva 00 in at the testing site.

SE <<Sound of switches and relays connecting.>>

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Three of its sensors are shining.

SE <<Sound of a motor revving (getting louder)>>

Cody MacArthur Fett: I've always found the design of Eva-00's helmet/skullcap to be absolutely fascinating. One the one hand its design is extremely similar to the designs of other science fiction helmets like those worn by the UNSC Marine Corps, but on the other hand its got a massive green optics . . . thing on the top-rear of it. Seriously, what's the point of that thing?

thewayneiac: "What a big green eye you have!"

"The better to see you with..."

But seriously, there's a theory about the Evangelions' eyes. Unit-00 has one eye, Unit-01 has two, and Unit-02 has four. 1+2+4=7, the number of eyes on the Seele emblem. It is not known whether this is intentional, or what it would mean if it were.

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The control room from the view of the experiment site.

IBUKI (OFF):“Operational voltage will reach critical point in 0.5, 0.2….”

SE <<DON!>>

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A bird’s-eye view of the experiment site..

Ibuki (OFF):“...over.”

Pans up slightly during the cut.

Azathoth: A not-especially-subtle visual clue that is still rather easily missed: Unit 00 is without her pylons. For the rest of the series, whenever the pylons come off, you're in for some serious shit. (These later instances suggest that the original purpose of the pylons may have been to prevent an Eva from manifesting AT-field wings, as seen in the OP).

jetatomic: This cut would be reused again in episode 14.

Fireball: Personally, I prefer the later used blue color scheme. Aside from the similar hair color, blue is the color of the element water, which Ayanami is heavily associated with (her name meaning "twill wave", fly me to the moon ending etc). blue stands for innocence, loyalty and often represents the human emotion of sadness. Quite the fitting color for our calm demeanor girl.

To add as well, in the series orange is associated with LCL and is the complementary color to blue. Yeah, the designer in me is speaking right now.

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BGM Start: E-5 (Rhythm Only)

The stationary Eva. Pans left slightly during the cut.

Ritsuko (OFF):“Proceed to the second stage of the activation system..”

MAN A (OFF):“Commencing Pilot connection.”

Woman (Off-screen, faintly):“System, Phase 2 Start.”

Woman (OFF):“The concentration of LCL is at a normal level.”

NemZ: Clearly the unit was ready for pylons to be added... so why didn't they bother? I'm thinking this is actually evidence that the pylons don't have anything at all do to with restraining the eva, even thought that makes very problematic to explain why Adam has them later.

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Monitor UP. The belt in the middle scrolls down; those on the sides scroll up.

MAN A (OFF):“Synapses inserted, beginning connection.”

WOMAN A (OFF):“Transmitting pulse.”

MAN A (OFF):“All circuits normal.”

WOMAN A (OFF):“Maintain LCL pressure at current levels.”

UrsusArctos: The organ list on the Eva. Complete with "Farandolae".

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Ikari and the others in the control room.

IBUKI (OFF):“No problems with first contact.”

EvangelionFan: Another instance of clever framing: although Ritsuko is conducting the experiment, Gendo is standing closest to Unit-00 - an early sign of his interest in its pilot, Rei Ayanami.

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Unit-00's restrained arm.

The serial number fades in.

MAN B (OFF):“Power transmitted up to the brachial muscles in both arms...”

NemZ: So pylons aren't important but LED tags to identify the giant orange cyborg are? Why even include the light-up signage in the design, and not just paint it on? Clearly the same nutbar who put a skylight on the helmet is responsible for these.

thewayneiac: Skylight? I thought that was an eye. Or are you talking about something else?

Never mind... The red thing in Cut 12 is the eye. So just what is that big green thing? A skylight makes no sense.

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The check items on the flow chart change from red to green, one after the other.

MAN A (OFF):“No problems with all nerve links.”

IBUKI (OFF):“List clear up to check 2550.”

Man:“Opening leg transmission circuits.”

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Eva Unit 00 slowly raises its head.

IBUKI (OFF - LEFT):“Clear up to 2580.”

RITSUKO (OFF - RIGHT):“Prepare for third stage connection.”

KnightmareX13: It's alive!

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BGM End: E-5 (Rhythm Only)

BGM Start E-5 (EVA-00)

Close up face shot of Ikari.

IBUKI (OFF):“Time to absolute borderline.”

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Close up of the Check monitor.

IBUKI (OFF):“0.9... 0.7... 0.5... 0.4... 0.3...”

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The items on the check monitor rapidly turn black

IBUKI (OFF - PANICKING):“The pulses are flowing backwards!”

UrsusArctos: We keep hearing this each time an Eva goes berserk.

Azathoth: As noted, a pretty standard-issue piece of Eva technobabble - which is actually rather disturbing if you think too hard about some of the things it suggests. Are these "pulses" the neural impulses of the pilot, as intended to control the Eva? If so, what's implicit here is that a berserking Eva doesn't gain direct control of its own body - rather, the neural impulses of the Eva are flowing into the pilot, manipulating the unfortunate kid like a puppet to do whatever the Eva itself wants. Which would go some way to explaining why Shinji at least has only a limited ability to recall berserking events, if his brainwaves are being overwritten by Unit 01's - and when Shinji has his own encounter with Unit 00, he remembers nothing at all.

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Eva 00 begins to strain and stretch out its neck.

SE <<gagagagagaga>>

NemZ: And now the signs turn off? What, did the designers think they could pretend it was someone else's giant out of control cyborg?

thewayneiac: Perhaps it's a symbolic way of telling us that it is no longer acting as Unit-00, but as Rei 1.

NemZ: From a metatextural standpoint, they probably disappeared when the action started purely to make it easier on the animation staff.

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Monitor UP.

MAN B (OFF):“Abnormalities have occurred in Stage 3!”

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Unit 00’s right half is in disarray, and the letters have turned red.

Woman:“Contact lost with direct monitor!”

thewayneiac: "Right half in disarray." Does this indicate which half of its brain is dominant?

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A monitor graph shows the elements disconnecting.

Man A (OFF):“The elements in the central nervous system are being rejected!”

NemZ: This is just about the silliest possible diagram for whatever this is supposed to be. Surely it would be better for things to actually be as readable as possible and skip the animation in favor of a simple color change for maximum ease of reference to the technical staff.

Fireball: Dunno. Looks clear to me that it's a diagram for the synapse of the pilot's nervous system.

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Top-down view of Eva 00 as it struggles to escape the restraints.

SE <<Gaaiiin!! Gashiiin!!>>

Woman:“The pulses are flowing back even further! We can’t stop them!”

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Ritsuko in front of Ibuki

Man:“Main transmission system is crossed! It’s in flux!”

Woman:“Nerve channels are paralyzed!”

RITSUKO:“Cease contact! Shut off circuits up to number 6!”

IBUKI:“It’s no use!”

Sailor Star Dust: Poor Maya. It seems like half of her lines are some variation thereof.

thewayneiac: Sort of like Uhura only getting to open the hailing frequencies in most Star Trek episodes.

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The Eva twists and strains its neck. Its body appears to be stretching forward.

SE <<Gugugugu gagagaga>>

IBUKI (OFF):“The signal's not getting through!”

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Top-down shot of Unit 00. The lock bolts finally break.

SE <<creak rip krick crick>>

SE <<crack>>

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The Eva rips out the restraints from the wall by their roots. The screws finally break!

SE <<gugugugu>>

SE <<snap>>

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Unit 00 walks! It moves forward with a heavy step.
Its neck movements slow down.
With its right hand, it grabs its head in a vice-grip!

SE <<Gong!!>>

IBUKI (OFF):“Unit-00 is out of control!”

Reichu: There's some real pain going on in there... She seems quite emotionally distraught.

UrsusArctos: Was the Eva trying to get her helmet off?

thewayneiac: Hmmm... That hadn't occured to me. That's a thought.

Sailor Star Dust: I can't help but wonder if there is some pilot and resident soul [mental] contact going on in this shot (similar to how Eva-00 grasps her head in Episode 14 with Shinji inside). Perhaps that's why the Eva seems to be in such pain in this shot.

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Close up shot of Ikari’s profile. He’s calm.

Woman:“Unable to scan mental graph! We can’t monitor it!”

Man 1:“No response from the auto brake system!”

IKARI:“Stop the experiment. Turn off the power”

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RITSUKO (OFF):“Yes, Sir!”

Ritsuko's hand breaks the emergency glass.

SE <<Smash!>>

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She pulls the lever inside.

SE <<Clack.>>

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The electrical plug is disconnected from the body. It falls downwards.

SE <<Bshaaa bap!>>

NemZ: Why do the thrusters fire here, when that would serve to keep plug in the socket?

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The plug falls down.

SE <<tonk>>

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The rocket burns up with a “szzz” sound. The plug slows down rapidly.

SE <<Goron!>>

Fireball: Me likes this. In any other show the plug would have just fallen dead to the ground but here, the animator are using rocket bursts to soften the landing. Clever!

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It flies a little longer and then lands softly.

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Unit-00 stops suddenly with a jerk...

SE <<Gashuuuu...>>

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...but then it starts moving again!!

SE <<Gakkon!>>

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The Control Room.
People can be seen working.

RITSUKO:“Unit 00 has switched to its backup power source!”

The Fourth Evangelion: How can you be working THAT calmly when a Giant Biomecha with one hell of a headache slowly comes towards you?

Tsukaji: Would it have been too hard to take battery out for testing purposes? Or does Eva need power for vital functions?

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Unit 00 staggers around, trying to wrench its head off.

Man A (OFF):“35 seconds until it comes to a complete stop.”

Man 1:“The auto brake system is still not functioning!”

Kendrix: Wrench it's head off? So, it's trying to kill itself/release itself from its misery? That explain the latter wallbanging, too. So, is it because being a remote-controlled cyborg is And-I-Must-Scream-levels of horrible, or some "return to Lillith" urge manifesting itself?

Dr. Nick: That middle screenie is hilarious. "Oh crap, I almost forgot! Gotta kill all humans!"

thewayneiac: "I could have had a V-8!"

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Ikari can be seen through the glass.

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Eva 00 punches the glass with its right hand.

SE <<Ba-crack!>>

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Unit 00 hits away wildly!

SE <<Bam!! Smash!!>>

Sailor Star Dust: Contrary to Episode 14 with Ritsuko, I'd say it's apparent that Gendo himself was the Eva's target in this episode.

thewayneiac: Rei 1 would certainly have motivation to go after Gendo if she knows he's the one who imprisoned her in Unit-00.

JC Denton: Eh? Yeah... no.

There's only one Rei soul (remember ep 23?), and it passes on from one Rei to the next (again, 23), so what you're suggesting doesn't make the slightest sense.

thewayneiac: They explicitly show us in Ep. 14 that Rei 1 is Unit-00's soul. Soul division is an established fact in Evangelion (remember Kyoko). Part of Rei 1's soul was placed into Unit-00, the rest went to Rei 2. The two were reunited in Rei 3 after Unt-00 self destructed. In Ep. 23, Rei 2 briefly mistakes Armisael for "the me in Eva".

The complete analysis is on the EvaGeeks Wiki.

Additional Commentary  

JC Denton: Well I'll especially pay attention to this on my upcoming 10th Eva run-through, but I never needed d&d concepts like soul splitting to understand what happens in Eva, thank you very much.

Can't see where Kyoko would come in in this theory, either; Eva-02, and what else...?

thewayneiac: Only the maternal aspects of Kyoko's soul went into Unit-02; the rest stayed with Kyoko. This explains why she doesn't recognize Asuka and why she didn't turn into LCL: she didn't lose her entire soul.

UrsusArctos: Soul splitting has never enjoyed a very wide level of acceptance, with or without the CI material. It seems as though many people find something inherently revulsive about the idea.

Sailor Star Dust: Not sure why the CI didn't mention this, but the insane part of Kyoko went inside Eva-02 after she died. There's the two-times "Please die with me!" screaming admist the "You must live/Don't die/Don't kill her." lines in M25'.

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The glass in front of Ikari cracks up rapidly.

The glass window at the bottom of the frame breaks! A shard of glass flies in front of the camera!!

thewayneiac: As in Episode 01, Gendo seems to have supreme confidence in his shatterproof glass.

UrsusArctos: Is that glass or some sort of plastic? As far as I know, that sort of glass crumbles into little grains when it shatters instead of turning into (potentially dangerous) shards.

thewayneiac: The way it's bending in the first two images makes it look like some sort of safety glass.

NemZ: I get the feeling that at this moment Gendo is so lost in thought about the possibility that his grand plan has already failed that he simply doesn't notice the danger he's in until the last frame.

Kendrix: He isn't moving a bit untill shortly before the end and even then its just a simple step backwards no 'fast/instictual movement' - Like father like (surrogate) daughther, I guess. (See episode 14.)

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Ritsuko speaks to Ikari.

RITSUKO:“Please stand back, it’s dangerous!”

Man 1:“The auto brake system is unable to obey commands!” (spare volume)”

EvangelionFan: In the strong delivery of this line, we're shown a side of Ritsuko that won't become clear until later in the series.

thewayneiac: Yes. It's an early hint as to her feelings for Gendo.

Azathoth: Come to think of it, why isn't Gendo standing back? I mean, I realize he's a badass, but just standing there while your demented giant robot surrogate child hauls away at you is beyond hardcore.

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The Eva hunches over.

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…suddenly a part explodes from its back!

SE <<Bam!>>

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Ibuki UP

IBUKI:“Auto ejection system activated!”

Man:“Protecting the pilot is of the highest priority! (spare volume)”

Mr. Tines: Treasure this moment : we don't see the entry plug being so cooperative in later crises.

thewayneiac: It works the one time they don't want it to.

Kendrix: Well, they need to show it working for us to be actually shocked when it doesn't.

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Ikari leans forward.


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The entry plug has been ejected!

SE <<Bshuuuu>>

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It bangs into the ceiling as it moves!

SE <<Bonk!>>

thewayneiac: The Auto-Eject system is plainly not intended for indoor use.

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The entry plug scrapes against the ceiling as it slides around, sparks flying!

SE <<Crackle crackle crackle!>>

UrsusArctos: Rei's lucky the rockets didn't explode from the heat of their own fiery exhaust.

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It bumps into the edge between wall and ceiling and slides across edge!
Kendrix: There rocket thingies were probably meant to slow her fall down once she came close to the ground (like those on the power cable).

thewayneiac: That would make more sense, but they sure seem to be powering the eject function instead. (And see Dr. Nick's comment in Cut 042).

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...Then it hits the corner and stops!!

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Unit 00 staggers backwards, as if trying to move out of the picture.

SE <<A female operator can be heard counting down on the speaker off-screen (Until Cut 47)>>

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Ikari looks at the plug from inside the control room.

Man:“The system can't keep up! It won't stop!”

Kendrix: Look at Gendo here. You only see him from the distance, but it's obvious that he's tucked his shoulders up/ in a tense position.

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Ritsuko barks out orders.

RITSUKO:“Use the special Bakelite! Hurry!”

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The fire coming out from the plug suddenly goes out.

SE <<Bshuuuuu...>>

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It falls to the ground.
Dr. Nick: So the electric plug has rockets to break its fall, but the entry plug doesn't?

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Ikari's face, UP.


Logan Payne: A genuine emotional response from Commander Ikari.

EvangelionFan: One of the few times that Gendo actually has a care about anything.

Sailor Star Dust: I think that despite some fan opinions, Gendo's concern for Rei here is genuine. She's important to his goals and serves as the reminder of a certain somebody, but he still manages to show more concern for Rei (as a surrogate daughter of sorts) than concern for his own son.

Azathoth: Is Gendo having some bad memories in this cut and following? He doesn't have a very good record in situations involving Evas, prototypes undergoing testing, entry plugs, and women who look like Rei.

Kendrix: He hardly budges when a big, furious Mecha is punching the glass he's standing behind, but once his little girl is in danger, he panics like that. Reminds me of how Rei doesn't show any reaction to Asuka's insults or Shinji seeing her naked, but shows's way more of a reaction once someone insults Shinji or Gendo. They both don't think all too much about themselves, but are very protective about those they care about. I think despite his claims that he can't parent anything more complicated than a cactus (EoE), he managed to have at least some positive, or well, not entirely negative influence on Rei. If he'd only just tried raising Shinji...

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The plug hits the ground, bounces up and falls again.

SE <<Clunk>>

Combs: Rei has been blasted, groped, slapped, blown up, spliced and absorbed, but this is one of the few scenes in Eva that makes me cringe. Goddamn whiplash.

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Mechanical contraptions in the walls open up, and nozzles come out.

SE <<Ka-shak!>>

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Bakelite spurts out with a PSSHHH!

SE <<pshhhh>>

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The bakelite shoots out onto the Eva’s legs!

SE <<Bkshhh>>

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The Eva continues to hit the wall.

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Bakelite can be seen caking around its lower body.

SE <<Vshhhh...>>

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It hits the wall for the last time and stops.

SE <<Wham!>>

SE <<(From cut 41) A countdown can be heard off-screen. It stops (in this frame).>>

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The entry plug on the ground.

It looks hazy in the mist of bakelite.

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Ikari rushes towards it.

BGM End: E-5 (EVA-00)

Azathoth: How'd he get down there, anyway?

thewayneiac: Good question. I don't see how he could have jumped through the window without being injured.

NemZ: guessing there's actually a short time-skip here. There's simply no way he would have been able to cover the distance involved.

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He quickly reaches out and grabs the handles firmly.

A puff of smoke flies out.

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A close up of Ikari jumping backwards.


Kendrix: At first, he instinctively lets go of the hot metall - but the uberpimp isn't stopped so easily...
Additional Commentary  

Kendrix: Oh, and look at his face. Am I the only one to see a similarity with the closeup of Shinji they show in ep 2.22? (The one that replaces the ep 19-y crazy face.)

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His glasses fall off.
FreakyFilmFan4ever: Gendo's glasses (or barrier/AT-Field) go off...
Additional Commentary  

mechashiva: The point has been made that Gendo's glasses are a barrier between him and others: his own personal AT field especially when they take on that orange glow. Gendo very well may have been playing up his concern for the other NERV personnel (and Ritsuko) but it seems he may have been caught up in the heat of the moment and was genuinely worried about Rei's safety. The whole episode plays with this idea of exploring Rei and Gendo's dynamic but the glasses shattering shows that for that moment, Gendo felt vulnerable and felt concerned for Rei. Almost a chink in his armor. Does that make sense?

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The glasses fall under the plug.
Reichu: Kind of cute how the glasses rebound in a similar manner to the plug.

FreakyFilmFan4ever: ...Gendo's glasses break...

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Ikari grips the handles. Smoke rises from his hands.


UrsusArctos: How the galaxy does he manage to hold on with his hands smoking?

Kendrix: really in pain here. Looking away and gritting his teeth. You don't do that for some tool.

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In spite of that he turns the handle with all his might
EvangelionFan: A fine example of Gendo's resolve: even if it burns his hands, he's still going to do it.

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Ritsuko looks down on this scene.

Ikari (OFF):“(Adlib)”

Sailor Star Dust: It's hard to tell if Ritsuko is jealous, stunned, or (most likely?) both.

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A shot of Eva, and of Ikari opening the plug’s hatch.
Fluid seeps slowly out of the plug.


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IKARI:“Are you alright, Rei?!”

Ikari looks in. Rei is slumped in there, wounded. She raises her head shakily and nods weakly.

EvangelionFan: Wasn't Rei's right eye bandaged over in Episodes 01-04? Shouldn't it be bleeding or something here?

thewayneiac: It could be bandaged for some reason other than actual eye damage, a broken eye orbit perhaps.

Kendrix: Look at the poor girl, all thrembling and scared. Whatever happened here to cause the berserk must have horryfied her.

FreakyFilmFan4ever: ...Geno approaches Rei as if without an AT-Field. (No glasses.)

thewayneiac: Interesting... So "no glasses Gendo" = the Real Gendo? He's let down a barrier here.

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Ikari, with a gentle look on his face.

IKARI:“I see.”

Mr. Tines: So Gendo isn't the flint hearted bastard he's seemed up to now, despite his callous use of Rei back in episode 1 cut 248.

Kendrix: He's a pragmatist. There was no other choice in ep 01. He went as far as calling Shinji so Rei wouldn't have to get into Unit 01, but someone HAD to pilot it, or else POOF end of the world.

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The fluid on the ground. The cell-framed glasses warp and crack.
Fireball: How can the glasses suddenly break like that. WTF?

thewayneiac: At room temperature bakelite is solid plastic, so its liquid form could be pretty hot.

Kendrix: As far as I got it, the heat from the LCL half-melted the glasses' plastic so it changed it's form a bit, which put some strain on the glass and caused it to break.

UrsusArctos: Thermal expansion of the metal frames is why(reference to Episode 11 semi-intentional). Gendo's glasses cracking is kind of like having the Grinch's heart melt over at Christmas, isn't it? Pity it doesn't stay that way...

Eric Blair: Is it wrong if the only thing I can think of in this scene is "Gendo's gonna need new glasses."?

thewayneiac: Not at all. It's in the spirit of "We're going to need a bigger boat".

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Title 1
SUBTITLE:Episode #05 Rei, Beyond Her Heart
Mr. Tines: So we might actually find out about this mystery girl who has been there on the periphery of Shinji's life since being called to Tokyo-3?
Commentary Navigation
<< Back to Episode #04 Episode #05 Scene List Continue to Scene 02 >>

Fan Geek Commentary: Scene Index
FGC Index:
Episode 01: Scene 01 | Scene 02 | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 02: Scene 01 | Scene 02 | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07:A |Scene 07:B | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 03: Scene 01 | Scene 02 | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07:A |Scene 07:B | Scene 08 | Scene 09 | Previews
Episode 04: Scene 01 | Scene 02:A |Scene 02:B | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 05: Scene 01 | Scene 02 |Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 06: Scene 01 | Scene 02 |Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 |Scene 09 | Previews
Episode 07: Scene 01 | Scene 02 |Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 |Scene 09 | Scene 10 | Previews