Japanese Title: 雨、逃げ出した後 (Ame, Nigedashita Ato) (Rain, Escape, and Afterwards)
English Sub-Title: Hedgehog's Dilemma
Airdate: October 25, 1995
Not long after Misato Katsuragi realizes that Shinji Ikari had run away, the door bell rings. She rushes to the door thinking it is Shinji, but finds Touji Suzuhara and Kensuke Aida instead. She is surprised to find that the two were worried about Shinji. After covering for Shinji and explaining that he is only at a NERV training facility, the two depart. Once the doors close, Misato reveals her anger. Shinji did in fact make friends, unknown even to himself.
Shinji however is on the New Tokyo-3 loop line, a train that circles the city. After several hours on it, he tells himself he has to go back. Confused, he continues to wander around the city and eventually decides to see a movie (a documentary in which several details about the Second Impact are revealed).
The next morning a hopeful Misato opens the door to Shinji's room, only to find it empty. A disheartened Shinji is now on the outskirts of New Tokyo-3, overlooking the city from a nearby mountain side.
Back at NERV Headquarters Misato confides in Ritsuko Akagi, saying that she does not believe Shinji will come back, and that it is better for him if he does not. She explains that after scolding Shinji for disobeying orders at the battle with Shamshel, the Fourth Angel; Shinji said that he did not care if he died while piloting Evangelion Unit-01. It is that attitude that Misato believes will get him killed.
As Shinji wanders into some grassy fields outside of the city, by chance he runs into Kensuke Aida, who is camping out in the area and playing war games. Kensuke explains that he and Touji were worried about him. Touji also apologizes for hitting him, and admits that Evangelion Unit-01 saved his sister, not injured her.
The next morning Kensuke and Shinji awake surrounded by five NERV agents. The agents escort Shinji to NERV Headquarters, where he is faced with Misato Katsuragi. He tells her that he will pilot Evangelion Unit-01 if she wants him to. This angers Misato, who does not want someone with that attitude piloting the construct. Thus, it is decided that Shinji will leave.
Ritsuko Akagi and Gendo Ikari discuss the situation in the presence of Rei Ayanami. Ritsuko comments that the Third Child will be leaving tomorrow, to which Gendo coldly replies to reconfigure Evangelion Unit-01 for Rei, and that despite the problems activating Evangelion Unit-00, testing will continue. He then explains that the Marduk Institute, the organization in charge of locating suitable pilots, has not yet found the Fourth Child.
The next day, Shinji is escorted to the train station by NERV security agents. To his surprise, Touji Suzuhara and Kensuke Aida are waiting there to send him off. Touji apologizes for hitting him, and asks Shinji to hit him in return; otherwise, he will not be satisfied. After the exchange, Touji says that he does not blame him for leaving. Shinji is left speechless.
As he is escorted away by the NERV agents, Shinji cries out that he is the one that deserves to be hit, that he is a coward and is dishonest. Touji and Kensuke watch as he is carried away.
Back at NERV Headquarters Misato tells Ritsuko that she finally understands the Hedgehog's Dilemma, in which the closer we get, the more deeply we hurt, and that Shinji does not know any other way to express his feelings.
As Shinji's train leaves, Misato drives up to the station frantically. Fortunately, she finds Shinji still standing at the station. He smiles, and says 'I'm home.'