Japanese Title: レイ、心のむこうに (Rei, Kokoro no Mukou ni) (Rei, Beyond Her Heart)
English Sub-Title: Rei I
Airdate: November 1, 1995
22 Days Earlier...
Flanked by Ritsuko Akagi and Kouzou Fuyutsuki, NERV Commander Gendo Ikari orders the activation of Evangelion Unit-00. While initially the process appears to work, synchronization between the pilot and Evangelion Unit-00 fails just prior to reaching the borderline. As a result, Evangelion Unit-00 goes out of control, breaking free of its restraints and attacking the control room. Gendo immediately orders to disconnect its Umbilical Cable, but the unit switches to internal power reserves. With only seconds left before those reserves are depleted, the Entry Plug is auto-ejected, sending the rocket-propelled cockpit and its pilot crashing violently into the ceiling.
Bakelite is used to subdue Evangelion Unit-00 as its power reserves give out and it finally comes to a halt. In a rare show of emotion, Gendo frantically runs down to the Entry Plug as it crashes to the ground. He grabs the super-heated hatch release lever, burning his hands in the process. As the hatch opens, L.C.L. spills out to the ground and a badly injured Rei Ayanami lies inside.
Misato Katsuragi and Ritsuko Akagi discuss the failed activation incident and Rei Ayanami. Ritsuko theorizes that mental instability on the part of the pilot was the primary factor for the failure of the test.
Efforts to analyze the remains of Shamshel, the Fourth Angel, are underway. Misato, Ritsuko and Shinji are on-site as the analysis computer returns a code 601 (generic identifier code for cannot be analyzed).
Ritsuko explains that the Angel itself is composed of a type of matter characterized by both particulate and waveform properties. In addition, although composed of different matter, the Angel's composition pattern is a 99.89% match to that of human DNA. As Misato and Ritsuko discuss the limitations of their analysis, Shinji notices his father Gendo Ikari walk by the door.
As his father examines a sample fragment of the Angel's Core, Shinji notices the burns on his hands. Ritsuko explains the incident surrounding the failed activation test, and that his father burned his hands attempting to rescue Rei Ayanami. No one is more surprised than Shinji himself.
The scene cuts to Shinji Ikari's gym class, during which he is quickly accused of eyeing Rei Ayanami's 'naughty bits' by Kensuke Aida and Touji Suzuhara. Embarrassed, Shinji is quick to deny it, and explains that he just wondered why Rei was always alone. Kensuke and Touji explain that she has not made any friends since she arrived, and that there is something about her that makes her difficult to talk to (as if she is in her own world).
Back at NERV Headquarters Shinji is completing a synchronization test with Evangelion Unit-01 when he sees Rei Ayanami and his father Gendo Ikari talking. Shinji is shocked to see them speaking (something that he cannot do with either of them), but even more so to see them smiling and enjoying the conversation.
Later that day Shinji, Misato and Ritsuko are having dinner at Misato's apartment, during which Ritsuko asks Shinji to deliver Rei's new security ID card to her. After attempting to poison everyone with her cooking, Misato accuses Shinji of starring at Rei's picture, grinning that he now has an excuse to go see her.
The next day Shinji arrives at Rei's apartment. With the door open and no one answering the doorbell, he lets himself in. He soon finds that Rei was in the shower, and by the most bizarre of circumstances, he somehow finds himself on top of a naked Rei surrounded by her underwear. Woops.
Rei remains calm and dismissive of Shinji as the two walk to NERV Headquarters (albeit several meters apart). As they arrive, Shinji finally remembers to give Rei her new security card, without which she cannot enter NERV Headquarters.
On their way down the escalator, a concerned Shinji asks Rei if she is scared of the reactivation test today. In response, she asks if he does not have faith in his own father's work. When Shinji answers with a decisive no, Rei slaps him in an uncharacteristic outburst of emotion.
After a few tense moments, the reactivation test of Evangelion Unit-00 proves to be a success. Unfortunately, the test is interrupted by the arrival of Ramiel, the Fifth Angel. Citing Evangelion Unit-00 to be unready, Gendo Ikari orders that Evangelion Unit-01 be dispatched to intercept the threat.
As Shinji and Evangelion Unit-01 are dispatched to the surface of New Tokyo-3, a massive energy reaction from inside the Angel is detected. The instant that Evangelion Unit-01 arrives on the surface a beam of light impacts its chest, burning a hole through several layers of armor, right down to its Core.
Evangelion Unit-01 is quickly retrieved, with Shinji in critical condition. As Shinji undergoes emergency medical treatment, Ramiel begins to slowly drill from the surface of New Tokyo-3 down into the Geo Front.