Japanese Title: 静止した闇の中で (Seishishita Yami no Naka de) (In the Still Darkness)
English Sub-Title: The Day Tokyo-3
Airdate: December 13, 1995
As Maya Ibuki, Shigeru Aoba and Ritsuko Akagi are returning from a local laundry house, they meet NERV Vice Commander Kouzou Fuyutsuki on the train. Kouzou explains that he is on his way downtown to represent NERV Commander Gendo Ikari at a boring city council meeting. After Ritsuko comments that city elections are coming up, Kouzou responds that the council has little authority anyway, and that NERV's MAGI Super-Computer System is responsible for the majority of decisions.
Later that day Shinji Ikari is on the surface of New Tokyo-3, using a payphone to call his father. He attempts to let him know about an interview at school that parents are asked to attend. Gendo dismisses him coldly, saying that he has delegated all that nonsense to Misato Katsuragi. As he tells Shinji not to bother him with such things, the phone dies.
Power gives out across the entire city, leaving Misato Katsuragi stuck on an elevator inside NERV Headquarters with none other than her ex-boyfriend Ryoji Kaji. She comments that there are three different backup circuits, and that if backup power has not kicked in, something is very wrong as it is not possible for all of them to have failed.
Back in the NERV Command Center, Gendo Ikari says that this must have been done by someone intentionally. Kouzou Fuyutsuki notes that if an Angel were to attack now, it would be a disaster. As luck would have it, an unidentified object is soon discovered off the coast of Japan, moving towards New Tokyo-3. The Strategic Self-Defense Force is unable to contact NERV Headquarters. The object is the Ninth Angel, Matarael.
In the meantime, Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Sohryu, and Rei Ayanami attempt to make their way into NERV Headquarters, but cannot gain entry as all the doors are unpowered. After failing to contact anyone on the phone, Rei pulls out her emergency manual, which orders them to make their way to NERV Headquarters by any means. Rei says that she knows of a route that will allow them to gain entry into the facility despite the power failure.
After failing to contact NERV, the Strategic Self-Defense Force sends an aircraft to alert New Tokyo-3 of the coming danger via traditional loudspeakers. Fortunately, First Lieutenant Makoto Hyuga, one of the three computer technicians working at the NERV Command Center, is on the surface and hears the warning. He quickly commandeers an election campaign van and makes his way towards NERV Headquarters.
Back at the Command Center, Ritsuko Akagi and Gendo Ikari converse on the possible causes of the blackout. Gendo explains that the Geo Front was designed as an isolated self-sufficient colony, and that it is not possible for all the power circuits to break down. Ritsuko replies that it must be intentional, possibly an indirect way of learning the layout of the facility from the restoration process that would follow. Gendo can hardly believe that the first crippling threat they face is from a member of their own species, to which Kouzou Fuyutsuki replies that humanity's worst enemy is humanity itself.
Shinji, Asuka, and Rei take a shortcut to NERV Headquarters after hearing an echo through the facility's maze of tunnels that an Angel is approaching. As the three head out through a cramped passage, Shinji asks why they are fighting the Angels, since Angels are messengers of God. Asuka replies that the Angels attacked first, and when someone attacks you, you have to fight. As they exit the passage, the tunnel diverges in two directions. Rei suggests they go left, but Asuka wants to go right. Asuka then asks Shinji to choose (see Analysis: The Choice). When Shinji is unable to choose between them, Asuka declares herself leader and orders the group right.
Unfortunately, the passage leads them back to the surface, where they come face-to-face with Matarael. Meanwhile, Makoto Hyuga arrives at the Command Center, warning everyone that an Angel is approaching. Upon hearing this, Gendo leaves Kouzou Fuyutsuki in charge while he makes his way to the Evangelion hangars to manually prepare the units for launch.
As Shinji, Asuka, and Rei arrive at the hangar, Shinji is surprised to find everything is ready, even without power. Ritsuko Akagi explains that it was all done by hand, by his father no less.
As the Evangelion Units make their way up the nearest surface shaft, acid rains down upon them. Evangelion Unit-02 loses its footing, sending all three units crashing down. Fortunately, Evangelion Unit-01 is able to stop their descent. As they regroup, Rei comments that the Angel seeks to attack NERV directly using acid.
With less than three minutes of power remaining and their rifles gone, Asuka formulates a plan. Three positions: Defense, Offense, Backup. Defense will neutralize the Angel's AT Field and protect the offense from the acid. Backup will drop down, retrieve a rifle, and throw it up to the offense, which will destroy the Angel. Rei immediately volunteers to be the defense (see Analysis: The Defense), but Asuka is quick to point out that because it is the most dangerous position, she will be defense, Shinji the offense, and Rei the backup. The operation is executed flawlessly, leaving Matarael dead in the middle of New Tokyo-3. Asuka tells Shinji they are now even.
Misato Katsuragi is still stuck in the elevator with Ryoji Kaji. As she tries to pry open the emergency exit, power is suddenly restored, sending her and Kaji crashing to the ground, leaving them in a suggestive position. The elevator doors open, with Ritsuko Akagi, Maya Ibuki, and Makoto Hyuga there to witness the spectacle.
Later that night Rei, Asuka, and Shinji are overlooking New Tokyo-3 as power is slowly restored. Shinji comments that without the artificial city lights, the sky looks beautiful. But Asuka answers that without the lights she feels like there is no life here. Rei in turn comments that humanity fears the darkness, and scrapes away at it with fire. Shinji wonders if that is what makes humanity special, and if that is why the Angels attack them.