Japanese Title: 奇跡の価値は (Kiseki no Kachi wa) (The Value of a Miracle Is...)
English Sub-Title: She Said, "Don't make others suffer for your personal hatred."
Airdate: December 20, 1995
15 Years Ago (2000)...
The episode begins with a flashback to 2000 A.D., where for the first time we see the events of the Second Impact. An injured Dr. Katsuragi carries his young daughter Misato through the chaos, placing her in an escape capsule. As she regains consciousness, the hatch closes. A massive explosion follows, obliterating the continent of Antarctica.
Present Time (2015)...
Misato Katsuragi gets dressed in front of the mirror, the scar on her chest reminding her of those events. It is a rainy morning, and a soaked Touji Suzuhara and Kensuke Aida take refuge at Shinji's place. As Misato heads out, Kensuke notices a new insignia on her collar, immediately congratulating her on her promotion. Kensuke explains that she had been promoted to Major, although neither Shinji nor Asuka noticed.
Later that day, Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Sohryu, and Rei Ayanami participate in a harmonics test at NERV Headquarters. Ritsuko Akagi is amazed at Shinji's progress, as his Sync Ratio is rapidly approaching that of the highly trained Asuka. Ritsuko comments that it appears he has a natural talent to pilot an Evangelion Unit. But Misato Katsuragi, who is also present, replies this is not what he wants, and he is unhappy here. Regardless, Ristuko praises Shinji's progress, leaving Asuka feeling underappreciated and defensive.
During the drive home, Shinji congratulates Misato on her promotion. When she states that she is not thrilled about it, Shinji says he knows what she means. He explains that he too dislikes being praised in public as it tends to hurt other people, such as the incident earlier with Asuka.
Back at Misato's apartment, Kensuke Aida organized a small party to celebrate Misato's promotion. When the others are busy arguing, Shinji tells Misato that she does not look very happy about her promotion. Misato explains that she is happy, but it is not why she does what she does. When Shinji asks why she joined NERV, Misato replies that it has been so long she forgot.
In the meantime, NERV Commander Gendo Ikari and Vice Commander Kouzou Fuyutsuki are at the South Pole. The UN Naval fleet is transporting a massive, elongated object on the deck of one of the ships (see Analysis: The Lance of Longinus). Kouzou Fuyutsuki calls the South Pole a Hell, but Gendo Ikari states that regardless humanity has returned to this wasteland, and science is what makes mankind powerful.
Back at NERV Headquarters, the Command Center has detected an Angel in orbit over the East Indian Ocean. Sahaqiel, the Tenth Angel, proceeds to thrust small pieces of itself at the Earth, using its own body as bombs. The kinetic-energy combined with its AT Field properties cause devastating damage to the surface. However, this is just a way for the Angel to learn to aim as it makes its way to New Tokyo-3. Nē Weapons are deployed against it, but have little effect.
With Gendo and Kouzou away, Misato Katsuragi is left in charge. She immediately announces a D-17 special declaration, ordering the evacuation of New Tokyo-3 and non-essential personnel. As the evacuation proceeds, Ritsuko Akagi has reservations about Misato's plan, and voices those reservations in the washroom.
Ritsuko claims the chance of success is less that 0.1%, and that Misato is willing to sacrifice all three Evangelion Units to satisfy her own ambitions. Misato dismisses the argument, and reminds Ritsuko that she is now in charge.
Misato Katsuragi explains the plan to Shinji, Asuka, and Rei, which involves all three Evangelion Units intercepting Sahaqiel as it thrusts itself at New Tokyo-3. While maintaining their AT Fields, Misato theorizes that the Evangelion Units should be strong enough to withstand the impact, although she admits their chances are slim. Asuka says that it will be a miracle if this works, to which Misato replies that miracles never just happen, but are something that people make happen. Misato explains their participation is voluntary, but eventually everyone agrees. Misato promises to treat them to a steak dinner.
While en route to the Evangelion Units, Shinji asks Asuka why she became an Evangelion pilot. She replies confidently that it is to prove how great she is. Shinji however is not able to answer the same question.
As the Angel nears, the Evangelion Units are positioned at three locations around New Tokyo-3 in their efforts to intercept the Angel. Inside Evangelion Unit-01, Shinji recalls a conversation he had with Misato in regards to his question of why she had joined NERV...
Overlooking New Tokyo-3 at twilight, Misato explains that it all began with her father, who was absorbed with his work to the exclusion of everything else. She admits that at times she even hated him, and was glad when her mother divorced him. But then he sacrificed his life to save her during the Second Impact, after which she did not know if she hated or loved him. What she did know was that she hated the Angels, who had caused the Second Impact. And that, was the reason Misato had joined NERV. Shinji declares that he will not run away as he glares inside the cockpit of Evangelion Unit-01.
Sahaqiel begins its descent from orbit, and all three Evangelion Units launch in their efforts to catch it. Evangelion Unit-01 arrives first, spreads its AT Field and makes contact with Sahaqiel. Evangelion Unit-00 and Evangelion Unit-02 arrive shortly after. As Shinji keeps the Angel from falling, Rei neutralizes its AT Field, allowing Asuka to plunge her Progressive Knife directly into its Core.
Sahaqiel's AT Field quickly collapses, and the Angel falls to the ground lifeless. While its dying body still causes a massive explosion equal to that of an Nē detonation, it is nothing compared to an AT Field impact.
As wireless communications are restored, Misato apologizes to NERV Commander Gendo Ikari, claiming that her irresponsible actions have caused Evangelion Unit-01 to incur some damage. Gendo dismisses the argument, instead praising her for a job well done. Gendo also asks if the pilot of Evangelion Unit-01 is present, and congratulates him on a job well done. Shinji is shocked to hear praise from his father.
Later that day, Misato fulfils her promise to take the trio out for dinner. She is ready to spend a small fortune, but Asuka brings them to a small Ramen place instead. She explains that she knows how broke Misato is, and because there is no meat in ramen noodles, wonder girl (Rei Ayanami) will also join them. During dinner, Shinji says that he finally understands why he pilots an Eva; to hear these words of praise from his father.