Japanese Title: 四人目の適格者 (Yoninme no Tekikakusha) (Fourth Children)
English Sub-Title: The Fourth Child
Airdate: January 24, 1996
NERV Operations Director Misato Katsuragi stands before the Human Instrumentality Committee, whose members ask her about the incident involving Leliel, the Twelfth Angel and Evangelion Unit-01. They are particularly interested if Leliel attempted to communicate or has somehow compromised the mind of the Third Child. Although Misato denies any such contamination, the committee points out that this is the first time an Angel has attempted to take an Evangelion Unit into itself. As Misato is dismissed, the members defer to NERV Commander Gendo Ikari, who is also present. Gendo notes that the Angels are beginning to attain intelligence, and that there is not much time left.
Touji Suzuhara is at a local hospital visiting his little sister, who had been severely injured when Sachiel, the Third Angel first attacked New Tokyo-3. As the hospital nurses discuss the incident amongst themselves, they praise her big brother Touji for visiting so often.
Meanwhile NERV Headquarters is in a state of emergency after NERV-02 in Nevada is reported to have been destroyed. Everything in an 89km radius of the installation, including Evangelion Unit-04, all support facilities, and thousands of personnel have simply vanished.
As analysis comes in, it appears that the incident occurred around the same time as the experimental S² Engine prototype was being installed. Several theories are suggested, including structural instability and sabotage, but Ritsuko Akagi notes that based on the evidence, the entire installation was most likely consumed by a Dirac Sea, just as Evangelion Unit-01 was during its encounter with Leliel, the Twelfth Angel.
After the meeting, Misato and Ritsuko discuss the loss of NERV-02 and the future of Evangelion Unit-03. Ritsuko explains that after the disaster, the US government is nervous, and is already in process of shipping Evangelion Unit-03 to NERV Headquarters. When Misato asks how Ritsuko will handle the activation of Evangelion Unit-03, and if she will use the new Dummy Plug, Ritsuko replies that she has not decided yet.
Deep inside NERV Headquarters, Ritsuko presents to Commander Gendo Ikari the new prototype Dummy Plug. She comments that a Dummy Plug contains a copy of a pilot's thought processes, but in the end, they are unable to digitize the soul, and so a Dummy Plug remains a machine, a pale imitation to the original. Gendo dismisses the argument, stating that as long as an Evangelion Unit activates, it is good enough. Against Ritsuko's objections, Gendo orders the Dummy System to be loaded onto both Evangelion Unit-01 and Evangelion Unit-02.
With Rei Ayanami floating in a chamber of L.C.L. (with the Dummy System attached overhead), Gendo informs Ritsuko that he has delegated the transport of Evangelion Unit-03 to the U.N., and that it will arrive here shortly, after which she will oversee it's activation. When the subject of the pilot comes up, Ritsuko recommends against the use of a Dummy Plug, and so it is decided that the Fourth Child will be chosen instead.
Later that day, Misato and Ritsuko discuss the pilot of Evangelion Unit-03. Ritsuko explains that the use of the Dummy Plug has been ruled out, but fortunately, a new pilot has been found by the Marduk Institute. A suspicious Misato is quick to point out that she has not received a report of this, to which Ritsuko assures her that she will get her report. When asked if Ritsuko is hiding something again, Ritsuko denies it. Misato is shocked as the identity of the Fourth Child is revealed to her.
As school is dismissed, Touji Suzuhara still has to deliver some documents to Rei Ayanami. When confronted by Hikari Horaki, the class representative, he concedes that he cannot go to a girl's house alone. Hikari, who has for some time had a crush on Touji, is quick to volunteer, but is abruptly cut off when an oblivious Touji calls for Shinji to come with him instead.
Touji and Shinji arrive at Rei's apartment, but no one answers the doorbell. Seeing as how Rei's mailbox is completely full, Shinji states she will never see it if they leave it here, so they should leave it inside. As the two make their way inside, Touji can hardly believe that such a messy and decrepit place could be a girl's apartment. Shinji places the school papers on Rei's bed, and proceeds to clean up some of the garbage lying on the floor. Touji protests, claiming that to be unmanly.
Few minutes later Rei arrives. Although a little startled that Shinji would go out of his way to clean up her apartment, she thanks him nonetheless. Later that afternoon Rei is alone in her bed, contemplating what she had said to Shinji; thank you, words of gratitude she never used beforenot even with Gendo.
Later that afternoon Gendo Ikari and Kouzou Fuyutsuki are on a monorail traveling from New Tokyo-3 into the Geo Front. The two discuss that the final stage of construction of New Tokyo-3 is nearly complete, and that this city is a paradise mankind created after being expelled from paradise (the Garden of Eden), a way to protect themselves from the outside world. When Kouzou brings up the destruction of NERV-02 and the S² Engine prototype, Gendo replies that it is not a problem, and the data is still in Germany. He stresses the old men at SEELE should understand that incidents not depicted in the Dead Sea Scrolls may occur.
At NERV Headquarters, Ryoji Kaji is busy putting the moves on Maya Ibuki in the cafeteria. He is disappointed that there will be no celebration following the full restoration of NERV's intercept system, calling NERV one of the most uptight organizations on Earth. He is soon interrupted as Misato walks in.
A nervous Maya makes a quick exit, and Misato asks Kaji about the Marduk Institute. She explains the sudden discovery of the Fourth Child is too convenient. Kaji remarks that it is unlike her to ask for help. Nonetheless, he explains the Marduk Institute does not exist, and NERV is pulling the strings. He then tells her to start at code 707, which Misato recognizes as Shinji's school. Their conversation is interrupted when Shinji arrives to tell Misato that Ritsuko is looking for her.
Misato leaves, and Shinji and Kaji make their way outside onto the surface of the Geo Front. Kaji brings him to a rural area where he has been growing melons, a hobby of his. Shinji is surprised to learn about this side of Kaji, who he sees as a playboy. Kaji explains that growing things can bring great pleasure, but Shinji remarks that it can also bring pain. Kaji then tells him that although he knows Shinji has seen much sorrow in his life; those experiences will allow him to be kind to others, which is not a weakness.
In the evening Rei, Shinji, and Asuka are subject to another Sync Ratio test, during which Ritsuko finds Shinji's scores to have dropped. When Misato asks what this could mean, Ritsuko theorizes that the last incident with Leliel, the Twelfth Angel, might have affected him more than they previously thought.
The next day at school Touji Suzuhara is called to the principal's office, where he is officially informed by Ritsuko of his selection as the Fourth Child.
Meanwhile Shinji Ikari and Kensuke Aida chat on the roof of the school. Apparently, Kensuke has heard rumors about the loss of Evangelion Unit-04, and the transfer of Evangelion Unit-03 to Japan. As he tries to get Shinji to convince Misato to pick him as the pilot, Shinji is surprised that he was not told any of these things.
Later that afternoon, with the school deserted, Touji goes about his cleanup duties. In a state that can be described as nostalgia, he is alone in his class room eating lunch when the class representative, Hikari Horaki approaches him.
After telling him that he still has to clean up the blackboards and straighten the desks, Hikari asks if he always buys his lunch. Touji explains that he has to since there is no one home that can cook. Hikari then suggests that because she has two sisters, she always makes too much food. Touji says that he would be happy to take care of any left-overs.
The episode concludes as the calm before the storm. As Hikari prepares lunch for Touji, he is on the basketball court trying to come to terms with being the Fourth Child. Evangelion Unit-03 lifts off from America shortly thereafter.