Japanese Title: 男の戰い (Otoko no
Tatakai) (A Man's Fight)
English Sub-Title: Introjection
Airdate: February 7, 1996
As Evangelion Unit-01 is being secured, NERV Headquarters is unable to eject its Entry Plug. To their surprise, they are blocked by the pilot Shinji Ikari, who is still onboard. Makoto Hyuga and Maya Ibuki attempt to reason with him, but Shinji lashes out, threatening to destroy NERV Headquarters himself for what they have done.
Shinji then calls out to his father, Gendo Ikari, who he calls a bastard for using his hands to try to kill his friend Touji Suzuhara. Enraged, Shinji calls out for his father to answer, but Gendo remains silent. Instead, Gendo orders to increase the L.C.L. pressure inside the Entry Plug, saying he has no time for a petulant child. As the pressure inside the plug is increased, Shinji looses consciousness.
The next morning cleanup after the battle with Bardiel is under way, with Ritsuko Akagi and Misato Katsuragi onsite. When Misato asks what happened to Shinji, Ritsuko explains that they had to cut-open the Entry Plug to extract him.
Meanwhile Shinji is recovering at a NERV medical facility, where Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley Sohryu are waiting in the hallway. Asuka comments that Shinji is finished, and that he will not be able to talk his way out of this one. A dazed Touji Suzuhara slowly opens his eyes, noticing an unconscious Shinji in the next bed. As he wonders why Shinji is also there, his thoughts turn to his sister.
In a dream sequence that follows, Rei and Shinji are sitting facing each other on a train. A confused Touji is also on the other side of the train. Rei asks Shinji why he did that, and Shinji replies that his father betrayed him; that he can no longer trust him. Rei then asks if he tried understanding his father, to which Shinji cries out that he tried.
As Touji wakes up, he finds Hikari Horaki at his bedside. Hikari informs him that Shinji was released yesterday, and that he had been asleep for three days now. Touji smiles, asking if Hikari was here the whole time. She gets embarrassed, explaining that she just arrived, and then that the staff would not allow it, and finally that she is just here as the class representative. Touji replies that he knew that, to which Hikari quietly sighs that he knows nothing. Touji then apologizes for not being able to eat the lunch she had made, and asks for a favor. He asks that she tell his little sister there is nothing wrong with him, even as he lies in bed with his left leg missing.
Shinji Ikari stands before his father accused of several criminal offences, including disobeying orders. When Gendo finally asks if he has anything to say, Shinji replies that he will not pilot an Evangelion Unit anymore, and he will not stay here either. Gendo says that he may leave, but that he disappoints him, and they will likely never meet again. Shinji replies that that is his intention, and walks away. As Shinji leaves NERV Headquarters, Gendo informs the Command Center to erase the Third Child's data, and that Rei Ayanami will become the pilot of Evangelion Unit-01, with the Dummy Plug as backup.
Later that day Shinji is at the train station with Misato Katsuragi, who attempts to convince him to stay. She says that she will leave his NERV access card and his room as they are, to which Shinji is quick reply not to, that there is no point because he will not be back. As Misato drives away, she realizes that she has never seen him so certain before. But as Shinji awaits his train, a city-wide alert sounds, ordering all residents to emergency shelters.
NERV Headquarters is in a state of panic as Zeruel, the Fourteenth Angel, shatters the outlying defenses and assaults New Tokyo-3. In a single attack, the Angel penetrates 18 of 22 layers of armor protecting the Geo Front. Misato realizes the Evangelion Units cannot deploy fast enough to intercept the Angel on the surface, and instead orders Evangelion Unit-02 to position inside the Geo Front.
When Ritsuko explains that Evangelion Unit-00 is still under repairs and is not ready for combat, Gendo Ikari orders Rei to sortie inside Evangelion Unit-01. However, despite repeated attempts, Evangelion Unit-01 refuses to synchronize with Rei. Gendo then orders Rei to deploy inside Evangelion Unit-00 instead, and to activate Evangelion Unit-01 using a Dummy Plug.
In the mean time Asuka in Evangelion Unit-02 engage Zeruel in the Geo Front. Evangelion Unit-02 neutralizes the Angel's AT Field and fires every weapon it has; to no effect. Asuka cries out that she cannot lose again, but within moments, Zeruel unsheathes two razor-sharp blades and severs Evangelion Unit-02's arms and head. Fortunately, Misato cuts the synchronization circuits between the unit and Asuka in time to save her life.
Meanwhile Shinji sits quietly in an emergency shelter when the giant, severed head of Evangelion Unit-02 crashes through the wall.
As the survivors of the damaged shelter evacuate, Shinji watches the battle inside the Geo Front. To his surprise, he finds Ryoji Kaji also there, watering his melons. He explains that below this very ground sleeps Adam, and if an Angel comes in contact with it, humanity will be eradicated by the Third Impact. He goes on to say that while he would prefer to be with Misato when this happens, he is content to die here. At that moment, Evangelion Unit-00 with Rei onboard emerges from the ground. With no weapons and only a single arm intact, the unit charges at Zeruel.
Gendo and Ritsuko, both shocked that Evangelion Unit-00 is carrying an Nē Bomb, call out for Rei to stop. Rei engages Zeruel nonetheless, penetrating its AT Field and detonating the bomb directly in front of its Core. As its AT Field fails however, Zeruel's Core is enclosed by a protective lid. The massive explosion shakes the Geo Front, but does not destroy the Angel. When the dust finally clears, Evangelion Unit-00 is left incapacitated.
As Shinji watches in agony, Kaji says that all he can do is water his plants, but there is something that Shinji can do, something that he alone can do, and it is his choice. Moments later Shinji runs off towards NERV Headquarters.
With Zeruel's attacks penetrating deep inside the NERV facility, Gendo continues to try to activate Evangelion Unit-01 using the Dummy Plug. He is surprised to hear Shinji's voice fill the hangar, asking to pilot Evangelion Unit-01. When Gendo asks why he is here, Shinji replies that he is the pilot of Evangelion Unit-01.
Another explosion shakes the facility as Zeruel enters Central Dogma. Just as Misato orders all personnel to evacuate the Command Center, the area is breached, with Zeruel aiming its particle cannon directly at Misato.
Before Zeruel has the opportunity to fire, Evangelion Unit-01 crashes through the wall, pushing the Angel back towards the hangar catapults. In the process, Zeruel severs Evangelion Unit-01's left arm, leaving his father Gendo covered in red blood. An enraged Shinji corners Zeruel against one of the catapults, giving Misato an opportunity to eject both the Angel and Evangelion Unit-01 back to the surface of the Geo Front.
Shinji continues the fight on the surface until his reserve power runs out, leaving Evangelion Unit-01 motionless. Zeruel grabs the construct by the head, throwing it against the NERV Headquarters pyramid. Shinji screams for Evangelion Unit-01 to move as Zeruel burns through its chest armor to reveal its Core. As Misato, Ritsuko and Kaji watch, the Angel assaults the vital organ.
Shinji's Entry Plug begins to crack under the onslaught, but just as he cries out that everyone might die, Evangelion Unit-01 reactivates. With its AT Field spread to full, the now berserk construct repels Zeruel's attacks, throwing the Angel aside and regenerating its left arm. NERV staff is shocked, with Maya Ibuki commenting that Shinji's Sync Ratio is over 400%. Zeruel attacks again, but Evangelion Unit-01 counters by a mere wave of its hand, using its AT Field to cut through the Angel's defenses, wounding it.
As Zeruel falls to the ground, Evangelion Unit-01 approaches the dying Angel and begins to consume it. A shocked Ritsuko comments that Evangelion Unit-01 is taking the Angel's Sē Engine into itself.
Moments later Evangelion Unit-01 stands up, with its shoulder armor breaking off. Ritsuko explains that those are not really armor, but restraints designed to control and bind the construct to their will. Kaji smiles and says that SEELE will not stay quiet for this. Meanwhile Gendo and Kouzou watch from atop NERV Headquarters. Kouzou remarks that it has finally begun.