The Sickness Unto Death, and...
The repeated showing of the shadow before the Evangelion went after the floating object was well played. It suggested, “Look at this shadow, there’s something about it, don’t you think?” without being blatant.
For Rei to say they can’t retreat yet because Shinji and his Evangelion are still in the shadow is a noticeable change. Like Shinji, although not the same as Shinji, Rei has always been seen following orders. The only time I think recall where she seemed to acts on her own was when she slapped Shinji for speaking negatively about his father. Then, even the look on her face when Asuka badmouthed Shinji’s actions. There’s a change in Rei, one that she might not even be noticing herself. As for Asuka, her badmouthing probably was to avoid having to face the idea that he might really be gone for good, and it’s because of her that he took the lead.
I’m convinced more than ever that something from Shinji’s mother is within Eva 01. This is why Eva 01 is such a precious item to Gendo, more precious than even the life of his own son. And to see the Evangelion go berserk, to act on its own when it should have no power, Asuka has reason to question what she’s piloting, but Rei has no reaction. Does she know? She has to. Ritsuko remarks to Gendo about is Shinji or Asuka were to find out the secret of the Evangelion.
Misato surmises that the Evangelion can’t simply be copies of Adam. What about the second Angel? What is the nature of the second Angel? And Misato asks a good question on what becomes of the Evangelion after the Angels are destroyed. Assuming there’d be a definitely way of knowing the when the Angels are all gone, will the Evangelion allow themselves to simply be shut off? Or, can they act on their own, regardless of power supply, should they actively choose to do so?
Not only Asuka, but even Ritsuko is astonished to see what has become of Eva 01.
What was the glow at Shinji’s hand? Was it part of the suit? What was the red item he held up as a child? Did he hold it up to his mother? Was the figure meant to represent his mother?
After seeing the previous episode, I wondered if Shinji would face himself and change, and if so, whether he would do so alone or with the help of another. Facing death, facing himself, he was both alone and together. In the final scene, he awakens to the same ceiling, but something is different this time. Rei is watching over him. Not only Rei, but Asuka as well. From a distance. Shinji laughs quietly to see her reaction. He’s not a silent observer. He isn’t acting to keep himself from being hurt. He has friends. He doesn’t need to be alone, to keep himself alone. He thought at Misato’s promotion party about how he doesn’t handle very well being around so many people. He doesn’t need to be alone anymore, to keep himself alone anymore.