REVIEW: Rei III/The Final Messenger (Evangelion)
What we found there, underground, you don’t want to know. I don’t want to know. I never want to remember again. I’m almost entirely wrapped in despair. It gets worse, and worse, and worse. But thankfully, this arc ends this week. Yes, it’s a short one, but at least it’s a good one. God, this is hard to deal with. I’ll, uh… I’ll see you soon. Real soon.
You want to know. You want to know what Rei is. I can tell you, we’d all be better off not knowing. I wish I’d never known. There are moments, watching this series, when you wonder why the hell you’re still watching. The end of this episode is the biggest one I can think of. It’s awful, and it’s horrible, and even knowing how this series ends will not prepare you for the shocks coming to you along the way. Woe betide whoever watches this series, because that is all they’ll receive in the third arc.
The episode begins this week with what’s been the ending for every other episode yet. Rei and Unit-00 are sent out to fight the Angel, along with Asuka in Unit-02. The night before, Asuka’s sleeping at Hikari’s house, opening up to someone about the hatred and depression that have swallowed and consumed every aspect of her personality. Now, she can’t sync with Unit-02 at all. I feel bad for Asuka, but while that’s happening, the Angel is infesting Rei through Unit-00. She cries for the first time as the Angel explodes out of Unit-00’s back. Shinji is launched in Unit-01, but when he’s threatened, Rei sacrifices her life to save his. And when she and Unit-00 are destroyed, it’s one of the most tragic moments in the series.
Those who know what’s to come will know why I say she and Kaji were the lucky ones.
This is the first episode to really focus on the aftermath of a battle after the battle is depicted, and the fallout from losing Rei is astonishing. The first sixteen Angels have been defeated. There are only seventeen in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Shinji and Misato are at home. Misato goes into his room, and knows that she’s losing him. She tries to be there for him, but touching his hand forces him to draw away. They’re both truly alone. Gendo and Fuyutsuki stand in the basement where Rei was all naked in a tube. Rei’s alive.
She’s badly battered, but she’s alive. She doesn’t remember saving Shinji’s life. “I must be the third one.” She’s seeing her room for the first time, yet not the first time.
Ritsuko calls Shinji to the basement of NERV headquarters while Misato makes it there on a post-mortem tip from Kaji. It’s time. Rei was born in a laboratory. A dank room deep in a pit, which looks like her room above. The first Evangelions failed ten years ago, skeletons in pits in the floor. Yui died there in front of Shinji’s eyes.
Ritsuko shows them the components of the dummy plug. Clones upon clones of Rei, floating in LCL. Spare parts for Gendo to keep rebuilding and keeping Rei around. The dummy plug is Rei. Evangelions contain human souls. That’s why all the potential pilots, Shinji’s class are all have dead mothers. Ritsuko breaks down and liquefies the Rei clones, heartbroken over how she fell for Gendo but he still chose soulless clones over her. Just like he did with her mother.
There are no words for this.
The Final Messenger:
You know what sucks about this? To get to the ending, to get to even the most esoteric of happy endings, you have to go through the worst misery and suffering possible in television history. Anyone I recommended this series to, I apologize. The ending is not the tough part to get through. This arc is the worst thing your soul can undergo while watching TV.
Nobody told Asuka that Kaji died. The resultant breakdown takes a week and living in a squalid, half destroyed apartment for her to be reined back in by the secret service. Shinji’s realized the true loneliness of having no one in the world love you. You know, now that we’re back at Shinji, the loss of Tokyo-3 feels fundamental. A horrid and depressing pit of nothingness. We lost it last week when Unit-00 exploded. Shinji meets Kaworu Nagisa, the fifth child.
Forget this angst. Everything sucks. Everything totally sucks. And you know what sucks worse than everything in the old shell of Tokyo-3? The fact that the fans latched onto a character who got as much screentime as Jet Alone as the one true love of Shinji’s life. Kaworu is nobody. Kaworu is no one at all in this series. Sure, he’s the only person who’s ever been nothing but nice to Shinji, but dammit, I hate this bastard. He’s nothing. Nothing at all. He is in one episode. Are there any Jet Alone fansites? Of course not, but somehow this mother gets shipped with Shinji as seriously as Asuka, Rei or Misato.
Shinji is likely everything but gay. Why does there always need to be a gay option? Fans suck. People who like series suck. For some reason, every character needs a gay option and for a lot of fanfiction writers, heterosexual sex is a taboo. I hate Kaworu because he’s a one-dimensional, one-note character who’s treated in fandom as being as necessary to the mythology as Rei or Shinji. He’s supposed to be the big saviour of all that is Shinji Ikari, but at the end of the day, he’s just. another. Angel.
Kaworu is the interrupting meme of the third arc, slamming his Marty Stu face into everyone’s business in bold typed capital letters. I can’t goddamn stand this. He just barges in, says “lookit me, I’m pretty and perfect, but oh noes I’m evil, Shinji’s gotta kill me LOL” and then Shinji’s dumb self obliges him while the Ode to Joy is being cranked under the action.
You know what? I guess every arc needs an episode I just can’t stand in it. First we had A Human Work, then Weaving a Story and last but not least The Final Messenger. Shinji, quit your whining about how Kaworu deserved to live where you deserved to die. You deserve to survive. Kaworu even told you that before you killed him. Shut. Up. And Asuka’s in a goddamn coma over this. I hope you’re happy, Kaworu. You didn’t fix a goddamn thing, and you will never make Shinji happy. Not now, not in Rebuild, not ever, you absolute dick.
Third arc overall: THREE AND A HALF STARS Friggin’ Kaworu. Four stars for being the series at its best as a series, but less half a star for friggin’ Kaworu. I hate Kaworu.