Mark Watches ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’: Episode 17 – The Fourth Child

In the seventeenth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, a new pilot is chosen just after an entire research facility in Nevada disappears. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion. 

Trigger Warning: For brief talk of trauma/PTSD

I still have so many questions, and I just realized I have less than ten episodes of this show left. I FEEL LIKE I BARELY STARTED IT.

The Interrogation

I think this is the first scene in the show where someone other than Gendo Ikari meets with the Committee. I found it brilliant and eerie that Misato’s interrogation about the events in the last episode were animated as they were. It’s much more effective when she’s illuminated, unmoving, in a beam of light, all while the committee shouts questions at her from off-screen. (Could she even see them? Or were they shrouded in darkness as well?) Through this, I learned that Shinji most likely SPOKE TO THE ANGEL THAT HAD DEVOURED HIM. That wasn’t a hallucination! IT WAS THE ANGEL. OH MY GOD. So they are interested in the human mind and the motivations for what they’re doing. Why? What’s their endgame? What are they trying to do? How long have the committee suspected that the Angels had another motivation?


So, now I understand that weird tube we saw her in before. NERV is trying to to develop a “dummy” plug that activates an Evangelion without a human pilot. I still have no idea why Evangelions sync with fourteen-year-old kids who have no parents or missing parents. Something about that particular circumstance “activates” these creatures, enough that it might be possible to create a digital version of a kid’s being or soul or energy or SOMETHING. I mean, that would be a vital development if they did so! No more TRAUMATIZED KIDS. Right? I suppose I don’t know what that chamber is like for them either, and Rei isn’t exactly all that easy to read. But it can’t be worse than being a pilot! Right???

Second Branch

HOW CAN THE WHOLE THING DISAPPEAR? How is that even possible? The easiest answer seems to be what happened in the last episode. What if the whole thing was sucked into one of those Sea of Dirac things like Shinji was? How did the Angels even know it was there, though? All of the attacks thus far have been in Tokyo-3 (except one) with the aim of infiltrating NERV headquarters. Did the Angels somehow figure out that Unit-03 was there?

Thank You

WHO WAS ABSOLUTELY CRUSHED BY THAT SCENE? Y’all, each new moment with Rei makes me more desperate to learn her entire backstory. Where did she come from? Did she always have the same demeanor, or did that develop after she became a pilot? Why has she never thanked another person ever?

The Fourth Child

It’s a testament to the storytelling on this show that I felt dread once I realized that the Fourth Child was Toji. While the writers cleverly never outright state that this is the case, I think there are enough clues here to point in his direction. I’m mostly focusing on the fact that he said that there wasn’t anyone to make his meals for him, which suggests he’s parent less like the others. I mean, even that’s not a definitive clue; it’s just a pattern between each of the pilots. They’ve all lost a parent or have a parent missing. (Hell, do any of the kids in that class have parents??? I strongly suspect they don’t, and I’m pretty certain that this episode confirmed that Hikari doesn’t either. Why is she always cooking for her older sisters???)

Plus, Toji doesn’t seem very thrilled by the news. Given his feelings on the pilots and Evangelions, I wasn’t surprised. His sister is in the hospital because of Shinji. While he may have forgiven Shinji for that, the situation is not that cut and dry. Not only has he seen the physical destruction they’ve caused, he’s watched how being a pilot has completely changed Shinji. (Well, he also saw how traumatic the experience is, too.) But why now? Why was it necessary to reveal the Fourth Child at this time? Is Toji just a coincidence, or did something happen that “revealed” him to NERV? I DON’T GET IT.

The video for “The Fourth Child” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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