Ep 23 – “Rei III” / “Namida (Tears)” (涙)
Following the last Angel’s assault on her mind, Asuka sinks into clinical depression. The next Angel, Armisael attacks, and attempts to merge itself with Unit 00, causing it to make contact with Rei’s mind, as past Angels did with Shinji and Asuka. In order to save Shinji, Rei self-destructs Unit 00 in order to destroy Armisael. Rei is revealed to be “recovered” after a supposed near-death experience. Seele, wanting to get to the bottom of the incident, subjects Ritsuko to a humiliating interrogation with Gendo’s consent. Wanting revenge on Gendo, Ritsuko betrays him by revealing several dark truths to Shinji and Misato about the Evangelions and Rei, particularity that the latter is but one of several backup clones.