"The Value of Miracles" is the twelfth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
A massive Angel, Sahaquiel, appears in Earth's orbit, well beyond the reach of the Evangelions, and launching several N² bombs at it has no effect. The Angel attacks by dropping small pieces of itself onto Earth below, calibrating its aim: once it has zeroed in on Tokyo-3, the main body of Sahaquiel will fall to Earth in a massive kamikaze attack to destroy Tokyo-3. All three Evangelions are deployed at once in a race to reach the Angel before it hits, hold it back by projecting their own A.T. Fields, and destroy it.
The episode begins with a flashback from 2000 AD: as Second Impact occurs at Antarctica, Dr. Katsuragi, Misato's father, saves her life by shoving her into an escape capsule. Adam, as a Giant of Light, is briefly seen, and giant wings appear in the cloud vortex over Antarctica as the capsule floats to safety.
Back in the present in Tokyo-3, Toji and Kensuke drop into Misato's apartment to take shelter from the rain with Shinji. Kensuke notices that Misato has been promoted to Major, (a fact which has completely escaped Shinji and Asuka), and he and Toji congratulate her. Misato thanks them and reminds Shinji and Asuka that they have a harmonics test that day.
At NERV Headquarters, after the harmonics test, Ritsuko reveals that Shinji's synch rate is rapidly rising and he will soon catch up to Asuka, which seemed irritating for the latter, and leaves angrily.
When they arrive home, they find that Kensuke has arranged a party to celebrate Misato's promotion. Toji wonders why Hikari, the Class rep, is there, and Asuka replies that she has invited her. Asuka then begins to wonder why Kaji is late, while Rei has turned down her invitation. Meanwhile, Shinji whispers to Misato that he's uncomfortable around that many people. When Shinji asks her why she joined NERV, Misato claims to have forgotten. Kaji finally arrives, bringing Ritsuko with him, causing Misato and Asuka to both react with jealousy. Kaji comments that Commander Ikari and Vice Commander Fuyutsuki must have a lot of faith in Misato for leaving Japan together and making her in charge.
In Antarctica, Gendo and Fuyutsuki are onboard an aircraft carrier in a sea of red. The surrounding area has become incapable of sustaining life; Fuyutsuki comments that it is the true Dead Sea. Also on board the deck is a mysterious long object in wrappings. Just then, an urgent message from NERV HQ is received, notifying that the tenth Angel has been detected in the Earth orbit.
The tenth Angel, Sahaquiel, colossal in size and one of the most bizarre Angels in appearance, looking like a gigantic amoeba with a huge central eye. Its strategy is to zero in on NERV, dropping pieces of itself onto the Earth to calibrate its aim. Each piece has its own A.T. Field, which, combined with very high kinetic energy, cause devastation wherever they strike. It is believed that once the Angel finds its target, the main body will plummet to Earth. Even a near miss will convert Tokyo-3 into an extension of the Pacific Ocean . Misato orders all civilians evacuated in a fifty-kilometer radius, and concocts what seems to be an impossible plan. Using their A.T. Fields at full strength, the three Evas will catch the falling Angel with their hands and then destroy it. Ritsuko accuses Misato of putting her quest for revenge ahead of the mission.
Misato briefs the pilots on the mission. They all decline to write a will. She then promises them a steak dinner if they succeed. Rei passes on the steak because she dislikes meat. When Misato is asked how she determined where to station the Evas (the potential impact zone is miles across), she replies, "intuition." Shinji tells Asuka that Misato has never won the lottery.
On their way to their Evas, Shinji asks Asuka why she pilots. She replies that she wants to prove something to the world. When she throws the question back at him, he doesn't have an answer.
We are then shown a flashback to a conversation Shinji and Misato must have had a short time before. She admits that she joined NERV to avenge her father, even though she had hated him for neglecting her and her mother.
The time comes at last. The Evas race to the impact spot, Shinji arriving first. He struggles to hold up the Angel until Rei and Asuka join him. Rei proceeds to expose Sahaquiel's core with her Progressive Knife, and Asuka uses her knife to stab the now vulnerable core, causing the Angel to self-destruct; another mission has been successful against tremendous odds. Gendo calls, and when Misato tries to apologize for the damage done to Unit-01, he tells her she did well. He then specifically asks to speak with Shinji and tells him, "Good work.". The pilots have mercy on Misato's pocketbook and go to a ramen place instead of a steakhouse. Even Rei goes along, ordering garlic ramen with no pork. Shinji tells Misato that he pilots because he wants to hear words of praise from his father.
- The message written in three lines on the sign put on the door to Misato's apartment for the party, written in Japanese characters says: "Congratulations On Your Promotion/Celebration Spot/Reserved Today".
- Misato is wearing a sash at the party the kids throw for her, with writing on it that translates as "Congratulations on your promotion to Major".
- Misato is seen drinking "Boa" brand beer again, last seen in Episode 10, as opposed to her favored Yebisu brand from Episode 02 (possibly as a result of the network that the series first aired on complaining that they didn't want to give the real-world Yebisu beer company unpaid publicity).
- It seem unlikely that a chrysalis large enought to hold Sahaquiel stayed undetected in orbit for 15 years.
- Adam's shoulder pylons are similar to those found on the Evangelions, and thus seem to be artificial restraints added by the research team (just as they are not biologically part of the Evas, either). A still-shot of the Katsuragi expedition digging up Adam (seen in the extended opening given on the Renewal of Evangelion Test-type disk) shows Adam lying face down, skewered on the Spear, and lacking shoulder pylons.
- The capsule which was used resembles an entry plug.
- The reason for Gendo and Fuyutsuki's trip to Antarctica is not revealed in this episode, however, they bring back a large mysterious object wrapped in tarps, which is longer than an aircraft carrier's flight deck. This will be seen again in Episode 14.
- Misato mentions that if Tokyo-3 and NERV HQ have to be evacuated, they will move the Magi supercomputers to Matsushiro. Matsushiro is on the outskirts of Tokyo-2, and later in Episode 18 we will see that NERV has a secondary testing facility there.
- Special order "D-17", which can be declared under NERV's authority, is the order to evacuate all civilians within a 50 kilometer radius of Tokyo-3.
- Another instance of Misato and Ritsuko clashing. Ritsuko is a highly logical thinker, and she strongly disagrees with Misato's placement of the Evas on pure guesswork.
- Due to the hardships caused by Second Impact, Misato thinks of a steak dinner as something quite extravagant. (As it is in Japan today, even without Second Impact.)
- First and only time that Unit-00's prog knife is seen: it is only seen briefly, but it appears to be visually identical to the knife used by Unit-01.
- Gendo's audio-only transmission from the end of the episode says that he is transmitting from a ship designated "DDG-099", thus it would seem that the ship in the UN fleet sent to the Antarctic which he is transmitting from is the destroyer USS Farragut, designated DDG-99.
- “By the hand of man” and “a miracle has value when it is brought about” are two lines that are familiar from some of Director Anno’s previous works. In this episode, it is revealed that Rei dislikes meat, but Nadia: Secret of Blue Water was also a vegetarian. Director Anno himself is also famous for not eating meat. Incidentally, Rei orders a garlic ramen without the pork at a ramen shop, but the script has Rei ordering seaweed ramen. It is a rare example of pure adlibbing on the part of a voice actress in this show. - Platinum Episode Commentaries