Food for thought indeed; I've been thinking about what OMF has suggested, especially the underscored above, ever since it was somewhat belatedly brought to my attention, and I feel it deserves its own thread.ObsessiveMathsFreak wrote:I'm just wondering about the nature of Rei's disintegration in EoE. Gendou claims it is because Rei's AT Field can no longer hold its shape; or at least this is the translation in both the Manga and Bochan Bird translations. This is rather intriguing, as it might suggest that Rei's body could simply be a manifestation of here AT Field. This is a bit speculative though; I always took from this scene that Rei's body was being held together be her AT Field, not that her body was he AT Field.
In any case, I'm wondering why exactly Rei beings to fall apart in #26'. What is causing her AT Field to break down? Has she stopped taking her medications? Has she missed some special treatment; perhaps a session in the dummy plug tank, as seen in #15 and #17? I has assumed these sessions were some for of mental resynch, but perhaps there is something deeper to it?
Could here disintegration then be related to the destruction of the Dummy bodies? Perhaps Rei is linked to or even reliant on these bodies to a greater degree than has been otherwise supposed? If so, this might explain Ritsuko's words to Gendou in #24'.Episode #24' wrote:IKARI:Why did you destroy the dummy system?
RITSUKO:Not the dummy system, what I destroyed was Rei.
Could destroying the dummy plug bodies have meant the eventual disintegration of Rei as well? Is this the reason she eventually begins falling apart? If so, it might have implications for the motivations behind Ritsuko's actions in #23'.
Food for thought.
As regards what Ritsuko says in #24: "Not the dummy system, what I destroyed was Rei.", I think that, as a general rule in NGE, people tend to say what they mean, and mean what they say, and this is especially true for Ritsuko. I don't think we need to put any kind of spin on what she says here; she states declaratively to Gendo that she destroyed Rei, and, to understand what is actually going on here plot-wise, it behooves us to take her at her word. So consider her actions in #23' in this light (and note, btw, the similarity of of her intent expression in these three cuts)
Realization that Gendo found her expendable, in favor of Rei:
Contemplation of what to do by way of revenge (while in the voice-over, SEELE seems to anticipate that sending her back to NERV will serve their own ends...):
Note the read-out on her hand-held:
Now Ritsuko is a deadly jealous woman, but no fool; she knows that if she were to simply go and, say, shoot Rei 3, or push her out a window, or whatever, she would only succeed in getting herself arrested, and then Gendo and Fuyutsuki would just get a fourth clone out of the Reiquaruim and start over, and she wouldn't have really accomplished anything. But keeping in mind her adamant declaration after the fact that she "destroyed Rei", I think it becomes apparent that she has thought this thru: "destrudo realease" of all the clones in the Dummy System will not only destroy the clones in the tank, but, judging by what we see and hear in #26' ("There's no time... Your AT Field can no longer hold your shape."), it seems to have doomed Rei 3 as well. Thus, if her plot had worked as planned, Rei 3 would literally fall apart, and there would be no back-ups to replace her. Perhaps SEELE's moves subsequent to #23 (sending Kaworu in #24, and then attacking NERV in #25') were more sudden than Ritsuko could have anticipated, but in any case it seems that Rei 3 just barely holds together long enough to play her part in 3I.
So, by way of justifying the title of this topic, let's look at how Ritsuko's action in destroying the Dummy System clones eventually affects Rei 3. If you consider Rei 2, it seems that, while at a fundamental level she was made of PWM, at the level of molecular structure and above (i.e. cells, tissues, organs, and so on), she was made and functioned essentially as a normal human; she eats...
and she bleeds...
...in other words, she had a pulse, and a metabolism. And presumably this was true for Rei 3 as well, when she first shows up in #23. But by the time we get to #26', it seems that Rei 3 is certainly not functioning like a normal human, in fact she's giving a distinct impression of being something like an animated corpse:
(Gendo is remarkably unfazed by this macabre development, but it seems that he grasped what Ritsuko had in mind.)
Hey! its "a woman who doesn't bleed"
So, it seems that an intact, functioning, Dummy System correlates with a Rei that is alive in a normal sense, while Rei after the DS is destroyed may be more like a soul occupying her body as a vessel, but not living in it. In any case, this puts a new perspective on this cut from #25'; Rei is not only looking at where she came from, but perhaps is considering what the immediate future holds for her as well...