Reichu wrote:With regard to the "sample" bit, I think people are just getting caught up in semantics. The show seems to make it pretty clear that the embryo IS, in effect, Adam, or at least her body, although it's just a small remnant of what it once was. "Sample" is a bit of a strange word to use, but...
In that case, there is a way that closes those plotholes and allows Gendo's Adam to be the one and only.
Adam is simply dead, destroyed by its own premature Impactulation, never to perform another. This embryo, Adam's dead form, is all that remains and cannot be used by the Angels at all. But neither can the humans resurrect it directly; that is why instead they clone it to make Eva, the "Adam Revival Project."
Knowing the Angels can't win (cause their own Impact) helps explain SEELE's confidence, or rather, makes them overconfident because they forget they can still eradicate us the old-fashioned way if the Evas are defeated, which is why Gendo and Fuyutsuki take things more seriously. (Of course this explanation is unnecessary because their faith in the SDSS plays the same role.)
By 2015 SEELE extracted everything they need of the embryo, so they put it in storage or schedule its termination. Enter Kaji, who instead "diverts" it into Gendo's hands. They don't notice it's gone/not destroyed for a long time, or don't throw a fit if they do, because it's not very important: they're done using it and the Angels can't use it anyway.
In this scenario, Lilith serves as a decoy to draw the Angels out of hiding so that they can be killed (as opposed to distracting them from Adam). As an extra measure they spread the lie to the humans that Lilith is Adam, in case an Angel with human intelligence comes along.
And one does. (Or rather, they made one.) Except this man-made Angel doesn't seem to be very motivated to go return to "Adam" like he's supposed to. So they call him out to that lake and remind him of his purpose, throwing in that Gendo is a fusion of Lilim and Adam like him, so he needs to hurry up.
(A side-effect of this lie is that Kaji thinks the embryo is but a sample of an original Adam locked in TD-- but also, per the plan, so does Kaworu.)
There are lots of variations on this theme, but the central tenets are:
--the Angels can't make an Impact with the embryo itself, so it's not kept good track of.
--at least Kaworu thinks that starting an Impact requires an Adamite to return to Adam.
--Kaworu doesn't think of the embryo in Gendo's hand as "the" Adam he must return to.
As for the CI, I'm wary of taking its explanations at face-value, including the idea that Lilith was the original target. Because then why would the lie that it's Adam get started?