One of my favorite things about this episode was the contrast between how Rei and Nagisa handle conflict. Partially because it perfectly lined up with a prediction I made earlier about this year about how their ways of approaching conflict would probably cause tension between them.
I think this screenshot sums it up pretty well. Rei is the kind of person who will step in front and confront someone head-on if he believes it’s for the best. Nagisa, out of all of them, is the one to hide furthest back and do anything he can to dart around a corner so not to face anyone.
At the beginning of the episode, he avoids being truthful with his friends. In the second half, he avoids facing his parents. And the whole time, it’s obvious that Rei just doesn’t understand Nagisa’s reasoning.
But Rei tries very hard to be patient with Nagisa, even though he doesn’t understand his reasons. And that matters a lot, too, that each time up until the final one, he tries to listen.
And even the last time, he tries to hold onto Nagisa in what I can only interpret as a grounding, comforting gesture. It’s to remind Nagisa that Rei may disagree, but he is still there for him.
I could have used a hug though