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Film / The Matrix Revolutions

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All spoilers for The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

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"Everything that has a beginning, has an end."
"One way or another, Neo, this war is going to end. Tonight, the future of both worlds will be in your hands… or in his."
The Oracle
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The Matrix Revolutions is the second sequel to The Matrix and the third film in the Cyberpunk franchise of the same name, written and directed by The Wachowskis and released on November 5, 2003 a few months after its predecessor, The Matrix Reloaded. Both Reloaded and Revolutions were filmed back-to-back.

Following up directly after the previous film, the machines have reached humanity's real-world stronghold of Zion and begun their implacable assault, and while Zion is preparing for war, the chances of their survival are slim. Meanwhile, Neo (Keanu Reeves) attempts to defeat Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), who has now all but taken over the Matrix, and end the war between humans and machines altogether.

The film also stars Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus, Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity and Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe.

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For a time, this film served as a Grand Finale for the Matrix film franchise... until a fourth film, The Matrix Resurrections, was greenlit and eventually released in 2021.


The Matrix Revolutions contains examples of:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Several between Neo and Trinity. The most notable is when she comes to tell him that she's going with him no matter what; they take a moment to share their fears, and then simply hold each other tight before the fight begins.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Persephone.
  • Ammunition Backpack: A variation on this with the humans' mecha, which would load ammunition ("knuckle-up") by lifting the guns behind them and magnetically attaching the chains. The ammo was loaded in a manner similar to an ammunition backpack.
  • And Then What?: Part of the trigger for Agent Smith's Sanity Slippage in his final confrontation with Neo is being unable to answer this question even with the Oracle's sight.
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  • Anyone Can Die: A few named characters get killed off in this film, such as Captain Mifune, Trinity, and Neo.
  • The Artifact: Morpheus' arc was over the in the previous film and as a result, does very little except assist Niobe.
  • Assimilation Backfire: Agent Smith assimilates the Oracle, which backfires because, as she explained to Neo, "We can't see past the choices we don't understand." Smith could see that Neo would die, but not the reason he sacrificed himself. At the end, Neo's assimilation gives Smith a direct link back to the machines, allowing them to activate the Prime Program in Neo, which resets the Matrix and purges the rogue AI.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: During the battle of Zion, Captain Mifune is the leader of the APU unit and his APU is one of the last to go down.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • A version of this occurs with Seraph, Trinity, and Morpheus going through the Merovingian's club toward his table, back to back, all three with a gun in each hand. They didn't actually do any fighting, but no one tried to stop them.
    • This also happens with fighting, in the "reality" of the movie, during the battle at the docking bay. After many Sentinels managed to break through the barrage of machine gun fire, the APU users were forced to stop their barrage fire and defend themselves in all directions, with three of them going back to back on each other covering 120° in front of them (covering 360° this way). The scene also involved a dramatic camera movement showing them from above being surrounded by enemies.
  • Battle in the Rain: Neo and Smith in the end of the movie.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Zion has been saved, but the world is still ruined, the dock has been devastated by the thousands of Sentinels and the drill that bored through earlier, Captain Mifune was eventually overwhelmed and killed by the Sentinels, Trinity still died even after Neo tried to save her once before, thus proving the Architect's and Persephone's warnings true, Agent Smith has left Neo's physical body blinded, and Neo dies through sacrifice, leaving the rest of his allies to wonder what happened to him. Worse, the Architect lives on to continue his Affably Evil existence, though the Oracle survives to combat him and ensure the era of peace between man and machine will last.
  • Blind Seer: Neo, quite literally. Lampshaded by Bane/Smith.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The violence is a lot more brutal in this one since they also show the horrors of war in it as well.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Bane holds a blade to Trinity's neck and holds her hostage to force Neo to put down the plasma rifle he has and walk away from it. Instead of slitting her throat and making a dive for the rifle, Bane pushes Trinity down the hatch into the power room and then makes a dive for the rifle. Trinity then flips a circuit breaker and cuts power to the room above, giving Neo a chance to fight back before Bane can shoot him. The only justification is that Smith has a tight grasp on the Villain Ball and wants to savor Trinity's death in his own time, but that doesn't excuse his idiocy.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The lobby shootout scene (the ones with bad guys on the ceiling), in which no character ever reloads or throws away guns, and in the subway chase when The Trainman fires at least 11 rounds from his 6-shot revolver, without reloading (or being shown to, anyway).
  • Break Them by Talking: Smith certainly tries this during the final battle, but it quickly becomes a sign of his own Villainous Breakdown. Neo ends up refuting his entire nihilistic spiel with just four words.
  • Bring It: After Smith's first rant about how "the purpose of life is to end", Neo just stands up and does his classic "bring it" gesture.
  • Call-Back:
    • In the first movie, Smith noted that "Thomas Anderson" helped his landlady carry out her garbage. Neo offers to carry Rama Kandra's luggage for him, as he's looking for a convenient excuse to get on the train with them.
    • After Smith's defeat, the Matrix resetting itself causes a black cat to disappear and reappear. Déjà vu.
    • Also yet another from the first movie. During his duel with Smith in the train station, he's pummeled until he spews Blood from the Mouth, at which point his Heroic Second Wind kicks in, allowing him an upper hand against Smith (if only temporarily). Guess what happens in this movie.
  • Censored Child Death: While Smith assimilates Sati, her assimilation is not seen or heard.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: Captian Mifune's Armored Personnel Unit equipped squadron, capable of dual-wielding guns big enough to take down the Sentinels, is the main line of defense due to being specially equipped to fight Sentinels.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Neo, of course, when he is overwritten by Smith and the machines delete Smith through his body.
  • Cue the Sun: At the end, the Oracle and Sati are sitting on a bench in a green park under a stunning sunrise which was made by Sati ("for Neo").
  • Deus ex Machina: A rather self-aware use of the trope is used to resolve the plot at the end. Neo proposes a plan to end the war by traveling to Zero One to offer his help in killing Agent Smith in exchange for peace. The god-like supercomputer who rules the machines — who has never been mentioned before this point — agrees, and forces the Sentinels to break off their attack just as they're about to destroy Zion. The supercomputer's name (according to the end credits)? "Deus ex Machina" — a literal and figurative "God from the Machine".
  • Disability Superpower: Near the end Neo is blinded by Bane, a human who has been taken over by Neo's rival Agent Smith. However he still manages to overpower and kill him due to his powers as the One: he can see data and machinery as glowing yellow light. This appears to also include humans who have been possessed by programs. It also happens only in the real world; while in the Matrix, Neo's residual self-image still has normal eyes and vision.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Trinity does this, even though she's already in the middle of a Mexican Standoff.
  • Duel to the Death: Neo and Smith at the end of the movie.
  • Eager Rookie: The Kid is only 16 years old but joins the Corps to fight the Machines. Captain Mifune tells him he can't serve because the minimum age is 18, but relents when the Kid points out that the Machines won't care how old he is, they'll kill him whether he fights them or not.
  • Eat Me: Done twice. The Oracle and Neo both let Smith assimilate them in order to destroy him.
  • Enemy Mine: Smith conquered the Matrix and threatened to take down the Machine City as well, forcing Neo and the Machines to work together to stop him. The Machines established an implicit cease-fire with the rest of the Human forces during this unrest, then stopped all operations against the rebel humans after Smith was beaten.
  • Epic Movie: The film goes this route, complete with a journey into the Machine City and a messianic ascension. The chief tune on the soundtrack is titled "Neodammerung".
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: "Why, Mister Anderson, why, why do you persist?!"
  • Evil Laugh: Agent Smith after absorbing the Oracle, representing the randomness he gains.
  • Eye Scream: The fight between Neo and Smith-possessed Bane. When the plasma rifle goes awry and cuts a power cable, Smith jams it into Neo's face, effectively melting his eyes.
  • Fallen Angel: His name is Seraph. Everyone he encounters knows who he is. And if they want to fight - well, too bad for them. The Trainman's response to his request for help was "No one can help you." And The Merovingian referred to him (in French) as "the angel without his wings."
  • Fantastic Racism: Hinted at with a throwaway line from Captain Mifune. Apparently, some humans born in Zion have a rather low opinion of "pod-born" humans who grew up in the Matrix, often stereotyping them as weak and unreliable.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Smith pretends to be nice to Sati when he meets her, which just makes him look like more of a jerk.
  • Final Battle: The film concludes with Neo, now acting on behalf of the Machines to salvage the Matrix, entering the Smith-overrun Matrix to challenge and defeat Smith with the agreement that Zion will be spared if he can triumph.
  • First Time in the Sun: Trinity gets a nice eyeful of sunshine shortly before she dies.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you looks closely at the bench that the Oracle sits on at the film's end, there's a little sign. What does it say? "In memory of Thomas Anderson."
  • Gaia's Lament: Subverted at the end, as the Machine City appears hideous by human aesthetic standards, but is teeming with (mechanical) life. After all, the Machines weren't the ones who destroyed the Earth...
  • Grand Finale: For the original Matrix trilogy.
  • Grand Theft Me: Poor Bane. While everybody else that Agent Smith copies himself over is restored after Smith is finally beaten, Bane gets decapitated.
  • Groin Attack: Neo to Bane just before knocking his head off.
  • The Hero Dies: Both Neo and Trinity.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Neo does this in order to finally stop Smith, allowing Smith to assimilate him so the machines can then use him to reset the Matrix and purge Smith from the system.
  • Hit Stop: Neo punching Smith in the face provides the page image.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Much virtual ink has been spilled complaining about the machines' strategy when invading Zion.
    Binary: That would mean there's a quarter of a million sentinels up there.
    Ajax: It can't be.
    Morpheus: Why not? A sentinel for every man, woman or child in Zion. That sounds exactly like the thinking of a machine to me.
  • Home Field Advantage: The Trainman is much more powerful than normal in the underground subway area he controls, even more powerful than the One.
    Trainman: You don't get it. I built this place. Down here, I make the rules. Down here, I make the threats. [punches Neo into a wall] Down here, I'm God.
  • Idiot Ball: Bane is onboard the Hammer. He is possessed by Smith and is acting suspiciously. The crew (correctly) suspect that he is responsible for an EMP blast that led to the deaths of several other rebels. Instead of restraining him or having extra security in the room with him, Captain Roland leaves him alone with a woman half his size. Bane kills her and escapes aboard the Logos where he almost kills Neo and Trinity.
  • Ignored Epiphany: When Smith is about to finish Neo off he remembers that he had a vision which looked just like the situation he's currently in, and briefly considers that he might be getting played. However, Smith lets his hatred of Neo override his doubt and assimilates him anyway.
  • Immediate Sequel: Adding to the Two-Part Trilogy vibe.
  • Informed Ability: The Architect in the previous movie states that the Machines have gotten "very efficient" at exterminating Zion. Let's just say that the Machine tactics are a model of over-the-top showy inefficiency.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: Why are there APU's defending the dock? Because they look frekkin badass obviously!
  • Inverse Dialogue Death Rule: Trinity takes for-goddamn-ever to die while giving a long speech to Neo about all the things she wished she had said last time she died - which had been an aversion of the trope.
  • Kill the Lights: As the Agent Smiths invade the Oracle's building, the lights go out in the hallways.
  • Kudzu Plot: Compare the number of characters and plot points introduced in Reloaded to those resolved or even followed up on in Revolutions.
  • Kung-Fu Sonic Boom: During the final fight, thanks to the force that Smith and Neo hit each other with.
  • Last Kiss: Trinity asks Neo to kiss her just before her death.
  • Last Stand: The Battle of Zion essentially amounts to this, with special mention to Cpt. Mifune's. The scene is even titled "Mifune's Last Stand".
  • Little "No": Neo says it after realizing that Bane is in fact Smith.
  • Long-Lasting Last Words: It wasn't intended this way but a lot of people took the death of Trinity this way, because her Final Speech just went on and on and on and on...
  • Meaningful Name: Rama is another name for Hindu god Vishnu, Kandra means "slayer of death", and Kamala is a word for the lotus flower. Together they made a daughter program named for the traditional live burning of widows on their husband's pyre that was deemed useless and marked for deletion.
  • The Meaning of Life: Near the end, Agent Smith lectures Neo.
    Agent Smith: Can you feel it Mr. Anderson? Closing in on you. Oh, I can. I really should thank you for it, after all, it was your life that taught me the purpose of all life. The purpose of life... is to end.
  • Meat-Sack Robot: In this last film of the trilogy the Ex-Agent Smith, a malicious program that formerly served the Matrix, took possession of one of Neo's fellow members of the Human resistance in an attempt to kill him in the real world. This trope applies in that the human has a technological implant, from which Smith (a thoroughly non-biological entity) was able to use to manifest himself in the real world via a human host.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The Reveal at the end of the film that the machines have adapted to normal life on the (destroyed by humans) surface.
  • Meteor Move: How Smith weakens Neo enough to defeat him.
  • Mexican Standoff: In a memorable moment, Morpheus, Seraph, and Trinity confront the Merovingian at his nightclub to secure freedom for a limbo-ridden Neo. There were easily at least 20 people involved. When the Merovingian demands "the eyes of the Oracle" in return, Trinity decides she doesn't have time for this shit and points a gun at his head. Merovingian calls off the standoff with no bloodshed after he realizes that the trio aren't going to back down.
  • Mordor: The Machine City. Neo must make a seemingly-hopeless journey there at the climax of the film.
  • More Dakka: The humans attempt this when the machines break into Zion. It doesn't work too well for them unfortunately, largely because the machines simply swarm them with their sheer numbers.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Persephone.
  • Neck Snap: Morpheus sneaks up behind a Mook guarding an elevator outside the Merovingian's night club, wraps his arms around the mook's neck and breaks it.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Morpheus and the others return to Zion and activate the EMP inside their ship to disable the Sentinels inside the city, they are at first greeted as heroes. However, Commander Locke realizes that by doing so, they've also disabled any other feeble defenses the humans had left, and since the Machines have reserve forces, the second wave comes in completely unopposed. It's only due to Neo's Deal with the Devil that stops the Sentinels from wiping out the remaining humans.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: It is unknown how Neo would have saved the day if Smith hadn't taken over the Matrix, giving him bargaining power with the machines. He even helps the machines win during the final battle. Since he and Neo were both equally matched, Smith chose to download himself into Neo instead of fighting him forever. The symbolism aside (and there's a lot of it), the literal interpretation of what's going on is that Smith doesn't realize Neo is jacked into the Matrix in the machine city, which means he's just connected himself to the Source, so the machines promptly delete him.
  • The Nth Doctor: The Oracle is played by a different actress due to Gloria Forster dying before completing her scenes; fortunately The Wachowskis were already toying with the idea of her changing "skins", with Enter the Matrix featuring scenes where the Oracle explains that she allowed other programs to sell the termination codes for her original shell program to the Merovingian to protect their child.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse:
    • The Merovingian attempts one with Seraph, Trinity, and Morpheus. Trinity decides to Take a Third Option instead.
    • Rare heroic use of the trope when Neo makes one with the Machine City AI, stating that Smith's program has run amok, and neither one of them alone can take him out, or they would have already done so. He suggests they work together in order to defeat Smith, in exchange for the machines stopping their attack on Zion.
  • Off with His Head!: Neo apparently decapitates Bane-Smith, as Neo's code vision shows his head exploding and vanishing with the strike.
  • Oh, Crap!: Smith as he's finally overcome.
    Agent Smith: Oh no no no no no... No, it's not fair.
  • Plot Coupon: Subverted when Trinity provokes a Mexican standoff rather than fetch "the eyes of the Oracle" in order to save Neo from the Merovingian.
  • Point Defenseless: Though the battle looks spectacular, Zion's mecha and its central gun tower are almost completely useless against the Zerg Rush employed by the Sentinels after they breach the human city.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    The Oracle: You are a bastard.
    Agent Smith: You would know, Mom.
  • Pre-Explosion Glow: Happens to all of the Agents Smith just before they're destroyed.
  • Product Placement: There are billboards for Powerade and Samsung during the train station chase with the Trainman, although it makes sense as there are adverts in subway stations. Amusingly, there's also an ad for Tastee Wheat.
  • Prophecy Twist: The Prophecy was that The One would reach The Source and end The War. And it happened - just not the way anyone expected.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: A Lampshade Hanging version, where Bane/Smith, holding Trinity as a hostage, explains to Trinity that, while the best thing for Neo would be to just fry them both with his plasma gun, instead he's going to do exactly what the trope prescribes. He then taunts Neo by saying he is bound to Put Down His Gun And Step Away, which he does.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Neo and Morpheus at the Oracle's Cryptic Conversation.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Could arguably be the reason why Neo took so long to realise that Bane was possessed by Smith; he was so used to thinking of Smith as being 'confined' to the Matrix that the idea that Smith might be able to manifest in the real world took a while to fully register as a possibility.
  • Rescued from the Underworld: Neo by Trinity and Morpheus.
  • Robo Romance: Neo comes across a pair of Programs named Rama Kandra and Kamala in Limbo. Despite their artificial nature, they state they love each other and have created a daughter Program they call Sati to raise. Neo is a bit surprised at seeing emotional expressions from an A.I., but Rama Kandra says that "love" is just a concept, not something distinctly human, affirming that the word is used to convey the connection.
  • Screaming Warrior: Mifune's dialogue once the dock battle actually starts is mostly screaming, except when he yells for a reload.
  • Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: In the opening, Neo is trapped in Mobil Avenue (Mobil being an anagram for Limbo), a shiny, empty underground train station literally in the middle of nowhere.
  • Sequel Hook: In hindsight, Neo's body being taken in by the machines and the Oracle claiming that she expects Neo to return one day seem like pretty clear set-ups for The Matrix Resurrections, which would be made almost two decades later.
  • Shifting Situation Duel: After Smith succeeds in assimilating everyone plugged into the Matrix (including the Oracle, becoming equal to Neo in power), he and Neo fight on a city street in pouring rain... Then up into the air... Then inside an abandoned building... Then into the sky above the city... And then a pit created by Smith smashing Neo into the ground.
  • Shining City: The Machine City from Neo's (blind) perspective.
    "I wish you could see it... It's like the entire thing was built of light."
  • Shooting the Swarm: During the battle of Zion, the mechas led by Mifune all concentrate fire on the hole the Machines just opened in the city's celling with the giant drill. While the first swarms of Sentinels get utterly shredded, more and more of them manage to get through the barrage fire and the mechas have to reload, leading to the defenders being rapidly overwhelmed. Mifune keeps shooting (and shouting) at the swarms through and through no matter how hopeless the situation is, until they eventually kill him.
  • Shouting Shooter: Mifune, during the dock battle and as he gets overwhelmed with sentinels.
  • Slow Electricity: Inside the Oracle's apartment building, the overhead lights go off, making clunking sounds, as a warning of Agent Smith's approach.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Smith in Bane's body reveals himself to Neo by calling him "Mr. Anderson" in his usual mocking tone. However, despite hearing this three times in the span of twenty seconds, Neo thinks Bane is just insane. He figures out the truth just before the fight, when Smith repeats a more recent line "I want what you want." He can't completely accept it until his eyes get burned out, which allows Neo to actually "see" Smith's energy signature.
  • Symbolic Wings: When Neo is plugged into the Machine mainframe, the cables on his back evoke wings. The imagery gets even stronger when the machines begin to purge Smith and the cables start glowing.
  • Synchronized Swarming: The swarming Sentinels make a hand-like shape. Later, robots form a face and it talks to Neo.
  • Take a Third Option: When the Merovingian says he wants the eyes of the Oracle in exchange for Neo, Trinity instead decides to put a gun up to his head, and makes him a counter offer. Either he gives them Neo, or they can all die right here during the Mexican Standoff that ensues. Persephone helps to convince him to take Trinity up on her offer, stating that she's in love and will do anything.
  • Threat Backfire: The Merovingian's guards affirm that Seraph will get into the club "Over [his] big, dead ass"? Works for Seraph.
  • Throat Light: Happens briefly to Neo at the end as the machines channel their power through him to destroy the Agents Smith, as well as to the Agent Smith that possessed the Oracle.
  • Train Escape: The Trainman does this to escape from Seraph, Trinity and Morpheus.
  • Uncertified Expert: When Captain Mifune is dying and tells the kid that's been assisting him to pilot his mecha, the kid claims he never finished the training for it. Mifune replies that he never did either.
  • The Unchosen One: Neo, after he learns the prophecy was a lie and still continues to fight.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location: Neo finds himself in a subway station. He runs down the tunnel, only to find himself approaching the station from the other way, too soon for the tunnel to be a closed loop.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Morpheus, Trinity, and Seraph get into a fight with some guys who can bend gravity. Said guys do things like cartwheeling on the ceiling from cover to cover. They die.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: A female character named Charra with a crew-cut, a tank top, and big ol' biceps is introduced right before the battle against the machines to help out Zee, who is trying to hold the line until her husband Link shows up. Guess what happens.
  • Vehicle Vanish: The Trainman disappears behind a train this way near the beginning of the movie. Justified, as he's a computer program that runs the virtual train station, giving him nigh-omnipotence.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Machine City — a foreboding place of unfeeling, ruthless mechanical beings swirling around massive metal towers connected by huge power lines that glow with harsh blue energy.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Agent Smith suffers from it in the final fight.
    • He starts out cool and collected if slightly cocky, but as the fight against Neo progresses, you can clearly see that Neo's tenacity slowly starts to get to him. At one point, he gives a monologue to Neo about how the things he's fighting for are meaningless, and devolves in composure to the point where he outright screams at Neo asking him why he persists, physically unable to understand why Neo would keep going at this point. When Neo gives his answer ("Because I choose to"), Smith pretty much loses it.
    • When Neo allows himself to be assimilated and then destroys his Smith clone from the inside, Smith, knowing what's about to happen, gives a reaction that seems more akin to a child's temper tantrum than anything.
      "Oh, no, no, no. No, it's not fair."
  • Walk into Mordor: Neo and Trinity invade the Machine City.
  • Waterlogged Warzone: The final fight between Neo and Smith takes place during an absolutely torrential downpour in the city; we see the two combatants run through almost a half foot of water when they rush each other.
  • We Have Reserves: After the Zion shipyard is overrun, dozens of Sentinels sacrifice themselves by transferring all their energy reserves to the giant drilling robot to reactivate it. It's also the core of their strategy in the invasion in general- they have oceans of sentinels to throw at the humans, every one of them as expendable as the one before it.
  • Wham Line: Neo after being blinded, when Bane-Smith tries to sucker-crush his head with a pipe.
    Neo: I can see you.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Neo incorrectly says that the Architect told him that Zion would be destroyed by midnight.
  • Within Arm's Reach: A villainous example. During Neo's fight with Bane (possessed by Smith), Neo almost throttles him before Bane grabs a sparking electric cable and blinds Neo with it.
  • World-Healing Wave: The outcome of Neo's fight with Smith.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: When Neo and Trinity break through the cloud cover and become the first humans (well, Trinity anyway) in centuries to see the sky, the sun, and the moon.
    Trinity: Beautiful...
  • Would Hurt a Child: It is heavily implied that Smith assimilated Sati.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Neo in electronic limbo.

Seraph: Did you always know?
Oracle: Oh, no, no, I didn't, but I believed. I believed.
 
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WHY DO YOU PERSIST?!

After knocking Neo down, Agent Smith becomes more emotive than usual, by ranting out just how much of a detriment humanity is and how their ideals and emotions are nothing more than fabrications in an attempt to justify themselves, concluding with Smith angrily shouting why does Neo choose to carry on.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

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