You will need to see The Matrix (1999) before you can get to watching and understanding this film. Here’s the explanation to the first part – The Matrix Simplified & Explained. Matrix Reloaded is the second film in the original Matrix trilogy. The visuals surpassed everything that The Matrix had presented us with. The complexity of the plot doubled and so did the characters. While a lot of viewers saw and loved The Matrix, not too many enjoyed this film. It got too complex. I personally loved this second installment. There is a lot to talk about. Let’s get down to business. Here is the detailed plot analysis and the ending of The Matrix Reloaded explained; spoilers ahead!
The Matrix Trilogy Explained: Video
Here’s a video that summarizes and explains all the Matrix movies.
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Setting The Context
Do have a read of The Matrix Simplified & Explained. That will set the context for you.
Recap of The Matrix
- The machines created the Matrix to enslave humans and use them for power.
- Morpheus and team hunt down Neo, who they think is The One, with the help of the Oracle.
- Neo proves them right by exhibiting extraordinary skills to manipulate the Matrix, he is The One.
- Neo defeats Agent Smith, the gatekeeper, and begins his journey of freeing minds from the Matrix.
The events in Matrix Reloaded are 6 months after the first film. What have they been up to in these 6 months? Freeing minds from the Matrix and taking them to Zion. Zion is the hidden place where all the free humans live. We are not shown Zion in the first movie.
The final flight of the Osiris
This is a short film part of the Animatrix series. The film talks about a hovercraft by the name of Osiris. This is a crew much like Morpheus’, headed by Captain Thadeus. This crew happens to notice that machines are using a gigantic drill 4km about Zion’s location. Somehow the machines have figured the location of Zion (the Machines have always known the location of Zion, it was just misdirection, we’ll get to this later on). Jue, the ranking officer on the Osiris, decides to enter the Matrix and deliver a package (with information about the drilling) to Zion. Osiris is spotted and chased down by sentinels. Jue manages to deliver the package just in time as the ship is destroyed and the crew is killed.
Neo and Trinity are now in a relationship. He’s been constantly having dreams about Trinity entering the Matrix, fighting Agents, and getting shot as she falls off a building. Neo’s unable to say what these dreams mean. Neo’s ability to read the programming of the Matrix is allowing him to mathematically deduce events of a near future. But it is only hazy pieces of information. Neo is unable to find the Oracle. He needs to find her to get some answers about what he needs to be doing. The Oracle has not been in communication for a while.
There are a couple of new characters in this film. Let’s talk about them.
The Nebuchadnezzar has a new pilot, Link (Harold Perrineau). Tank is mentioned to be dead, we’re not told how.
Captain Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) heads the ship called Logos. She and Morpheus have a romantic history but we aren’t given details about why they aren’t together.
Commander Lock (Harry Lennix) is the one who all of the Captains report to. He doesn’t believe in anything Morpheus has been saying – Oracle, The One, Prophecy .. none of that. Lock and Niobe also seem to have a past. Lock is hinted to be the reason Niobe and Morpheus aren’t together. Also, after meeting the Oracle, Morpheus and Niobe split, we aren’t given finer details.
Councillor Hamann is a senior member of the head council.
The Kid is another character whose origin story is part of The Animatrix. He is someone who has achieved self-substantiation. Which means The Kid’s mind was able to pull itself out of the Matrix without external help. Remember that mirror melting act from the first part? The Kid didn’t need that. He believes Neo saved him. Neo believes the kid saved himself.
Bane (Ian Bliss) is a crew member on the ship Caduceus.
Central Crux Of The Film – The Anomaly and Zion
Here’s what’s happening. Remember how in the first part the team is looking for a person who is prophesized to change the Matrix as he sees fit? And they go on to find Neo? Morpheus and team feel that they are now closer to winning the war against the Machine? The prophecy foretold by the Oracle is a lie. Neo is not the first “One”. There have been 5 other before him. The emergence of this anomaly, which the team calls The One, is something that the machines expect. It is a programming flaw but an expected flaw which means it can be controlled. The freed people of Zion belong to the 1% of the population in the Matrix whose brains rejected the programming. The machines prefer that these people are removed from the Matrix and taken to a place outside it – i.e. Zion. The machines have devised a strategy to lead the anomaly or The One to the Source or the Machine Mainframe.
Neo is the 6th one being lead to the Source. Once the anomaly reaches here, he or she is told the truth about Zion. The truth is that the machines have always known the location of Zion and are going to destroy it. The anomaly is offered a choice of selecting, from the Matrix, sixteen female and seven male to rebuild Zion. What the machines are doing here is that they take out all the people who reject the programming of the Matrix and kill them. They get The One to restart the whole process at the end of Zion’s destruction. Failure to comply will result in the death of everyone connected to the Matrix. Brilliant right? Just collect all the rebels, put them in a place over time and finally kill them. Then use the anomaly to restart the rebel collection process. This process of Zion’s destruction has happened 5 times over. Obviously, no human knows about this. We’ll get back to this when we discuss the Architect.
The Matrix: Reloaded: Explained
Thinking of a machine
All the Captains (and crew) meet within the Matrix to talk about the scans that they have received from Osiris (the package). They mention that there are over quarter million sentinels waiting to attack. Morpheus enters with Neo and Trinity and explains that it appears logical that the machines would send a sentinel for every man, woman and child in Zion. Morpheus explains that the Oracle’s prophecies have come true so far. They have found Neo. This also means that the war should soon come to an end. But Commander Lock wants all of the Captains to return to Zion to prepare for the attack. Morpheus needs to recharge the Nebuchadnezzar and return to a docking spot. In the meanwhile he requests one ship to take their place and await any contact from the Oracle. Captain of Caduceus volunteers.
In the first movie, Neo is shown to destroy Smith from within but what he ends up doing is he detaches Smith from the Matrix. Smith is no longer an agent of the Matrix. He’s free. Well, so to speak. Also, Smith has learnt to clone himself on to other beings still connected to the Matrix. Remember the Agents can take control of any person still connected to the Matrix? Now Smith can do that with multiple people at the same time. His code is now corrupted, thanks to Neo. Smith is a virus that is multiplying within the Matrix. Oooh, the irony!
Smith briefly appears at the door to hand his earpiece to be given to Neo. Note that this is also the first time we hear him refer to Mr. Anderson as Neo. Smith’s programming has changed. He’s a new man. The earpiece is a representation that he’s no longer bound by the Agent program. Soon after this, regular Agents (now upgraded with a few added movies) attack the meeting. The three agents get their asses handed to them by Neo. He flies out looking for the Oracle. Two Smiths show up and discuss how things are happening as expected. At this point, there are multiple clones of Smith.
The Matrix: Reloaded Explained – Zion
Morpheus and team head back to Zion. Commander Lock is obviously pissed and wants to meet Morpheus. The Kid shows up to greet the team. He tells them that he wants to join the Nebuchadnezzar. Morpheus and Lock have an argument about the prophecy and their belief in it. Councillor Hamann joins them. He mentions that the fact that all the ships are docking together in Zion is scaring the people. And that he will be addressing the temple gathering at Zion later in the day. Morpheus feels the people should be told the truth. Since they found Neo, they have freed more minds in six months than they did in six years. Morpheus feels that the machine’s attack is a desperate attempt. He believes that soon the prophecy will be fulfilled and this war will end. Poor Morpheus, he couldn’t be further away from the truth.
Neo and Trinity head to their place. Dozens of people approach Neo asking him to keep an eye on their children who are on many of the ships. Neo is overwhelmed because people think he’s God. In the real world, he’s just a regular guy. Link goes to his place and unites with his wife. Tank and Dozer are mentioned to be her brothers. She fears for Link’s life.
The Rave Party
At the temple gathering, Councillor Hamann opens and hands the stage to Morpheus. Morpheus gives the following speech:
Zion! Hear me! It is true what many of you have heard. The machines have gathered an army, and as I speak…that army is drawing nearer to our home. Believe me when I say we have a difficult time ahead of us. But if we are to be prepared for it, we must first shed our fear of it. I stand here before you now truthfully unafraid. Why? Because l believe something you do not? No! I stand here without fear because l remember. I remember that l am here not because of the path that lies before me… but because of the path that lies behind me. I remember that for 100 years we have fought these machines. I remember that for 100 years they have sent their armies to destroy us. And after a century of war, I remember that which matters most. We are still here! Tonight… let us send a message to that army. Tonight, let us shake this cave. Tonight, let us tremble these halls… of earth, steel and stone. Let us be heard from red core to black sky. Tonight, let us make them remember. This is Zion and we are not afraid!
The Rave Party begins. Niobe meets Morpheus. She’s clearly quite impressed with the speech. But Lock interrupts them. Trinity and Neo make out. Neo remembers his dream where Trinity falls.
Bane, “Smith” will suffice
Meanwhile, Caduceus receives word from the Oracle. Before Bane (who is part of the crew) can exit from the Matrix, he is interrupted by Smith. Smith clones himself onto Bane. This means that Smith has overwritten Bane’s mind (his memories and his consciousness) with his own. In the Matrix, Bane looks like Smith. Bane (as Smith) uses the phone to exit. Bane’s mind has been overwritten. He wakes up but Smith is now controlling him in the real world. After all, you are who your mind tells you to be. Caduceus returns to Zion to inform Morpheus.
Councillor Hamann meets Neo. Both are out because they can’t sleep. They head to the Engineering Level. Hamann explains how the free humans still need the machines at the engineering level to survive – the air, the heat, etc. While one set of machines are out to kill them, the other is keeping them alive. He explains that he doesn’t know how the machines work but he understands that there is a reason for them to work. By extension, he adds that he doesn’t know how Neo can do the things he does but understands there is a reason for it. He hopes that they find that reason before it’s too late. However, Neo is just another glitch in the Matrix, an anomaly. He is not a messiah.
Bane is cutting his palm because this is Smith operating Bane’s body. Smith is in the real world for the first time. He is experiencing pain for the first time. That’s what he’s up to. Checking out the human life. Bane (Smith) walks up to Neo to wish him luck. Bane (Smith) is waiting, plotting.
Remember the kid bending spoons in the first part? That kid has been taken out of the Matrix. He sends a spoon to Neo as a gift. Lock’s request to keep the Nebuchadnezzar grounded is overruled. The council has faith in Morpheus and Neo. The crew heads out.
“But first, l must apologize” – Seraph
In the Matrix, Neo reaches the location he’s been given to meet the Oracle. Instead, he finds Seraph. Who is Seraph? To answer this, we need to understand what the Machine World is. The Matrix is a software into which all the world’s humans are plugged into. The Machines have set this up so that they can draw energy from the plugged-in humans. The Machines themselves are not residents of the Matrix. The Machines are all in the Machine City in the real world. That is where sentinels, etc are manufactured. Seraph is a program from the Machine World. Seraph is, therefore, faster and more powerful (than even the Agents as they are programs from the Matrix). He is entrusted with the location and the job to protect the Oracle. Seraph fights Neo to confirm that he is The One. He takes Neo to the Oracle through a set of backdoors. Backdoors are shortcuts within the Matrix. Using these doors (if you have the keys) you can navigate between various locations in the Matrix. It is a programmer access.
The Neo meets with the Oracle and confirms that she is not human. The Oracle is not human. At no point are we told that she is human. We only assume that. She, like Seraph, is a program from the Machine world. The Oracle program has been created by the Machines to be “more human” so that she can understand and give feedback on how to improve the Matrix so that fewer minds reject the programming. However, because she is made to be more human, she is the only program that understands the human point of view and begins guiding and helping them for a new world, a free world. A world that needs to be built together by the Machines and Humans. Neo has trust issues now and asks the Oracle how he can believe her if she’s a program. Oracle tells Neo that it is his choice to believe her.
The Oracle explains to Neo how choices are made well ahead of the point of decision. That at the point of decision you only understand why you made that choice. For instance, Neo is offered candy. He has already made the choice to take the candy much before – based on the way his taste buds have developed, his trust in the Oracle, and various other things. At that moment, Neo is merely realizing why he’s made that choice. His accepting the candy implies that he still trusts the Oracle.
Programs hacking programs
The Oracle explains that there are programs running all over the Matrix. The ones that do their jobs are invisible. Eg: Sunrise, animals, birds, etc. There are a few programs that go rogue. When a program faces deletion, some of them go rogue. Programs face deletion for various reasons – a better program, a program breakdown, etc. These rogue programs are what are seen as angels, werewolves, ghosts, etc. This part in the movie explains all the supernatural phenomena we, the audience, come across in outside of the film. When it faces deletion, the program chooses to either stay in the Matrix and hide or go back to the Source. Going back to the source will cause the program to be deleted (garbage collected).
The Oracle adds that the Source is also where Neo must go. She tells him that is part of his destiny. Remember, this has happened to 5 “Ones” before Neo. Neo just doesn’t know it yet. Neo explains that he has been seeing dreams about entering the door and Trinity falling. But he doesn’t see her die. He’s not able to understand why he can’t see what happens to Trinity. The Oracle tells him that no one can see past the choices they don’t understand. This means that Neo is yet to understand the choice that lies ahead of him. She is referring to the choice he will need to make to “rebuild Zion” or “let the entire human race die”. Neo asks if he has to choose if Trinity lives or dies. The Oracle says – “No, you’ve already made the choice. Now you have to understand it”. Neo has already made the choice that he will save Trinity. He loves her too much. He will understand the reason and consequences of that choice in due time.
The Oracle tells Neo that he will need the Keymaker, another program, to get to the Source. The Keymaker is held prisoner by a very dangerous program – Merovingian. The Oracle tells Neo to be there at a specific time and he will have a chance. She leaves.
Smith, a new man in The Matrix: Reloaded
Smith shows up right after the Oracle leaves. He tells Neo that he was destroyed by him. Perhaps some part of Neo imprinted on Smith, but when program Smith breaks down, he had to return to the Source. To face deletion. But he was compelled to stay, compelled to disobey. He’s not bound by the Matrix. He goes on to add that they are not here in the Matrix because they are free. They are there because they are not free. More Smiths show up at the scene and explain how Smith’s purpose was taken from him by Neo and he wishes to return the favour. Smith’s purpose was being the gatekeeper and stopping humans from hacking in. Neo’s attack leaves Smith orphaned within the Matrix. He is no longer an Agent, he no longer has a purpose. Smith tries to clone himself onto Neo. Smith is trying to overwrite Neo’s mind. Obviously, that’s not easy. Neo fights back. A fantastic fight ensues between Neo and dozens of Smiths. It is a scene filled with oodles of visual awesomeness. More and more Smiths join the battle. It becomes too many for Neo so he gets out of there, he flies out. The Smiths walk away. Neo exits the Matrix and tells the team that there are a lot more Smiths in there.
Aid for the Nebuchadnezzar
Back at Zion, the council requests for two captains to volunteer to aid the Nebuchadnezzar, to ascertain the fate of The One. Lock is frustrated but the council seems to have faith in The One. Captain Soren of the Vigilant accepts. Bane (Smith) suggests they should volunteer because Smith wants to destroy Morpheus and his team. The captain asks Bane to shut up. Captain Niobe of the Logos is the second to accept.
The Merovingian and Persephone
Morpheus, Trinity and Neo head into the Matrix to meet the Merovingian based on what the Oracle has told Neo. Merovingian and his wife Persephone are very old programs. They are from the early version of the Matrix. It is not made clear as to what their roles were. But they are not mere programs of the Matrix. They are programs from the Machine World. Which means they had specific core functions in the Matrix. The Merovingian is shown to control the virtual afterlife through the train-man program (this bit comes in the third part of the film). Perhaps the original purpose of the Merovingian was to handle deletion of programs in the Matrix. Persephone may have been a supporting program for this function. At some point, Merovingian and Persephone faced deletion and went rogue. At the time, the two were in love. Notice how both of them display human traits. This could be the very result of their rogue nature. Merovingian enjoys fine French wine, he likes the French language.
The Merovingian explains how the very nature of existence is cause and effect. And that there is nothing called choice. Choice, as he quite aptly puts, is an illusion created between those with power and those without. He’s quite right. For example, the rich (and the powerful) have the power to make the poor believe that they are making a choice but it is merely an illusion. The Matrix makes people feel that they have a choice, but they are slaves. He taunts Morpheus and his team about blindly following orders from the Oracle to seek the Keymaker. Merovingian then demonstrates his point by sending a specially programmed cake to a pretty woman in the restaurant. The cake is programmed to get the woman turned-on. She gets uncontrollably aroused and has to leave to the bathroom. Simple, cause and effect. Merovingian, the one with the power, has left the woman with no choice. He explains that without the “why” there is nothing. Persephone, who’s watching all this, is extremely annoyed. Obviously, because what Merovingian is going to do next. He stands up and excuses himself to the bathroom. He is going to go make out with the woman. It’s interesting to see how these programs exhibit lust and jealousy. The meeting ends with Merovingian saying that he will not be parting with the Keymaker.
Persephone: Why the Kiss?
On their way out, the trio gets intercepted by Persephone. She tells them how in the beginning, it was all different. Merovingian was different. She tells them that she will give them the Keymaker in exchange for a kiss from Neo. Odd right? Why? Because Persephone sees the love between Neo and Trinity. She mentions that a long time ago she felt that love too (from Merovingian). But things have long changed. She wants to sample the feeling of a real kiss. True love. Also, Persephone is looking to get a little revenge on Merovingian. She asks Neo to kiss her and make her believe that she is Trinity. Neo does so. Persephone is happy and takes them to the Keymaker. In the processes, she kills one of the henchmen (who is a werewolf). She shoots him in the head with a silver bullet. A werewolf, like the Oracle explained, is a program that is faulty and refuses to face deletion. She tells the other henchman to go inform Merovingian what she’s done. She just wants sweet revenge.
The Keymaker in The Matrix: Reloaded
He is a rogue program that makes and has access to keys that provide backdoor access to a whole bunch of things in the Matrix. More importantly, he has the key that opens the door to the source. This is why Morpheus and team need him.
They get the Keymaker and head out. Merovingian is furious and asks how Persephone could betray him. She explains that it is mere causality. She explains it is because of the lipstick he is still wearing from making out with the pretty woman. She also looks to his groin and mentions that he wasn’t being kissed on his face. Content with her revenge she leaves. The twin ghosts (who are also rogue programs) go after Morpheus, Trinity and the Keymaker. Neo stands to fight the rest. After a lovely fight choreography sequence, he beats them all. Merovingian leaves closing the door behind him. When Neo opens it he’s in the mountains. That door was a backdoor too. Only Merovingian could use it to get back to where he needed. Neo now has to fly back to the location of Morpheus, Trinity and the Keymaker. A long long way.
This is the start of the most amazing car chase sequence in film history. The ghosts are after the Keymaker. A bunch of Agents show up also looking for the Keymaker. The Agents want him because he’s a program with backdoor access to sensitive areas of the Matrix. They want to terminate him. A chase ensues.
Morpheus kills the Ghosts by blowing up their car. Trinity gets on a bike and hands the Keymaker to Morpheus who’s on a truck. Morpheus fights an Agent on the truck. Niobe enters the Matrix and heads to help Morpheus. She catches Morpheus with her car as he falls off the truck. He gets back up on the truck and kills the Agent off. The Agent assimilates onto the truck’s driver. Another Agent assimilates on to another truck’s driver. The two Agents drive head-on towards each other. All they have to do is crash into each other. They can kill Morpheus and the Keymaker. Remember, the Agents themselves won’t be harmed as they have only assimilated themselves onto truck drivers. It’s the truck drivers who’d die, the Agents don’t care. As the trucks crash, in slow-motion, Neo arrives and grabs Morpheus and the Keymaker in mid-air, bringing this phenomenal sequence to a close.
Not coincidence. Only providence.
Now Morpheus and team have the Keymaker. Soren’s and Niobe’s team have also joined Morpheus. The Keymaker explains how Neo can get to the source. He has the key to the source. But unfortunately, the building with the door to the source is rigged with a bomb. But for the alarms to trigger, the building needs electricity. There is a power station that needs to be destroyed. Apart from this, the emergency power system must be deactivated. When they are all down, Neo will have a 314-second window to open the door that leads to the source. The Keymaker knows this information because he is a program that was built to know and maintain this information. The Keymaker is now a rogue program who feels he must help The One get to the source. There are 3 teams and 3 tasks. If one fails, all fail. Morpheus considers it to be fate they are there.
Neo asks Trinity to stay out of the Matrix. He has seen her fall. Trinity agrees. The three teams start off. Niobe’s team takes down the power station. However, Soren’s ship is attacked and destroyed by Sentinels. His team drops dead in the Matrix before they can deactivate the emergency power system. Morpheus, Neo and the Keymaker enter the portal with the many doors. They can’t be reached and hence can’t be warned that the bomb will go off if the door is opened. Trinity breaks her promise to Neo. She enters the Matrix to take down the emergency power. This is the opening scene of the film. Neo’s dream. She disables the power backup. Right after, she is attacked by Agents.
At the portal, Neo, Morpheus and the Keymaker run into Smith(s). Smith has also figured out the path of The One. The Matrix seems to be infested with the Smith virus all over now. They attack and try to overwrite Morpheus. Neo fights them. The Keymaker slips through a backdoor and opens a door which leads to the source. Neo kicks his way through and flies into it with Morpheus. The Smiths begin to shoot. The Keymaker is shot and wounded badly. He points Morpheus to a door that will take him back to safety and out of the Matrix. He gives Neo the key to the source and dies. Neo opens the door to the source.
The Matrix: Reloaded: Architect’s Speech Explained
This part of the movie got the viewers’ brains to get into a knot. We have already discussed the essence of this conversation. The system expected Neo come to the source. He was merely an expected result of a programming flaw. Neo is the 6th such. He’s the 6th “One”.
Now, what’s with the visuals, who are the other Neos on the screen? Well, they are the various outcomes interpreted by the system. They are the various system predictions of what Neo’s actions would be. Let’s go through that scene.
Neo: Why am l here?
Architect: Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the Matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts… I’ve been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided it is not unexpected and thus not beyond a measure of control which has led you, inexorably here.
Neo: You haven’t answered my question.
Architect: Quite right. Interesting. That was quicker than the others.
NEOs: Others? How many?
Neo: What others?
This is the architect telling Neo that he’s nothing more than an expected flaw. But he doesn’t tell him why Neo has come to the source. Neo catches that faster than his predecessors. The TV screen has Neos predictions like “Others?” and “How many?” but Neo asks “What others?”.
Architect: The Matrix is older than you know. I count from the emergence of one integral anomaly to the emergence of the next. In which case, this is the sixth version.
NEOs: Five before me? He’s lying. Bullshit. There are only two possible explanations. There were five before me. Either no one told me…
Neo: …or no one knows.
This is the Architect telling Neo that he measures the versions of the Matrix based on the emergence of “The Ones”. Neo is the 6th. This is the 6th version of the Matrix. Neo realizes that no one knows this information.
Neo: The problem is choice.
Architect: The first Matrix I designed was naturally perfect, a work of art. Flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure. The inevitability of its doom is apparent now… as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human. Thus, I redesigned it based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature. However, I was again frustrated by failure. I have come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind. Or perhaps, a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection. Thus, the answer was stumbled upon by another, an intuitive program initially created to investigate certain aspects of the human psyche. If l am the father of the Matrix, she would undoubtedly be its mother. She stumbled upon a solution whereby 99 percent of subjects accepted the program, as long as they were given a choice even if they were only aware of the choice at a near unconscious level. While this answer functioned, it was fundamentally flawed thus creating the otherwise contradictory systemic anomaly that, if left unchecked, might threaten the system. Ergo, those that refused the program, while a minority, if unchecked would constitute an escalating probability of disaster.
The Architect is talking about how the human mind rejected the first two versions of the Matrix because it was too perfect. The human mind expects problems. For e.g. if we are put in a situation where everything is seemingly going well, we end up having a doubt at the back of our minds if there is some issue that we are unaware of. Absolute perfection didn’t sell to the human mind. The intuitive program he is referring to is the Oracle. She is a program that was created to understand the human psyche. She did, and her solution was to introduce the element of choice to the minds of the people inside the Matrix. A subliminal feeling that everyone had free will, even though they did not. Again 99% accepted this, 1% did not. And the ones who did not, began breaking the rules of the Matrix. That 1% are also the ones who are freed from the Matrix and taken to Zion.
Neo: This is about Zion.
Architect: You are here because Zion is about to be destroyed. Its every living inhabitant terminated, its entire existence eradicated.
Architect: Denial is the most predictable of all human responses. But rest assured, this will be the sixth time we have destroyed it and we have become exceedingly efficient at it.
The Architect announces that Zion as about to be destroyed. Neo is in denial. The Architect explains how denial is the most predictable thing about humans. For e.g. when we find a fact hard to digest, we choose to discard the fact as the first reaction. “No way!” is our usual reaction to something we don’t expect.
Architect: The function of the One is now to return to the source, allowing a dissemination of the code you carry reinserting the prime program. After which you will be required to select from the Matrix 23 individuals sixteen female, seven male, to rebuild Zion. Failure to comply with this process will result in a cataclysmic system crash killing everyone connected to the Matrix which, coupled with the extermination of Zion, will result in the extinction of the entire human race.
This is the bit where the Architect is asking Neo to rebuild Zion with 23 people from the Matrix. If Neo disagrees, the entire human race will be killed. Neo being the 6th “One” also means that the previous 5 chose to rebuild Zion with 23 people from the Matrix.
Neo: You won’t let it happen. You can’t. You need human beings to survive.
Architect: There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept. The relevant issue is whether or not you are ready to accept the responsibility for the death of every human being in this world. It is interesting reading your reactions. Your five predecessors were, by design, based on a similar predication a contingent affirmation that was meant to create a profound attachment to the rest of your species, facilitating the function of the One. While the others experience this in a general way, your experience is far more specific …vis-á-vis love.
Neo says that the Machines need the humans for power. The Architect explains that they are ready to accept any level of survival. This is the gamble that the Architect plays which causes the previous “Ones” to accept the terms. However, in this case, Neo is in love with Trinity and she is in the Matrix. Neo cares now only for her safety. You see, he has already made his choice. He’s beginning to understand it.
Architect: The door to your right leads to the source and the salvation of Zion. The door to your left leads back to the Matrix, to her and the end of your species. As you adequately put, the problem is choice. But we already know what you are going to do, don’t we? Already l can see the chain reaction, the chemical precursors that signal the onset of an emotion designed specifically to overwhelm logic and reason. An emotion that is already blinding you from the simple and obvious truth – She is going to die and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength and your greatest weakness.
The Architect places his choice but acknowledges that this time the gamble may not play out in his favour. The previous “Ones” did not want to take on the responsibility of the death of the human species. But Neo is blinded by love.
The Matrix: Reloaded: Ending Explained : Neo’s Decision
He doesn’t accept the offer of restarting Zion. He wants to save Trinity. He exits back into the Matrix. Trinity leaps off from a window and attempts to shoot the Agent. She is unable to. The Agent shoots Trinity. Neo flies out and catches her before she hits the ground. Neo takes out the bullet from inside Trinity. Although all of this is mere programming to Neo, Trinity’s mind is making it all too real for her. She begins dying from the wounds. Her heart stops. Neo can see this in code. He accesses her heart programmatically and performs CPR on it. He pumps it. Trinity’s heart responds and begins to beat again. She comes back to life. They exit the Matrix.
In the real world, Neo explains to the team how the prophecy was a lie. He tells them that they have 24 hours to do something else Zion will be destroyed. Morpheus’ face is worth a look here (pic above). He’s almost going to whimper like a child. Poor thing. Sentinels attack. They launch a bomb at the Nebuchadnezzar. The crew gets out and runs for it. The ship explodes. Morpheus is heartbroken. The Sentinels approach to attack the team. Neo says “Something’s different. I can feel them”. Neo’s trip to the Source has given him the ability to wirelessly sense the Machines. He still has connectors into his brain which he can now use to interface with the machines. Neo short-circuits the Sentinels and faints in return and enters a coma.
Back at Zion, Bane (Smith) sabotages their first attack on the Sentinels. Looks like he has triggered off an EMP which leaves the 5 attacking ships absolutely helpless. They get slaughtered. No one knows yet that Bane is brainwashed (by Smith) and is dangerous. The film ends with Neo lying in a coma right next to Bane (who is the only survivor of the Sentinel’s first attack). The people of Zion prepare for the next 24 hours to come. They prepare to go to war. All hope for salvation from the Matrix is now gone, it was just another system of control.
What the machines haven’t take into account one thing. Smith. He’s something that has been spreading and contaminating the Matrix from the inside. He is out of control and there is nothing the Machines can do to stop him. But that is for the third and concluding part.
Here’s the explanation to the first part – The Matrix Simplified & Explained
Here’s the explanation to the third part – The Matrix Revolutions Simplified & Explained
Here’s the explanation to the fourth part – The Matrix Resurrections Simplified & Explained
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