The Matrix Reloaded
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Matrix Reloaded can be found here.

As the Architect reveals, and as Agent Smith said in the previous movie, the original version of the Matrix was designed to be a paradise free from suffering. However this version was a "monumental failure" because humans, for whom suffering is an inherent part of life, saw through the illusion. Instead, the Architect created a version of the Matrix which resembled a somewhat dystopian version of late 20th century Earth ("the peak of your civilization"). However, while this version fooled 99% of people into thinking it was reality, a small number of people were ultimately unsure of it and risked rejection. As a safety valve, the machines created Zion, a supposedly free community of human beings. Zion's role was to find and remove from the Matrix human beings who could not ultimately accept its reality.

However, if left unchecked, the population of Zion would eventually grow so large as to threaten the entire foundation of the Matrix and the machines' society. So the machines would gradually "reboot" the safety valve by destroying Zion and wiping out its population. As part of this cycle they created the idea of "The One" a being who had special ability to manipulate the Matrix. The One contained within his makeup special code which was integral to the survival of the Matrix. He was also programmed to have a generalized empathy with, and desire to preserve, humanity. With Zion destroyed by the machines, The One would be given a choice of either returning to the Matrix and guaranteeing its continued survival or of allowing the system to fail, thus killing all of the humans plugged into the system. He would also be tasked with picking a group of people from within the Matrix to create a new version of Zion, thus starting the whole cycle over again.

The Twins are leftover programs from a previous version of The Matrix. When The Architect created the first Matrix, it was an utopian society with heavenly figures (including angels). The human psyche rejected this environment, and it crashed. The second version of The Matrix was the complete opposite of the first. It was a dystopian society with supernatural mythological figures (including ghosts, werewolves, and vampires.) The human psyche also rejected this environment, resulting in a crash. When the third and stable version of The Matrix was created, programs from previous versions were considered obsolete, and many were purged. Some went to work for The Merovingian, who protected them from deletion. This included The Twins (ghosts), Vlad (vampires), and Cujo (werewolves). Seraph (who was an angel from the first version, which is why he is called wingless by one of The Merovingian's henchmen), was once employed by The Merovingian like the others, but betrayed them to protect the Oracle (he was subsequently tortured by The Merovingian for his betrayal and had his wings cut off).

The answer is given in Revolutions. The machines in the real world are all connected to a "singular consciousness", the birth of Artificial Intelligence described by Morpheus in the original Matrix film. This consciousness is otherwise known as "The Source". The machine connection is a remote one or some sort of wireless signal. Having touched The Source (i.e. - meeting with the Architect) and having the data needed to reboot the Matrix, Neo is at this point simultaneously in possession of his human brain but also connected to the singular consciousness. In other words, his is also now a wireless connection. Hence, the reason Neo says, "Something's different. I can feel them." The machines are all separate entities but all connected to this one ("The Source"). Now Neo is as well. He is thereby able to harness this power and stop the sentinels. However, Neo wasn't ready to handle the signal surge and collapsed in a comatose state, no longer in control of just where this wireless signal would be directed. The signal (Neo's residual self-image) is then captured and held in a program limbo derived from the Source but undetected as an existing realm, so to speak. This limbo (the "Mobil Ave" train station) was created by the Trainman, a program in service to the Merovingian. This connection forged by Neo's visit to the Architect and his subsequent decision to return to the real world made him, unknowingly, unique. Neo became simultaneously human and machine in a sense. This would ultimately put him in the position to negotiate for peace between humans and the machines. This, as the story unfolded, is exactly what happened.

Nothing. The Machines did not think it could happen because they could not understand choice.

The Merovingian has no connection to Smith, other than the universal connection that all programs have with one another. Agent Smith served a deletion program until he became viral. Merovingian served as a sort of control protocol. Smith has only one purpose which is destroying Neo (and later the human race) and the Merovingian has nothing to do with it.

At first, the Oracle only seems to be on his side. She is a computer program that is just as dependant on humans for energy as the rest of the Machines, so keeping them hooked to the Matrix is in her best interest. However, a Matrix design that was satisfactory for all humans couldn't be found. As the Architect explains, it was the Oracle who coincidentally found a solution for the Matrix anomaly: by allowing those humans that rejected the illusion of the Matrix to escape, and by giving them the illusion that they could defeat the Machines, a temporary balance could be created. Providing the 'One' with this information was all part of the Machines' plan to keep both the free people and the ones connected to the Matrix in check. Later, she points Neo to The Keymaker, who will inevitably lead him to the Source, so he can reset the system.

However, being separate entities, most programs started to develop signs of individuality, together with sentiments and emotions. Agent Smith is a good example, as he shows signs of anger, exasperation and even loathing. The Oracle is no exception. She told people "what they were meant to hear", which was always what the Machines' intention for them was. But after five versions of the Matrix/Zion, she started to have other thoughts, feeling that a different system could be possible, without the need for repression. It is not her place to explain to Neo anything that he is not ready for, but she can lead him down the path that is intended for him. She cannot explain to him what she cannot herself understand, but she seems to understand that something must change, even though the outcome could be potentially disastrous. Subsequently, the Architect says that she "played a very dangerous game". The ultimate choice, and the choice about allowing Smith to assimilate her, are beyond her measure of understanding.

What happened to Tank?

Tank was wounded by Cypher in the first film. Yet in this film, he has been replaced as Operator by Link. When Link is talking to Zee, she says she lost two brothers to the Nebuchadnezzer (Tank and Dozer). It can be assumed that Tank either died of his wounds (perhaps a staph infection claimed him) or he was killed on a mission in between the films. In real life the actor who played Tank, Marcus Chong, demanded a higher salary for the second movie and was let go by the producers.

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