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Agent Smith
Agent Smith
Physical description
Eye color

Brown

Purpose
Purpose
Chronlogical information
Apperances
  [Source]


It is inevitable

Agent Smith, The Matrix Reloaded

Agent Smith (later merely "Smith") was an Agent of the Matrix. He was destroyed by Neo and became an exile. Smith is the central antagonist of the Matrix Trilogy.

As an Agent of the SystemEdit

What are they

Morpheus tutors Neo about Agents in the Construct using Smith as an example

According to Morpheus, the tutor of the protagonist Neo, Smith is an Agent, an artificial intelligence manifested in the artificial world and possessing extraordinary powers to manipulate his surroundings (including superhuman strength and the ability to flawlessly dodge incoming bullets). However, Agents still have limitations, being "based on a world that is built on rules". Thus, he cannot fly, walk through walls, or perform any other actions outside the boundaries of his programming. Like all Agents in the Matrix, he was originally programmed to keep order within the system by terminating troublesome programs and human avatars which would otherwise bring instability to the simulated reality. To expedite such tasks, he and other Agents have the ability to take over the simulated body of any human that is a part of the Matrix, converting it into a copy of their own. If that body is killed, or an Agent needs to change his location quickly, he can assume the shell of any other human hard-wired to the Matrix in a matter of seconds. Agents also have the ability to communicate with each other instantaneously, represented via their earpieces (thus, when Agent Smith removed his earpiece during the first Matrix movie, he briefly severed his link with the other Agents).

Stylistic genealogyEdit

The look and manner of Smith and his fellow Agents seem to be drawn from the common pool of paranoia and American pop culture. One influence appears to be the popular image of federal law enforcement agents as ruthlessly efficient automata who carry out their duties with cold precision and General American Accent. The manner in which Smith speaks is similar to that of the late Carl Sagan. [1] There are also noticeable pauses at odd places in his sentences, possibly an indication of his coding taking a moment to process his next words. This is especially evident when he is talking to Neo, and carefully choosing his words, leading to, for example, the odd pronunciation "Mis...ter Anderson."

Agents wear dark sunglasses with corners or smooth angles.

All Agents are Caucasian males (with a minor exception of female Agent Pace from the Matrix Online game), which also provides a dynamic compared to the majority population of Zion, containing many diverse cultures and walks of life. The Caucasian male Agents simply show a blandness and an apathy for the human race, with the exception of Smith's obsession with destroying Neo and his general hatred of humans, especially their smell.

Other Agents have names like Brown, Johnson, and Thompson; common, innocuous, Anglo-Saxon names. It was mentioned in the Philosopher Commentary on the DVD collection that the names of Smith, Brown and Johnson may be endemic to the system itself, demonstrating a very 'robotic' mindset on the part of the Machines.

In addition, the name "Smith" is explicitly attributed (as "IS 5416" on the license plate of Smith's car in The Matrix Reloaded) to a passage in the Old Testament: Isaiah 54:16

In creating such a program to carry out menial tasks, the Machines lay the foundations for their own destruction, a direct parallel to the creation of AI by humankind.

The two later films in the series make much of the dialectical opposition of Smith and Neo. Smith is pitiless and single-minded, focused on finality, conformity and "inevitability." As such, Smith represents determinism. By contrast, Neo, with his unpredictable, emotional human nature, represents unbounded free will and the power of choice. Neo's solitary role as The One is contrasted by Smith, who, by replicating himself, becomes 'the many'. When Neo asks the Oracle about Smith, the Oracle explains that Smith is Neo's opposite and his negative.

Agent Smith's weapon of choice, as standard with all agents of the Matrix, is the notably large Desert Eagle, chambered with the high caliber .50AE ammunition. His clones carry this weapon as well. In the Matrix, Smith is shown killing Neo with the Desert Eagle. Counting the number of times he fires the gun (10-12), exceeds the capacity of the .50AE Desert Eagle, which is 7. However, the Desert Eagle has also been known to chamber the .44 Magnum rounds and the .357 Magnum rounds with 8 rounds or 9 rounds respectively. With one bullet in the chamber and 9 in the magazine, it would be possible for Smith to fire off 10 shots of .357 Magnum ammunition.

Unlike the other characters, Smith almost always refers to Neo as "Mr. Anderson."

Departure from the normEdit

Smith is significantly more individualistic than the other agents from the start. Other agents rarely act without consulting each other on the earpieces the agents use to communicate. Smith far more often uses his to issue orders or gather information before acting on his own direction. The earpieces also represent some form of control mechanism by the machines. It is notable that when he is interrogating Morpheus, he sends the other agents from the room, then removes his earpiece, releasing himself from the link to the machines before expressing his opinion of humanity.

Agent Smith complains that the Matrix and its inhabitants smell disgusting, "if there is such a thing [as smell]". Smith has a strong hatred of humans and their weakness of the flesh. He compares humanity to a virus, a disease organism that would replicate uncontrollably and eventually destroy their environment were it not for the machine intelligences keeping them in check.

During Morpheus' imprisonment: At the same time, Smith also secretly despises the Matrix itself, feeling that he is as much a prisoner of it as the humans he is tasked with watching over. He later develops an immense desire for the destruction of both mankind and machines alike.

Smith also appears to be the leader of other Agents, in that he has the authority to launch Sentinel attacks in the real world. Unlike other Agents, Smith does not approach problems through a pragmatic point of view, but rather with brute force and apparent rage.

The Wachowski brothers have commented that Smith's gradual humanization throughout The Matrix is a process intended to mirror and balance Neo's own increasing power and understanding of the machine world.

Free AgencyEdit

Smith why we're here

Smith and Neo meet for the first time in over six months.

As a result of being partially overwritten by The One, Smith also begins to exhibit stronger, more virulent human behaviors and emotions such as unpredictability and dry humor (this is a clear departure from his stern demeanor in the original movie). He makes the claim that Neo has set him free, indicating that he now has not only the vision but also the ability to break free of the machines' control and exist as a singular being. He is now allied with no one but himself, rendering him an outlaw to both the Matrix and the human minds which populate it. Being free of burden, however, Smith is also compelled to feel that he is still crushed by the weight of purpose. He essentially correlates purpose with imprisonment, and because he still exists within The Matrix, there is an unseen purpose which binds together Neo and himself.

The idea of Smith's transformation from being an Agent of the System into becoming a "free Agent" is similar to Satan's Fall from Grace. In both cases, a former Agent of the System (in the two sequels, Smith is no longer referred to as "Agent Smith", but simply as "Smith") becomes able to move freely, and comes to have a dangerously rebellious and opposite nature. The virus like qualities he gains may also be a reference to this, as one of the traditional titles of a demon (from a biblical passage]]) is Legion, for they were many.

Revelation of purposeEdit

Agent Smith appears to have been destroyed by Neo at the end of the first movie in The Matrix trilogy, but he makes a calculated return in The Matrix Reloaded with somewhat altered abilities and motivations, in addition to dropping the title "Agent". His appearance has changed from the first movie as well; his sunglasses are of a different, more angular shape than the square ones the Agents wear. Unlike his time as an Agent, Smith's clothing is now black instead of dark green, another similarity to Neo's aesthetic. Smith also lacks the earpiece most Agents wear on their right ear, showing he is now "unplugged". Smith loses his ability to phase into any body connected to the Matrix at will, as he is no longer directly a part of the system. Instead, Smith is now infectious through touch; by jabbing his hand into the body of another being in the Matrix, a Smith can convert that being into another Smith, replicating himself in much the way a computer virus might.

  • Although Smith gains the power to copy other Agents, in truth Smith only copies the body the Agent was possessing at that time. The program of the Agent can move to another body, as demonstrated in The Matrix Reloaded. However, this was nullified when Agent Smith and his clones dominated the entire population of the Matrix, as they cannot move to a body possessed by Smith.
  • Smith is also able to copy over redpills, something regular Agents cannot do. When he does copy over redpills, he can inhabit their physical bodies when he jacks out of the Matrix, as in the case of Bane. Fortunately, most redpills were in Zion at the time of Smith's return, making Bane the only one possessed by Smith. However, Smith was nearly successful when he attempted to absorb Niobe and Ghost, two other redpills in Enter the Matrix. Like Neo, they were able to repel the attack and managed to elude Smith. Also, he is briefly seen attempting to copy over Morpheus, but is stopped by Neo.
  • Keeping in the theme of machines, Smith's behavior is very similar to a computer virus, which also copies its programming into or over other files. This is somewhat fitting; Smith notes in The Matrix he considers human beings a "virus", and in the process of becoming more human, Smith has also become a virus. In a bizarre irony, he becomes what he hates most about humans: something which consumes all resources before moving on and acting without reason or logic.

Against the AnomalyEdit

Agent Smith2

In The Matrix Revolutions, Smith's presence in the Matrix has consumed all of the "Core Network" (the underlying foundation of the inner workings of the Matrix), thus rendering him immutable by even the machines themselves. The Oracle explains to Neo that he and Smith have become equal in power, and that for Smith to be eliminated, the equation must be "unbalanced". Smith has already begun absorbing all the inhabitants of the Matrix; every single human being plugged into it, and every single program functioning inside it, including the Oracle. When he absorbs the Oracle, the process apparently granted him her powers of foresight, as well as reality-bending powers equivalent to those possessed by Neo. Towards the end of the movie, Neo engages a single Smith, the one that was created from the Oracle, in a seemingly endless struggle between two forces of equal might. The other Smiths do not participate, because Oracle/Smith explains he has foreseen that he is the Smith that will beat Neo. In the midst of this battle, Smith explains to Neo his final nihilistic revelation, he has come to learn from Neo ("It was your life that taught me the purpose of all life.") that "the purpose of life is to end." Smith also intended to conquer the real world as well, and had Neo not defeated him he would have succeeded in escaping the Matrix, taking over the machines, and destroying Zion itself.

After an arduous battle in midair, Neo is smashed into the ground by an enraged Smith, making a large impact crater. Smith is perplexed as to why Neo fights, as they both have seen the outcome of the fight. Smith asks why Neo fights when he knows he will lose: "Is it freedom or truth? Perhaps peace? Could it be for love?", reasons which he believes are "temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose, and all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself. Why, Mr. Anderson, Why, why, why do you persist?" Smith is enraged by Neo's simple and irrational answer: "Because I choose to".

Ultimately, Smith prevails, beating Neo unconscious. Suddenly recognizing the scene from the prophecy, he stands before Neo and says, "Wait... I've seen this... This is it, this is the end! Yes, you were lying right there just like that and I... I... I stand here, right here and I'm... supposed to say something..." In a moment of confusion, Smith reveals that he is merely following what the prophecy tells him he should do. In spite of his gaining the oracle's vision, he remains blind. He continues on, regaining his composure.

"I say... Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo". This is the only time that Smith does not call him "Mr. Anderson" to his face [1], suggesting that it is the Oracle within Smith, and not Smith itself, who speaks. Smith displays noticeable confusion after this, apparently not knowing what he has just said. However, he suddenly recoils in fear, exclaiming "its a trick", as he, at least partially, realized Neo's true intentions in fighting. Neo simply responds that "You were right, Smith", as Neo would lose the fight as Smith foresaw. Smith, in an act of almost human irrationally, fought on out of hatred and hope he could escape his fate. As he always planed, Neo surrenders to Smith, who absorbs him, seemingly conquering his enemy.

The "absorption" is not one-sided, with either force conquering the other. Rather, there is a union of opposites, of thesis and antithesis, leading to the synthesis of the new beginning, in which the Matrix, with its equation of oppression and control, is unbalanced.

Smith's deletionEdit

Smith's new triumph is only temporary, however. Shortly after Smith absorbs Neo, The Source sends a surge of energy into the main program through Neo's body, causing the copy of Smith created from Neo to malfunction.

Smith is puzzled by this at first, but soon realizes what he has done by blindly following his prophesied path. As Smith screams a denial of reality, Neo/Smith then overloads and explodes. All the other Smith clones begin to overload and crash in a similar manner, until every clone explodes in a series of bright lights, effectively deleting the Smith program a second time- and saving Mega City.

Taken from the machine point of view, since Smith's code is the virus, Neo's code, being Smith's opposite, is the anti-virus. The code Neo represents, as described by the Architect, is the remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent in the Matrix. Consequently, the machines are powerless to effectively neutralize Smith without Neo's help. Only the code Neo carries can neutralize Smith. Once Neo sacrifices himself by allowing Smith to copy him, while connected to the machines, the machines can simply replicate that process to neutralize all the clones.

The Architect, being limited to only seeing issues as equations and probability, stated that Neo had only two choices: destroy the entire human race, or leave seven males and sixteen females to rebuild Zion. But, by offering himself in an act of surrender as a result of a seemingly irrational choice, he saves both humanity and the machines. This gives his simple answer to Smith's previous barrage far more weight: more than a reply, "Because I choose to" is an affirmation of his power to choose the fate of the world, regardless of any prediction by Smith or the Architect.

MegaSmithEdit

In The Matrix: Path of Neo, the final boss is the MegaSmith. The MegaSmith was used for gameplay reasons, because though the Wachowski Brothers thought the martyr approach suitable for film, they also believed that in an interactive medium such as a video game (based upon the successful completion of goals), it was "Lame. Really lame". So, described by the brothers as, "A little Hulk versus Galactus action", this character was created to be the more appropriate "final boss" of Path of Neo. The MegaSmith is composed of destroyed buildings, cars and parts of the road, with the "spectator Smiths" standing around the crater and in the streets acting as the MegaSmith's muscles, resulting in Smith not only becoming the city's people, but the city itself.

After Neo knocks Smith into the crater in the level "Aerial Battle", Smith is sent flying through the ground and up through the street. As Neo relaxes, the surrounding Smiths walk away from the crater. Neo gets out of the crater, and dodges a car which flies through the air and lands in a pile of debris. Neo looks on as Smiths tear up chunks of the road and throw cars into this pile. A truck then speeds into a building and blows it up. Smiths can be seen holding the debris together as it takes on a thirty-story tall humanoid form which is then struck by lightning, powering it up. Neo flies up to watch as the giant humanoid lowers its head onto its shoulders. The giant Smith then pulls a pair of giant Smith Shades from a billboard and puts them on. He smirks, then the fight begins.

After the fight, Neo flies straight into MegaSmith's mouth, causing the Smiths throughout the Matrix to overload and explode. We then cut to a shot seen in The Matrix: Revolutions of the streets shining with light from the destroyed Smiths.



ReferencesEdit

  1. In The Matrix Reloaded, Smith says he's "looking for Neo" - this is probably out of practicality, as most other characters have no idea who Thomas Anderson is.

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