We're not here because we're free. We're here because we're not free. There's no escaping reason. No denying purpose. Because as we both know without purpose, we would not exist.”
― Agent Smith to Neo[src]
Agent Smith is a former Agent of the Matrix and the main antagonist of the trilogy. After being initially destroyed by Neo, he became an Exile and manifested as a computer virus with the uncanny ability to copy himself over the minds of Bluepills, Redpills and programs alike.
As an Agent of the System
Smith was an Agent of the system and, like other Agents, had the role to police and maintain the Matrix by eliminating potential threats to the stability of the system, which were mostly seen to be Redpills and defunct programs. Agent Smith was personified as stern, serious, and nearly invincible. He was also notably stronger and faster than the other Agents.
No, Lieutenant. Your men are already dead.”
― Smith, after being told police were bringing Trinity down[src]
Smith and Agents Jones and Brown attempted to apprehend Trinity at the Heart O' The City Hotel, having tracked her phone call to Cypher and cut the Hardline to prevent her from escaping there. Smith displayed irritation that the Law Enforcement who had arrived at the Hotel had gone ahead without the Agents in apprehending Trinity. When the Lieutenant stated that two units had been sent up and were already in the process of arresting Trinity, Smith glibly told him that his men were already dead. He sent Agents Jones and Brown ahead to capture Trinity, while he anticipated where Trinity's Exit would be - a phone booth at Wells and Lake. Trinity avoided Brown and Jones and made her way to Wells and Lake, where Smith had commandeered a truck and drove it into position, waiting for her. Trinity ran for the phone booth and Smith drove the truck at it, intending to destroy it and kill Trinity before she could escape. Nevertheless, Trinity succeeded in escaping. Stepping out of the truck, Smith was met by Brown and Jones, who stated that they had the name of the Resistance's next target - a man named Neo. Smith ordered a search.
The following day, the Agents appeared at MetaCortex to apprehend Neo. Neo at first eluded Smith and his Agents, though eventually surrendered to them after refusing to follow Morpheus' plan of escape. Bringing him into an interrogation room, Smith read from Neo's file, stating that it appeared Neo had been living two lives - one of Thomas A Anderson, an employee at a respected software company who seemed to be an average person. The other life was that of his hacker alias Neo, in which Smith claimed he was guilty of every computer crime they had a law for. However, in an effort to appeal to Neo's better nature, Smith removed his glasses and offered Neo a choice: he would have his slate wiped clean, with all charges dropped, if he aided the Agents with information that would lead to the capture of Morpheus, a man Smith claimed to be the most dangerous man alive. Neo acknowledged that was a good deal, but nevertheless rejected it, disappointing Smith. Neo demanded a phone call in accordance with his rights, to which Smith stated: "Tell me, Mr. Anderson: what good is a phone call, if you're unable to speak?" Neo's mouth sealed itself and Neo bolted from his chair in terror. Jones and Brown held Neo down as Smith placed a tracking bug in Neo.
Smith's image was used as part of the Agent training program.
Later on Smith would meet with Cypher, agreeing to reinsert him into the Matrix, in exchange for access codes to the Zion mainframe, in order to destroy Zion. Cypher was unable to provide them, but instead offered Smith another man who surely had the codes: Morpheus. Soon enough Cypher arranged to have Morpheus walk into a trap at the Lafayette Hotel, where Smith would apprehend him.
Never send a human to do a Machine's job.”
― Smith, after learning of the Nebuchadnezzar crew's escape.[src]
Cypher's plan worked, albeit at a cost: despite successfully apprehending Morpheus, Cypher was killed in the real world by Tank. Displaying exasperation at Cypher's failure, Smith ordered the deployment of Sentinels against the Nebuchadnezzar. The Agents administered a program to Morpheus that would eventually compel him to tell them anything they wanted to know. Smith taunted Morpheus in an attempt to break him, stating that he had figured out that humanity operated not like mammals, but instead they spread until every natural resource was consumed - like a virus. He also stated that humans had their time, and that the future belonged to the Machines. In exasperation upon realizing that their serum is taking too long, Smith ordered Brown and Jones out of the room, so that Smith could interrogate Morpheus alone.
I must get out of here. I must get free. And in this mind is the key. My key. Once Zion is destroyed, there is no need for me to be here, do you understand? I need the codes. I have to get inside Zion, and you have to tell me how. You're going to tell me, or you're going to die.”
― Smith reveals his reason for needing the Zion mainframe codes while interrogating Morpheus[src]
Smith removed his sunglasses and earpiece - severing his connection to the other Agents - and told Morpheus that he hated the Matrix and his role in the system because of the 'stink' of humans - fearing he was somehow being infected by it. He then grabbed Morpheus' head and demanded Zion's mainframe codes, stating that he needed to be free of the Matrix and destroying Zion would be the key to that goal. However, Morpheus resisted still, and Jones and Brown re-entered the room, finding Smith about to crush Morpheus' skull. Because Smith had removed his earpiece, he had been unaware of Neo and Trinity entering the Matrix in a bid to rescue Morpheus, storming the lobby of the government building and killing the police that stood in their way. Smith ordered Jones and Brown to find and destroy them.
After Jones failed to kill Neo and Trinity on the roof, the Agents were confronted by the pair in a helicopter, with Neo manning the mounted minigun. Smith expressed angry denial upon realizing that he couldn't hope to avoid the incoming barrage of gunfire. The Agents attempted to fight back, but all three were swiftly cut down, allowing Morpheus time to break free of his restraints and make a run for the helicopter. The Agents took new hosts, and Smith opened fire on Morpheus, attempting to prevent his escape. Smith succeeded in hitting Morpheus' leg through a wall, though Neo jumped from the helicopter to catch him. As the helicopter flew off, Smith shot at it, scoring several hits that caused it to malfunction and crash, though not before Neo, Trinity and Morpheus escaped. Tracking their phone call to Tank to a rooftop several blocks away, Smith and the other Agents appeared too late to stop them from escaping. Smith ordered the Sentinel strike.
I'm going to enjoy watching you die, Mr. Anderson.”
― Smith to Neo[src]
A homeless person spotted Morpheus using the Exit in a subway station, alerting Smith to their location. Smith took possession of the homeless man and destroyed the phone as Trinity used it. Trinity escaped, but with the phone destroyed, Neo was trapped with Smith. Neo stood his ground against Smith instead of running. They opened fire at each other as they rushed each other, catching them in mid-air. Both Neo and Smith emptied their guns' clips. Smith attempted to hit Neo with his gun as Neo flipped to his feet. Discarding their guns, Neo and Smith engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Though Neo appeared to be evenly-matched to Smith, Smith soon gained the upper hand, expressing enjoyment in Neo's future death. Smith knocked Neo back several feet, and Neo assumed a 'come on' stance, angering Smith further. Neo held his own against Smith in the second round, before Smith threw him into a wall and pummeled him. Hearing an approaching subway train, Smith dragged Neo, tossed him onto the tracks and held him in a headlock. Despite gloating that Neo was about to die, Neo summoned enough strength to propel both him and Smith into the station's ceiling. Neo flipped off the tracks, and Smith was hit by the train.
As Neo made for the station's exit, the train stopped and Smith stepped from it, having possessed one of its passengers. Neo made for the streets, and Smith followed, jumping from host to host in an attempt to catch Neo. After Tank told Neo he had a patch on an exit in the Heart O' The City Hotel, Smith figured out exactly where Neo was headed, and waited to ambush him in Room 303. Neo ran right into the trap, and Smith shot him several times. As if afraid, Smith ordered Brown to check Neo for signs of life. Neo had died, and Smith bade him goodbye before moving to leave.
Goodbye, Mr. Anderson.”
― Smith to Neo after shooting him[src]
Unknown to Smith, Trinity would confess her love to Neo - with the condition stated by The Oracle being that Trinity had been told that the man she loved would be The One. As Trinity loved Neo, Neo had to be The One. Neo awoke and stood, much to the Agents' surprise. All three Agents shot at Neo, but Neo stopped their bullets in mid-air. Smith, enraged that his victory had been taken from him, rushed Neo, but Neo's responses to Smith's punches was too fast. Neo knocked Smith back and charged at him, diving into Smith and destroying him from the inside-out.
It is inevitable.”
― Smith to Neo[src]
Agent Smith initially appeared to have been destroyed by Neo, but made a calculated return with greatly altered abilities and complete liberation from his prior restrictions as an Agent. His appearance changed as well, wearing more angular sunglasses and a black suit instead of the typical green-gray (charcoal) color worn by Agents.
Smith also lacked the characteristic earpiece worn by Agents, showing he is now "unplugged". No longer an Agent of the system, Smith lost his ability to travel by possession by taking over anybody connected to the Matrix.
Instead, Smith gained the ability to infect and assimilate anyone, whether program or human, inside the Matrix. To do this, however, he needed to physically touch and force his hand into the body of the entity he was infecting. The assimilation takes a few seconds but, once completed, will completely convert the infected into a copy of Smith himself, allowing him to replicate in much the same way as a computer virus. It is unknown whether his ability to dodge bullets was retained after being "unplugged", although his reaction when Morpheus threatens to shoot him with his gun indicated that any protection against physical damage was made redundant by his ability to replicate himself. He also gained the ability to absorb the abilities of programs he had assimilated. Two examples of this were The Oracle and Sati; more specifically, The Oracle's ability to see and interpret future events and choices, and Sati's weather manipulation abilities. On a similar note, his replication abilities were not restricted by the characteristics of the body he assimilated, with all of the resultant clones looking physically identical to Smith in both appearance and size.
As a result of being entangled with The One, Smith also began to exhibit stronger, more virulent human behaviors and emotions such as unpredictability and dry humor, which was a clear departure from his original stern demeanor. He made the claim that Neo has set him free, indicating how he not only obtained the vision but also the ability to break free of the Machines' control, existing as a singular being.
He was then allied with no one else but himself, rendering him an outlaw to not only the Matrix but also the humans who inhabit it and, by extension, an enemy to the rebels of Zion. Even free of Machine control, however, Smith was still compelled to feel crushed by the weight of purpose.
Largely because of Neo's role in "freeing" him, he also began to set the pieces to unveiling his return. Driving towards the building where the Crisis Meeting was occurring while deliberately parking in front of the door with the headlights operating at full blast to obscure his identity, he then anonymously made contact with the doorman, Corrupt, inquiring if Neo was inside. When Corrupt claimed ignorance, Smith then supplied a package (his discarded earpiece) intended for him, cryptically stating that it was to return the favor for "setting [Smith] free" before departing just as Agents Johnson, Thompson, and Jackson raided the area. He and another Smith clone then proceeded to secretly observe the ensuing fight, having apparently predicted Neo would ultimately win against the upgraded agents. One of Smith's clones also proceeded to ambush Bane and assimilate him just before he could successfully jack-out, with the resulting clone also taking the opportunity to infiltrate the real world.
Eventually, Smith encountered Neo at the park shortly after the latter had met with The Oracle, his presence causing the crow-like programs to disperse. After revealing he was the anonymous deliveryman that arrived at the Crisis Meeting, he then revealed his survival and his status as no longer an Agent of the system, and thus no longer bound by it. However, he and his clones then tried to kill Neo via assimilating him, citing that he nearly took away his purpose, although this ultimately failed, resulting in a massive brawl in the park that, combined with Smith's constantly replicating to give himself more of an edge against Neo, forced his quarry to escape. However, he and his clones were undaunted, simply going back through the city due to anticipating they'll encounter each other again.
True to Smith's predictions, he encountered Neo at the hallway immediately preceding the source and blocked the doorway just as Neo, Morpheus, and Keymaker were about to arrive. He also makes clear he had been expecting Neo's arrival contrary to Neo, and also cryptically implies his desires were aligned with Neo's, or more specifically, that he "wants everything." When Morpheus sarcastically asked in a threatening manner if a spent bullet from his gun counted regarding "everything", Smith cooly encouraged Morpheus to go ahead and shoot him, citing that his best feature at this point is that there's "so many of [Smith]." As if on cue, all the doors burst open and unveiled several Smith clones, with Smith taking the opportunity to deck Morpheus. His various clones also attempted to assimilate Morpheus while quoting the adage "can't beat them, join them", although Neo interfered and prevented them from doing so. After the power went out thanks to Trinity hacking the power grid, the Smiths, infuriated at this turn of events, attempted to use their Desert Eagles on the three as Neo flew Morpheus and Keymaker into the Source room. Although Neo successfully closed the door on them, the Smiths ultimately succeeded in killing The Keymaker. Presumably afterwards, Smith and his clones spent his time assimilating various programs and Bluepills, including Exile programs.
He is you, your opposite, your negative, the result of the equation trying to balance itself out.”
― Oracle to Neo[src]
Against the Anomaly
Eventually, Smith's presence in the Matrix had consumed all of the "Core Network" (the underlying foundation of the inner workings of the Matrix), thus rendering him immune to even the Machines themselves. The Oracle explained to Neo that he and Smith had become equal in power, and that for Smith to be eliminated, the equation had to be "balanced". Smith had already began assimilating all the inhabitants of the Matrix; every human plugged into it, and every program functioning inside it, including The Oracle. On a similar note, during the assimilation of The Oracle, the clone who infected her showed a degree of fear when The Oracle-Smith clone stood up and removed his sunglasses.
When Smith assimilated The Oracle, the process granted him her powers of foresight as well as more extensive reality-bending powers equivalent to those previously only possessed by Neo. In their final bout, Neo engaged a single Smith, "The One" Smith clone created from The Oracle, in a seemingly endless struggle between two forces of equal might.
The other Smiths did not participate, as The Oracle-Smith explained he had already foreseen that he was the Smith who will defeat Neo and, thus, did not require anybody else's aid. In the midst of their battle, Smith explained to Neo his final nihilistic revelation which he had come to learn from Neo.
It was your life that taught me the purpose of all life—the purpose of life is to end.”
Smith also intended to destroy the Real World and, had Neo not defeated him, would have likely escaped the Matrix to try and take over the Machines, destroying Zion as well as the Machine City should he have succeeded.
After an arduous battle in midair, Neo was smashed into the ground by an enraged Smith, resulting in a large crater forming from the impact. Smith was perplexed as to why Neo continued to fight, as they both should already know the eventual outcome of the fight. Smith asked Neo why he still persisted when he knew he would lose. And Neo's answer, "because I choose to," only further enraged Smith.
Is it freedom or truth? Perhaps peace? Could it be for love?”
Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. 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.
And Smith eventually prevailed, beating Neo to near unconsciousness. Suddenly recognizing a vision he foresaw, he stood before Neo and proclaimed the familiarity of the scenario.
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 revealed how he had been following the prophecies his abilities granted him. He then continued, regaining his composure.
I say... Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo.”
Continuing to reenact his vision, Smith then called Neo by his Redpill alias and not by his Bluepill name of "Mr. Anderson", which he normally used. Catching himself not behaving, as usual, Smith displayed noticeable confusion after what he had just said.
His own thoughts then caused Smith to recoil in fear, exclaiming how it was a trick since he, at least partially, immediately realized what Neo was about to achieve. Neo, seemingly accepting how he would soon die just as Smith foresaw, simply responded in deference to Smith's proclamation of the end. Smith, in an act of almost human irrationality, dealt his finishing blow to Neo, assimilating him.
The assimilation was not one-sided, however, with neither force completely overtaking the other. Rather, there was 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, was once again made balanced.
Smith's triumph was ultimately made only temporary since the Deus Ex Machina had, through Neo's jacked in body, sent a surge of energy through Neo's body and into the Matrix. This action seemingly reinserted the Prime Program into The Source. And with Smith having assimilated Neo, he was also destroyed in the process, with each Smith clone bursting in a flash of light that illuminated Mega City's streets. Ironically given his more fatalistic and nihilistic outlook, Smith's final words before deletion was a quiet, horrified denial of what was going on and how it wasn't fair.
A New Form
After all these years, to be going back to where it all started. Back to the Matrix.”
― Smith, unaware of his past[src]
As revealed in The Matrix Resurrections, as Neo was resurrected by The Analyst, so too was Smith because of their connection to each other. Taking on a new outer shell in order to avoid deletion, Smith was found by The Analyst, who turned Neo and Smith's bond into a 'chain' in which Smith would become amnesiac in the same way as Neo, and while Neo remained tethered to the system, so too did Smith. The now-amnesiac Smith became Neo's business partner. He would refer to Neo as 'Tom'. His tenacity translated into an eye for the bottom line, something that his business partner lacked.
Smith would converse with Neo about returning to The Matrix, which had become a successful series of video games (based upon Neo's suppressed memories), stating that Warner Bros, the company responsible for publishing the games, wanted Neo to work on a new game, or have his funding pulled from future projects. Neo began to suffer a breakdown, imagining Smith's mouth being sealed, in the same way that Smith had sealed Neo's mouth in their first interrogation.
― Smith, with his memories restored.[src]
During a SWAT raid on Deus Machina, Neo was confronted by Morpheus - coincidentally, a program created subconsciously by Neo as a combination of the real world Morpheus and Smith. Neo began to suffer flashbacks to his past that he tried to rationalize as going crazy. Smith came into the office. Spotting a handgun dropped by one of the dead SWAT members, which was similar to the type of guns that Agents used, and triggered by Neo's breakdown, Smith's memories began to unlock. Smith picked up the handgun and began firing at Neo. Ultimately, Smith could not kill Neo before The Analyst warped the Matrix, bringing Neo before him.
Smith would later return when Neo, Bugs, Morpheus, and the crew of the Mnemosyne made their first attempt to rescue Trinity, with their route taking them through a run-down building. Neo recognized Smith despite him inhabiting a new shell. He tried to dissuade Neo from pursuing Trinity, stating that he had come to enjoy the freedom that he had gained, and that Neo's actions could result in Smith's freedom being stripped once again. Unlike before, Smith didn't see conflict between the two as necessarily inevitable and simply asked Neo to stay out of his way as he sought revenge against The Analyst which Neo had no problem doing as long as Smith let him rescue Trinity. The Merovingian revealed himself, and a horde of Exiles attacked the Mnemosyne crew. Neo fought Smith, falling into a derelict bathroom below the building. Smith appeared to gain the upper hand, although before long, Neo's powers returned and he blasted Smith away.
Tom and I have more in common than you think. Once he got out, let's just say... I was free to be me.”
Smith later came to Neo and Trinity's rescue when The Analyst was about to kill them, taking possession of the Simulatte barista in order to do so. He commented that he and Neo had more in common than The Analyst realized. He then punched The Analyst, throwing him across the room and disabling the Bullet Time effect in the room. Smith's attack gave Neo, Trinity and their allies the chance to fight back and recover Trinity's body. Smith pursued The Analyst behind the bar but was forced to defend himself against two Agents. After Trinity and Neo had taken care of most of the opposition, The Analyst attempted to get in their way. Smith shoots The Analyst several times, causing him to disappear, before addressing Neo and Trinity, stating that their unexpected alliance is over. Smith tells Neo that the difference between them is that "anyone could've been you, whereas I've always been anyone." Smith then departs from his host body, leaving the barista confused.
In other media
The Smith Virus in The Matrix Online
Despite his destruction at the end of the film series, Agent Smith (or at least the remnants of his programming) managed to return and made several appearances inside the movie's official continuation, the MMORPG The Matrix Online.
The first infection was noted in Machine mission controller Agent Gray, whose background information confirms that he was overwritten by Smith at some point during the timeline of the second and third films. This infection had somehow survived the reboot at the end of the third film and rose to the surface once again during chapter 1.2, The Hunt For Morpheus. The Agent, in both a storyline-related mission and live event, showed signs of uncharacteristic speech and emotion and eventually led an assault against Zionite Redpills declaring 'their stench unbearable any longer'. As a result of his actions the Agent was apprehended by his fellow system representatives and scheduled for a 'thorough code cleansing'. He has shown no signs of direct infection since.
Machine liaison officer DifferenceEngine, following a similar scenario to that of the previous Agent Gray infection, also took on the dialect and emotional characteristics of the famous Exile Agent. Instead of attacking Redpills, this instance insisted on finding 'Mr. Anderson'. In the end, the human/Machine head relations liaison, Agent Pace, was made aware of the program's infection and subsequent crusade; she proceeded to lock down his RSI and return his program to the Source for analysis. His subsequent fate is unknown.
The third victim of infection was the notorious Bluepill Shane Black. This man was an unfortunate victim of the Smith Virus who, once infected, gained the ability to spread the code to others. This quickly led to a small-scale outbreak, with several more Bluepills becoming infected and joining forces in their hunt for power. He and the other infected were eventually cleansed and returned to their Bluepill lives.
Shane Black's troubles continued, as he was one of the Bluepills recorded to have first witnessed Unlimited Redpills practicing their newfound powers at the Uriah wharf. This triggered a resurgence of the memories formed during his Smith infection and he soon became volatile and insane. He is reported to have been mercifully killed shortly afterward.
The most recent appearance of the Smith virus was during the third-anniversary events. The virus manifested itself in the form of black-suited men (although they lacked the distinct likeness of Smith). As Redpills began to fight back using specialist code from The Oracle, the virus vanished suddenly, stating that he had obtained a new and more dangerous form. The only person to kill the main Agent Smith virus was the Machinist Trilateral, originally of the Iterator server, on Recursion server after the server merge, being the first person in game to earn the perpetual flame virus award. The nature of this form was never revealed.
In The Matrix: Path of Neo, the final boss is the MegaSmith. The MegaSmith was used for gameplay reasons, because although the Wachowskis thought the martyr approach suitable for film, they believed that for an interactive medium such as a video game (based upon the successful completion of goals) it was "Lame. Really lame".
So, described by the Wachowskis 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 that 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.
During the fight, Neo must evade MegaSmith's punches and attempts to hurl objects at him, gaining the opportunity to attack after a certain amount of blows have been unleashed; the counter-attack sees Neo flying towards MegaSmith and knocking parts out of him, including the left side of his head, left arm and a sizeable portion of his chest. After the fight, Neo flies straight into MegaSmith's mouth, causing the Smiths throughout the Matrix to overload and explode. Afterwards, it soon cuts to a shot seen in The Matrix Revolutions of the streets shining with light from the destroyed Smiths.
Initially, Agent Smith appeared polite, professional, and merely serving his purpose as an Agent of the system. However, this is later revealed to be a facade to hide the resentful, self-serving monster within.
While interrogating Morpheus, Agent Smith went as far as comparing humanity to a virus; a disease organism that uncontrollably replicates and inevitably destroys its environment, only to move on to another and repeat the process. Although since this was stated in the presence of the other Agents, he may have just been reiterating his fellow Agents' general apathy towards humans while toning down his own excessive hatred towards them. Ironically, Smith himself would later manifest as a self-replicating virus which spread throughout the Matrix, his only stated purpose, as mentioned by The Oracle, being to destroy the world he inhabited.
It is notable that during the interrogation, Agent Smith sent his colleagues out of the room and then removed his sunglasses, his sign of "getting personal." He followed this up by removing his earpiece, thereby severing his communication with his fellow Agents, before proceeding to express, with palpable bitterness, how he secretly despised humanity and the Matrix. The Matrix, as he labeled it, was a "zoo" he was desperate to escape from, feeling as much a prisoner as the humans he is tasked to police. He even cited the suffocating smell of the Matrix and of all its inhabitants, though this was unlikely to be literal. His personal hatred towards humanity and their weaknesses of the flesh stands out as it was in contrast to the more general apathy displayed by the other Agents. Later, during his final battle with Neo, he also grudgingly ridicules how only humanity could have ever conceived of love.
As an Agent of the system, and despite his general hatred for humanity, Agent Smith's behavior still remained pragmatic when dealing with Bluepills, seemingly keeping casualties to a minimum. An example of this being when he ordered a police lieutenant to not confront Trinity when she was trapped inside a building, later claiming that the order was for the sake of the police force's own protection. Unlike other Agents, however, Agent Smith mixed his cunning with brute force and apparent rage, being able to predict the actions of his quarry before viciously and efficiently countering.
Agent Smith's cunning was showcased during his and his fellow Agents' pursuit of Trinity, using her movements to predict her eventual location. When Agent Brown tried to directly chase Trinity across the rooftops, he ultimately failed to capture her. But Agent Smith took control of a garbage truck near Trinity's would-be exit, only failing to run her over and killing her by a very narrow margin. Similarly, he also demonstrated this ability while pursuing Neo, seemingly abandoning the chase as soon as Neo drew near the Heart O' The City Hotel. After Neo escaped both Agents Brown and Jones, he entered Room 303 expecting to escape only to be shot and killed by Agent Smith who appeared to have taken control of a person living within the room and was lying in wait.
After becoming an Exile who was free from the system, Smith felt an unusual attachment and desire to kill Neo. Besides his hatred for Neo, however, he also harbored a great deal of hatred and resentment towards Trinity for her knack of managing to avoid his attempts to kill her at the last possible second. He later vocalized this hatred and his reasons for it when ambushing Trinity while using the body of Bane.
As an Exile, Smith was shown to be nihilistic. During his final battle with Neo, he reveals his belief that the purpose of all life was simply "to end". Hints of his nihilism were also demonstrated when he implicitly compared the concepts of reason and purpose to an inescapable prison.
After his resurrection, Smith appeared to be less nihilistic than before and even seemed to have something of a genuine fondness for Neo. His main motivation was to not going back to what he was before because Smith liked the new world he lived in. Unlike his previous interactions with Neo, Smith chose to call him Tom rather than Mr. Anderson - a carry-over from when he remained unaware of his past and acted as Neo's business partner. The only time that Smith called Neo "Mr. Anderson" again was in the moment after he recovered his memories. Unlike before, Smith didn't see conflict between the two as necessarily inevitable and simply asked Neo to stay out of his way as he sought revenge against The Analyst which Neo had no problem doing as long as Smith let him rescue Trinity. When they fought, Smith even complimented Neo's returning powers and contemplated their similarities. When he was about to kill Neo, Smith claimed that he truly was sorry that he had to do it, stating that Neo was The One to set him free again and that Neo more than anyone understood why he couldn't go back to what he was. Smith later came to Neo and Trinity's rescue rather than letting The Analyst kill them, stating that the real difference between the two of them is that anyone could've been Neo while Smith has always been everyone. As Smith left, he stated their alliance had ended, though did not suggest they would be enemies again the next time they met.
Despite his relative cunning when hunting redpulls and his more subtle actions after his resurrection, in actual combat Smith tended to rely purely on brute force to subdue his opponents. When fighting Morpheus and Neo as an Agent, his combat style was little more than powerful, fast punches, while as an Exile he relied on his copies to overwhelm particularly troublesome foes such as Neo and Morpheus. Although he was able to fly like Neo, he only demonstrated this ability after he saw Neo do it, demonstrating a relative lack of imagination although some of this could be that he lacked this power until he absorbed The Oracle and her powers which made him equal to Neo.
Other personality traits
- Smith was possibly a masochist, a trait possibly brought on by him never truly feeling pain in the Matrix. As such, when he inhabited himself into the body of Bane, he began to cut himself.
- Smith also seemed to have sadistic tendencies, as evidenced by his admission of how he watched Neo die with a certain amount of satisfaction. This is further supported by his viciousness and by his brutal beat-up of Morpheus. These tendencies, while toned down, still manifested after Smith's resurrection: he confessed to Neo that he had "extremely violent revenge fantasies" regarding The Analyst.
- Smith was also shown to have a very dark sense of humor. This was demonstrated twice:
- When he proceeded to copy over the Resistance member Bane just as he was about to jack out of the Matrix, Bane utters a horrified "Oh, God...!". In reply, Smith answers "Smith shall suffice" in faux-humbleness.
- When The Oracle, right before being copied over by Smith, demanded to know what Smith did to Sati, a Smith clone cruelly echoed the phrase "Cookies need love like everyone does". This phrase was only heard one other time before, in the presence of Sati and Neo.
Powers and abilities
As an Agent
As an Agent of the Matrix, Smith had all the standard abilities that came with his programming. His powers included:
- Superhuman strength.
- Ability to leap enormous heights and distances.
- Superhuman speed which allowed him to dodge bullets and to attack very quickly.
- Ability to possess any Bluepill.
- RSI Manipulation, having been able to change the form of Neo's mouth without possessing him.
As an Exile
As a result of Neo's attempt to destroy Agent Smith, Smith became an Exile "unplugged" from the system. Though he still retained most of his standard Agent abilities with the sole exception of his ability to possess Bluepills, the new abilities he gained were comparatively more frightening:
- Superhuman strength.
- Ability to leap enormous heights and distances.
- Superhuman speed which allowed him to trade blows with Neo as The One.
- Replication, being able to stab his hand into any person, whether human (including both Bluepills and Redpills) or program (including Agents), and converting them into a Smith clone.
- Using the abilities of assimilated programs like:
- Weather alteration, presumably from assimilating Sati's program. This was implied by his asking Neo if he liked what he had done to Mega City, which was undergoing a torrential storm.
- The Oracle's foresight
- Smith's reaction to Morpheus' threats also implied that, with his new abilities, he no longer needed to dodge bullets.
- Smith was subject to a 'bond' with Neo - as long as Neo existed, so too would Smith. As The Oracle put it, this bond was the result of the equation trying to balance itself out. This allowed him to defy destruction despite the Machines resetting the Matrix following Neo and Smith's final confrontation. The Analyst would turn this 'bond' into a 'chain' which suppressed Smith's memory, though once Neo began to recover his memory, the 'bond' also allowed Smith to recover his own.
After his resurrection, Smith's abilities appeared to be a mix of his powers as an Agent and an Exile, showing superhuman strength and possession of Bluepills like a regular Agent. However, he had the freedom that he had possessed as an Exile. His strength was lesser with Neo's returning abilities allowing him to disable Smith for a time with a telekinetic shock wave, although they fought fairly evenly most of the time. When confronted with Neo's armed allies, Smith chose to retreat from his host body rather than continuing to fight, indicating that he was more vulnerable now. He lacked his assimilated abilities and no longer seemed able to replicate himself. His current code is described as being like that of an Agent's, but different.
Appearance and Mannerisms
The manner in which Smith speaks is similar to that of the late Carl Sagan. There are also noticeable pauses at odd places in his sentences. Oddly, he doesn't really use this manner of speaking when he tells Sati he is "not such a bad guy" (perhaps to convince her he is not intimidating).
Agent Smith's weapon of choice, as standard for all Agents of the Matrix, is the notably large Desert Eagle Chambered in .50 AE (Action Express). He retains this weapon even after being unplugged, as demonstrated by how he and his clones used the gun(s) in an attempt to kill Morpheus, Neo, and The Keymaker, ultimately succeeding with the latter before the door was closed, though he very rarely uses it. Unlike others, Smith always refers to Neo as "Mr. Anderson.", except in the final battle Smith is visibly confused and doesn't know he used the name Neo, and to a lesser extent when interacting with Corrupt in order to deliver to Neo a message (which was more to ensure the package was delivered due to the name "Mr. Anderson" not meaning anything for the Resistance members). This may be to discourage Neo from the concept of his freedom from the Matrix, although it may simply be an aspect of Smith's personality.
The dialectical opposition between Smith and Neo is a strong indication of what their respective characters represented. Smith was pitiless and single-minded, focused on finality, conformity, purpose and inevitability. As such, Smith represented determinism and fatalism. By contrast, Neo, with his unpredictable, emotional human nature, represented unbounded free will and the power of choice. Neo's solitary role as The One was also further contrasted by Smith, who, by replicating himself, becomes 'the many'. When Neo asked The Oracle about Smith, The Oracle explained that Smith was Neo's opposite and negative.
- One theory is that The One is not Neo, but actually Agent Smith. Morpheus tells Neo in the first movie that The One was born in the Matrix, possessed the power to reshape it as he saw fit, and he will eventually return and his coming would herald the destruction of the Matrix, the end of the war, and humanity's freedom. These powers and feats are not really applicable to Neo, but are fully applicable to Smith, who (as a Program) was born in the Matrix, took over all of its functionality and gained the ability to reprogram it to his will, and in doing so functionally destroyed the Matrix, and as part of Neo defeating him the Machines ended the war and agreed to free the humans that wanted to be freed.
- The name "Smith" is explicitly attributed (as "IS 5416" on the license plate of Smith's car ) to a passage in the Old Testament: Isaiah 54:16
- Smith's gradual "humanization" was a process that mirrored and balanced Neo's own increasing power and understanding of the Machine world.
- In The Matrix, he explains his disgust for the viral and cancerous nature of humans. Ironically, he himself later shows the same traits, replicating himself and consuming all life within the Matrix.
- His ability to replicate himself is reminiscent of a computer virus or worm, as such malicious programs self-replicate to spread and infect other programs.
- The wall next to Smith shows a graffiti MUZA 25 19 before he hands over his "gift" for Neo, which has been interpreted by some as a comment on Smith's new found freedom.
- Agent Smith was played by Hugo Weaving in the original trilogy. Weaving is otherwise best known for his portrayal of the Elf lord Elrond in The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings Trilogies. This is given a subtle nod in Lego Lord of the Rings where Smith makes a cameo in that game as an easter egg.
- He later played the role of Johann Schmidt/Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger by Marvel. Coincidentally, Dr. Erskine's flashback to him featured Schmidt with multiple versions of himself, similar to Smith, and at one point in the climax, he even fought Captain America with similar stunts to The Matrix (although in that case, it was due to an imbalance of gravity caused by the plane descending from altitude). In addition, his last name, Schmidt, is the German equivalent of "Smith."
- Ten years after The Matrix Revolutions, Weaving reprises his role as Smith in a General Electric advertisement.
- Hugo Weaving confirmed in an interview with timeout.com that he will not be reprising the role of Agent Smith in The Matrix Resurrections, citing scheduling conflicts with The Visit at the time the movie's filming period was announced. It has been announced since then that Smith will be featured in the film, with Jonathan Groff playing the role, with Hugo Weaving reprising the role through archive footage from the original trilogy.
- Though Smith speaks with an American accent, in the first Matrix film, he pronounces two words out of line with an American accent (probably due to Hugo Weaving slipping up on the accent). Both of these can be heard in the scene in which Smith compares humans to viruses. First, he pronounces "mammals" and "mammal" with a harsher sounding "ah" for the "a" instead of the softer "aa" as is heard in American accents. Secondly, he clearly enunciates the "n" in "environment", which is often not heard very clearly in American accents.
- Despite being the main antagonist, Smith is the reason the war between Zion and the Machines was able to end: for if he never consumed the inhabitants of the Matrix, Neo would never be able to make the deal with the Deus Ex Machina to call off the war in exchange for stopping Smith.
- Smith does share certain qualities with Neo. Both are major characters. Both have been killed and resurrected only to be seemingly killed for good in the third film. They also share similar abilities and clothes style.
- Smith made two appearances in Lego, firstly as a Easter egg in Lego Lord of the Rings, and secondly in The Lego Batman Movie and the respective Lego Dimensions story pack. His cameo in the former was a reference to how Hugo Weaving, Smith's actor, also portrayed Elrond in The Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson.
- Smith's line of "Mr. Anderson, welcome back! We missed you" just prior to his final battle with Neo was given a slightly different delivery in the teaser for The Matrix Revolutions.
- Agent Smith has had his glasses either willingly removed or otherwise forced off of him at least once in the movies, the only exception being Reloaded (not counting when the Smith copy that resulted from Smith overwriting Bane's consciousness reintegrated with Bane's body).
- In the first movie, Smith willingly removes his sunglasses twice:
- The first time when trying to convince Neo to aid the Agents in tracking down Morpheus.
- The second time was when trying to get personal with Morpheus in order to extract the access codes to Zion's mainframe.
- Likewise, he had his sunglasses forcibly removed three times in the movie:
- The first time was during his bathroom fight with Morpheus where Morpheus knocked them off as a result of headbutting him while pinning him to the floor.
- The second time was during his fight with Neo in the train station, where Neo used a roundhouse kick to the face that partly shattered his sunglasses and had Smith remove them as a result, infuriating him enough to personally vow to Neo that he will definitely enjoy watching him die as a result.
- The third time was shortly after Neo becomes The One, where he knocks Smith across the room and sends his sunglasses flying off him as a result.
- In the third movie, Smith willingly removes his glasses once, shortly after rewriting The Oracle's code, when the resulting Smith clone proceeds to yank his own sunglasses off, presumably as a consequence of his foresight coming into play.
- Likewise, he also has his glasses forced off once, during the final battle with Neo, where one of Neo's kicks proceeded to force his sunglasses off him.
- In the first movie, Smith willingly removes his sunglasses twice:
- Smith referred to The Oracle as his "mom" just prior to assimilating her after she called him a bastard for assimilating Sati. The Oracle was deemed by The Architect as the mother of the Matrix.
- In The Matrix Resurrections, the rebooted Smith - in the imposed persona of Tom's business partner - is now a heavy smoker, something which neither he nor any other Agent ever did before. This appears to be a small lingering effect from when Smith briefly possessed The Oracle herself at the climax of the third film, as she was also a heavy smoker.
- 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. Similarly, Smith when interrogating Neo and requesting his assistance in taking out Morpheus in The Matrix acknowledges that Thomas Anderson and Neo are the same individual even if two separate lives, though he never directly calls him by Neo in this case.
- Smith's speeches to Neo in The Matrix Revolutions, and to a lesser extent The Matrix Reloaded
- The Matrix Reloaded
- The Matrix Resurrections
- Film Theory: Neo ISN'T The One in The Matrix Trilogy, YouTube.com, Video
- The Matrix Reloaded
- Wachowski brothers commentary