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Small Details You Missed In The Matrix Resurrections

"The Matrix Resurrections" is Chock Full 'o Detail, which is just about what we expect out of both a "Matrix" movie and anything Lana Wachowski touches. There's lots of layers here, and lots of small bits tucked away for diehard (or at least particularly observant) fans. It's easy to miss many, but once you see them, it's like seeing lines in the ... well, you know.

Here, we've gathered up a lot of the small details you might have missed in "Resurrections." Some of these are things you saw the whole time but maybe didn't put together immediately. Others are blink-and-you-miss-it bits with big implications. Many are callbacks to previous entries in the series, often so subtle that they aren't accompanied by a flashback. All will enhance your enjoyment on a rewatch, or at least give you permission to feel a little more smug — and hey, no judgement here.

Be warned: Major spoilers for "Matrix Resurrections" follow.

'Really good noodles'

During the montage of Tom Anderson's day to day life, we see him eating noodles at a restaurant several times. It's certainly possible there's some symbolism about the circular nature of his life by way of a noodle, but that's not the small detail in question. No, the small detail is that this directly parallels a line from the first movie — and provides another clue that Neo has indeed gotten sucked back into the Matrix.

After Neo is sent back into the Matrix for the first time, he's driven down a familiar street with Morpheus and Trinity. At one point, he points out the car window and says "I used to eat there. Really good noodles." He then spends some time pondering how they never actually happened and how his memories aren't real. Fast forward 22 real life years later and who knows how many in-universe years, and Neo is back in a simulation again — and dropping hints about it by eating those really good noodles.

We see Neo's old man appearance early

After meeting up with Bugs and the New Morpheus, Neo is informed that he sees himself differently than everyone else — literally. He's put in front of a mirror and shown that, due to technology shenanigans, most people see him as an old man with white hair and a white beard. This part is pretty shocking — provided, of course, you missed the fact that we saw it already.

We're definitely given at least one somewhat obvious hint, when Bugs recalls seeing a man who looked nothing like Neo but was clearly Neo. We're also given a much less obvious hint, one that requires a keen attention to detail. Pay attention to scenes when Tom Anderson is in his bathroom, especially when he's not looking at the mirror. The Tom everyone else sees — the gray, haggard man — is shown in the reflection. It's brief, but it's there, and it's a neat clue for either observant viewers or those doing a rewatch.

Parts of the plot resemble The Matrix Online

One of the first big revelations of "The Matrix Resurrections" is that the machines never returned Neo's body after he sacrificed himself. It's certainly an intriguing plot point, but one nobody would bat an eye at ... unless they were familiar with "The Matrix Online," an MMO active in the late aughts.

The game was meant as a follow-up to the original trilogy, with the Wachowskis not particularly intent on making a fourth movie. In a 2005 interview with IGN, the Wachowskis said that they wanted an MMO because — like their movies — it required people to be active participants rather than passive observers: "Those are the people, the people who thought about it, who worked at it, who we ultimately made the trilogy for and it now makes perfect sense to us that they should inherit the storyline."

Sounds like proof that this was canon, right? Nope. Ben Chamberlain, the last full-time developer to work on "The Matrix Online," told Eurogramer in 2021 that "I don't think we ever worried about whether our game was canon. I don't think anyone who worked on it ever thought that anything we were doing would be regarded as canonical in the same way that the movies were."

This is just a way of saying that the game is not canon, despite massive speculation. The game infamously saw the assassination of Morpheus, but in "Resurrections" we find out that Morpheus instead became the head of the council and died of other causes.

But there's one detail that carried over from "The Matrix Online," and it's the inciting incident of the game: Neo's body was never returned by the machines, and interested parties want it back. It's hard to imagine that Lana Wachowski didn't have that in mind.

The swooping birds are a deja vu glitch

The first "Matrix" movie introduces the dangers of deja vu via a black cat. After Neo sees the same cat twice, he's informed that deja vu is a sign of a glitch in the Matrix, an indicator that something's wrong. It's hard not to get a sense of deja vu in this movie, which is by design — after all, "Resurrections" is both textually and subtextually about making another "Matrix" movie. As such, there's at least one overt reference to this: The Analyst's black cat named Deja Vu, who Tom Anderson does not like.

But there's one more instance of deja vu that's easy to miss, unless you're paying close attention.

During the montage showing Tom's day-to-day life, we see a cluster of birds flying through the sky multiple times. They fly forward before swooping backwards. What's easy to miss is that the exact same birds fly in the exact same loop outside the exact same window — they're a glitch. It's not a coincidence they show up around the same time as Bugs and Morpheus, and it's certainly not a coincidence that we watch a similar group of birds dissolve mid-swoop towards the end of the movie.

The Blue glasses

It was obvious from the beginning that the Analyst was keeping Neo placated as Tom Anderson. After all, he was — in perhaps the least subtle part of "Resurrections" — the one prescribing the blue pills. (The black cat named Deja Vu is another obvious clue something is up.) There's also another detail about him, one that's striking but easy to overlook: the blue frames of his glasses.

We don't find out that the Analyst is the one behind the new Matrix until most of the way through "Resurrections," at which point he removes his glasses for most of the remaining runtime.

His glasses act as his personal blue pill in a way — he gets to see the artificial world he built. When he needs to get aggressive, he removes his glasses, as if to demonstrate that he's not hiding anymore. We do see him wearing the blue glasses one more time — at the very end, after Neo and Trinity break into his residence and reveal that they've taken over the Matrix.