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The Cypher Scene In The Matrix That Makes No Sense

It's been more than two decades since the cyberpunk sci-fi thriller "The Matrix" hit theaters in 1999 and blew our minds. Debuting brand new visual effect called bullet time, "The Matrix" totally changed the way CGI and special effects were used. In addition to debuting a new kind of visual effect, "The Matrix" also ponders existential matters and prompts viewers to examine the world around them in new and different ways. The film's central conceit can be boiled down to reality as we know it being a programmatic virtual existence force-fed into our brains as the bulk of humanity lives in suspended animation, with our body heat used to generate electricity to power an army of AI machine overlords who are fighting a small resistance of the last remaining free people. Those humans living outside the Matrix are occasionally able to free people trapped within to join the resistance, which is where some specifics are in order.

Fan of the "Matrix" franchise know Captain Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) frees Thomas Anderson, a.k.a. Neo (Keanu Reeves) because he believes him to be The One, a prophesied messiah who will lead humanity to victory. His second in command, Trinity (Carrie Anne Moss) comes to believe it as well because she falls in love with Neo, as she was prophesied to do with The One by the Oracle (Gloria Foster). By all appearances, the prophecy comes true and Neo is all set by the end of "The Matrix" to free as many minds as he pleases. Most of the heady concepts and philosophical fodder are pretty straightforward if you take the time to think about them, but there are certain scenes that don't quite add up.

One scene in particular involving a minor antagonist still has us scratching our heads. Here's the Cypher scene in "The Matrix" that makes no sense.

How did Cypher meet with Agent Smith?

On the surface, Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) doesn't seem so bad. He's a bit whiny, sure, but life on the Nebuchadnezzar isn't exactly a pleasure cruise. It's cold, dank, and lonely, as Cypher reveals when betraying his crew that he pined away for Trinity at one point. He's going to return to the Matrix, he explains to her after attacking Tank (Marcus Chong) and Dozer (Anthony Ray Parker) on the ship and grabbing Tank's operator headset. When Trinity points out that the Matrix isn't real, it's seemingly lost on Cypher, who professed in his meeting with Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) that "ignorance is bliss." While we'd certainly rather imagine eating a delicious, juicy steak than "the same old goop" — a bowl full of synthetic aminos and proteins that looks like a giant bowl of snot, according to Apoc (Julian Arahanga) — there's one nagging issue: how exactly did Cypher get in and out of the Matrix to take that particular meeting?

Cypher sneaks into the Matrix to meet with Smith after he speaks with Neo about looking at the Matrix encoded and shares a swig of Dozer's high-proof engine degreaser and brain cell killer. Sure, Cypher is on watch duty while everyone else is asleep, so there's no one else around to catch him, but that means there's also no one around to jack him into the Matrix and let him exit via a hardline. During an archived chat between fans and the Wachowskis, the filmmakers responsible for creating "The Matrix" as we know it, they said Cypher was in the middle of creating "an automated system to allow him to go meet with Agent Smith" when Neo interrupted him, thereby implying it wasn't 100% necessary to have an operator to get in and out of the Matrix, though it's never actually explained in the film or its sequels.