Version 1.0 As you might imagine, The Matrix Reloaded has inspired hot debate on the Internet, with a multitude of theories going on as to what really happened. Here we present one writer’s interpretation of the most popular theory. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, be wary; there are heavy SPOILERS in this article. • So what the hell was going on at the end of The Matrix Reloaded? There is no spoon. • No, really, what the hell was going on at the end? Everybody’s been played. EVERYBODY. Neo’s not the One. Morpheus is a sucker. There is no One. There is no Zion. They’re all still in the Matrix. • Do WHAT? The machines knew their Matrix scam could not last forever; 99.9 percent of the human population would accept it, but that last margin would pose a problem. So they built a false escape route — Zion. Zion is a big game within the Matrix. It exists solely to give the rebellious types the ILLUSION of rebellion, fighting back without actually doing so. In the same manner, the Prophecy and Neo’s existence as “the One” is largely a smokescreen to give hope to guys like Morpheus and keep them off track. Neo is, in truth, a focus of anomalies and glitches in the Matrix. The Architect knows about these glitches; he can’t stop them, but he can isolate them into one spot. Once these glitches get too big and powerful, as Neo has, it’s time to hit the Universal Reset Button. According to the Architect at the end (using many big words to explain simple ideas) they’ve rebooted the Matrix six times, and destroyed Zion each time. Every time, the One is sent back in reincarnated form along with 23 others of his choosing. (Remember the Oracle’s room in the first movie? There were many other “potential” Ones. Most likely these are among the 23 from the last time around.) Neo chose a different route than previous Ones, opting to save Trinity. How this will play out is anybody’s guess. On the other hand, we have no actual reason to believe a word the Architect is saying. Somebody’s definitely lying. It could be that everybody is lying. Another crucial hint: Neo, at the end, was able to affect reality around him in the “real world.” This is an ability that can’t be explained any other way except to realize that he’s still in the Matrix. Morpheus seems to realize this at the very end. • So all this running around in the real world they’ve been doing is fake. They’re all still in their pods? Yes. If, indeed, those pods actually exist. Everything Morpheus told Neo in the first movie is now suspect. We have no idea what the machines are really doing or what humanity’s true role is. • So the Oracle, she’s the Mother of the Matrix, right? Not necessarily. NEO said the Oracle was the Mother, and the Architect didn’t correct him. The Oracle pulled the same trick on Neo last time; she never actually told him he wasn’t the One. • So what’s up with Agent Smith? Beats me. Best guess is that he’s become a virus of some kind after Neo’s rewriting of his code last time around. And like any good virus his basic prerogative is to use up all available resources to make copies of himself. He’s a definite wild card. Consider this: If not for Agent Smith’s timely intervention in the Hall of Doors, Neo would have reached the door too early and everybody would have died. Smith’s action benefited both Neo and the Architect. There’s more to this than we know. • By the way, what’s a Merovingian? A dynasty of French kings who claimed to be directly descended from Jesus. Chew on THAT bit for a while. Incidentally, Persephone is the daughter of the goddess Demeter, who was forced to spend half her life at the side of the lord of the underworld. • So what else do we know for sure? All we know for sure is that everything we know so far is wrong.