The Matrix Resurrections ending explained: answering your biggest questions

The Matrix Resurrections has arrived in cinemas and on HBO Max – and everyone has questions. Many, many questions. The original Matrix movie was a mind-boggler, and the sequels confused things further. Now, the fourth installment adds more layers to the already puzzling series. And if you’re looking for a little helping hand understanding what you just watched, then you’ve come to the right place.

Our guide to The Matrix Resurrections ending attempts to answer a few of your questions. There’s a whole lot to get through, and just like with our other ending guides, we’re going into major spoiler territory. We’re deep-diving into everything that happened in the Matrix 4, starting with a brief plot overview so that we’re all on the same page, and then going into the questions that you want answering.

The Matrix Resurrections ending explained *spoilers*

The Matrix Resurrections starts with a recreation of the very first scene from The Matrix, with Trinity sitting at a desk and a group of agents coming to attain her. However, the main agent is not Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith – but Yahya Abdul Mateen II’s Morpheus. Jessica Henwick’s Bugs watches as the fight unfolds and manages to break out the new Morpheus.

Meanwhile, Keanu Reeve’s Thomas Anderson is… back in The Matrix. However, rather than being a flying kung-fu fighter, Anderson’s a creative who has made three world-renowned games that are recreations of Anderson’s fragmented memories of the events of the original Matrix movies. He believes – due to a manipulating psychiatrist played by Neil Patrick Harris – that he’s having creative visions and that they are not reality. Anderson also has black-out periods, including one moment when he tried to jump off a building.

Anderson’s business partner at the studio, named Deus Machina, is Jonathan Groff’s Smith. They are asked by their owners Warner Bros. to make a fourth Matrix game. Cue meta-commentary montage. Anderson has also formed a crush on a woman named Tiffany, played by Carrie-Anne Moss, who’s married to a man named Chad. They have children. Tiffany seems to be the basis of the character Trinity in Anderson’s Matrix game.

After a period of trying to develop a sequel to The Matrix, a fire alarm goes off in Anderson’s building. Morpheus breaks in and tries to convince Anderson to take the red pill, but Anderson rejects the call. “I coded you, you can’t be real,” he says to Morpheus. Then, Smith takes a turn for the worse and starts shooting at Anderson – who gets shot, but wakes up at his psychiatrist’s house.

Anderson falls into despair and tries to jump off a building again. Luckily, Bugs shows up and reaches out to Anderson, and convinces him to follow her. They walk through a door and onto a train in Tokyo. Morpheus is there and he once again asks Anderson to take the red pill. He does – but only after Harris’ character discovers where they are. The train’s passengers go into the zombie-like “Swarm” mode and attack. Anderson and the team head into a bathroom and then jump into a mirror as their exit point – they’ve moved on from phone booths.

Boom: Neo wakes up in a womb-like pod in the real world. Machines take Neo to Bugs’ ship, where she informs Neo that he’s been missing for 60 years. Morpheus can exist in the real world as a nano-magnetic robot – he’s a computer-made program, not a real person. There are also other robots aboard the ship, including the ones who helped save Neo from the clutches of the other machines. Certain robots, it turns out, work in harmony with humans. 

The crew head to Io, a new colony of humanity led by Jada Pinkett Smith’s Niobe. She has significantly aged – she’s not spent the last six decades plugged into machinery. Niobe shows Neo the world they have made: growing vegetables and trying to create a new, brighter future that’s no longer at war. However, she sees the risk in freeing Neo from the machines and puts him into prison.

Bugs and Morpheus help Neo escape and promise to help him save Trinity, who is also being kept alive by the machines. They log back into the Matrix and come across Groff’s Smith, who has completely broken free of the Matrix’s code. In this version of the Matrix, however, all rogue programs are removed when they are found by the machines, and Smith sees Neo’s presence as a threat to all unregulated programs. This includes The Merovingian – the Frenchman who appeared in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions – who has survived as a homeless man in this new version of the Matrix until this point. He, too, doesn’t want things to change due to Neo saving Trinity.

Neo and the team manage to defeat Smith and head to Trinity – but it’s a trap. Harris’ psychiatrist presses pause on the world and reveals his plans. Turns out, he’s the Analyst who helped make the new Matrix and has found that, by having both Neo and Trinity alive and plugged into the Matrix, his version of the Matrix is vastly superior to what came before. In fact, his version – unlike the original Architect’s – is built on human fear and desire: fear of losing what we have and desire for things we do not. This Matrix was therefore built on the relationship Neo and Trinity have in this simulation, as they are close enough to want each other yet distant enough to be fearful of actually being with one another.

Thanks to the new Matrix, the amount of energy being created by the humans who are plugged into the Matrix sustains the machines on the outside. However, the Analyst explains, when Neo and Trinity are kept apart, there’s not enough energy created. Neo may have been “The One” in the original trilogy, but his powers are not at their fullest without Trinity. That, and the foundations of fear and desire in this new Matrix, are why he’s kept them both together, both in the Matrix and in the real world, but still distant enough not to reunite and break the Matrix once again. If back together again, their powers would grow and that would lead to people starting to unplug from the Matrix again – something that, after Neo’s victory 60 years ago, started to happen and caused an energy crisis. 

Neo escapes the Analyst’s clutches and, back in the real world, they form a plan to save Trinity. Niobe is reluctant at first, not wanting to disturb the peace she has created, but then meets with Priyanka Chopra’s Sati, a program who we previously saw as a young girl in the original trilogy. They end up all coming together and Niobe realizes that Trinity needs out of the Matrix to help the rest of mankind. They find some more friendly machines to help free Trinity.

Neo heads back into the Matrix to confront the Analyst. They agree that, if Trinity wants out of the Matrix, then the Analyst will let them go, but if she wants to stay, Neo will plug himself back into the Matrix for good. They all meet at the Simulatte cafe for a showdown. Just as Trinity’s about to leave with Neo, Chad and the children walk in, and she decides to stay in the Matrix. Then, just as Neo’s about to be plugged back in, Chad calls her Tiffany, and Trinity snaps back: “My name is Trinity!” 

Just as Neo and Trinity are about to escape, the Analyst hits pause once again and decides to shoot Trinity and rebuild the Matrix. However, a deus ex machina: the rogue Agent Smith, now fully out of the Matrix’s control, saves the day. He would rath be a free agent than let the Analyst’s Matrix continue as it is. He puts on some colored shades. 

Neo and Trinity escape, but the Analyst sets the population of the Matrix to “Swarm” mode. A car chase ensues and the duo get to a rooftop, but find themselves trapped by helicopters. They then decide to jump off the roof – but Neo falls and, surprise, Trinity flies! They escape and wake up in the real world, together again. Nawwwww.

A final scene sees Neo and Trinity flying around the Matrix, and they meet the Analyst at his house. They promise to start freeing people’s minds and to rebuild the Matrix in their own image. They fly into the camera and, boom, the movie finishes with a cover of Rage Against the Machine.

But wait: there’s also a Matrix Resurrections post-credits scene! It’s not consequential to the plot, instead seeing the machine team trying to come up with ideas for a fourth Matrix game. The big idea? “Catrix!” It’s the Matrix but cats. Because the internet loves cats…

What is The Matrix?

The Matrix

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The big questions we have pondered for over 20 years. The Matrix is the fictional world created by the machines to keep humans subdued in their pods. That’s because humans are living batteries that power the machines, who rose up against the humans many years before the events of the first Matrix movie and desolated the face of the Earth.

There have been many versions of the Matrix and many versions of The One. However, Neo managed to forge peace between humans and machines back at the end of Revolutions, and we thought that the Matrix may be over. That was not the case. Neo and Trinity’s bodies were recovered by the machines and plugged back into a new version of the Matrix, constructed by the Analyst, that proved to be excellent at keeping humans at bay – but relied on Neo and Trinity both being kept plugged in.

How are Neo and Trinity still alive?

Keanu Reeves in The Matrix 4

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The machines found that Neo’s powers helped create the ultimate Matrix. They fix both his and Trinity’s bodies up, restoring Neo’s site after being blinded during Matrix Revolutions, and plug them back in. However, the machines make sure Neo’s powers are not restored by feeding him blue pills. That’s where the Analyst comes in, keeping a special eye on Neo as he continues on as a game designer. When Neo starts acting up, and even trying to jump off a building, the Analyst brings him back down to Earth. 

Trinity, meanwhile, is also being kept alive, as her and Neo’s bond is so strong. At one stage, we learn that Trinity can mildly see into the future as she has visions of the final sequence in the Simulatte cafe. Could she be a new Oracle? We know that visions of the future are also part of The One’s powers…

Why does Trinity now have powers?

Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Come the Matrix Resurrections’ final moments, Trinity seemingly has the same powers as The One. She, like Neo, understands the Matrix, and was equally used to create this new version of the system. Their love helped them break free. 

It appears that her existence and Neo’s are so entangled that she has equal powers. In this new version of the Matrix, Neo is seemingly not The One – but Neo and Trinity are The One together. At least, that’s what’s implied. 

This may seem like some sort of retcon, but it works within the Matrix mythology, as Neo and Trinity’s fates have always been entwined, and at one stage even Neo didn’t believe himself to be The One. The original Oracle even said he wasn’t The One – but that’s before Neo and Trinity fell in love. From that point on, there’s no doubt that Neo’s The One, and that’s because only together they are The One. Or The Two…

Trinity’s powers will no doubt be a major topic of debate within the Matrix fandom going forward. There’s no true answer presented, and the above is extrapolating an answer from the pieces in play. Could anyone in the Matrix have the powers of The One if they truly understand the simulation? Agent Smith was once able to fly. But, then again, he was a machine-made program. Oh boy, we’re down the rabbit hole now…

Where is Lawrence Fishburne’s Morpheus?

"The Matrix is everywhere..." - one of the best Matrix quotes

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

So, there are a lot of questions about Morpheus. Lawrence Fishburne’s Morpheus died as he searched for Neo’s body, as revealed by Niboe in Io. It’s implied this happened during the machine civil war that took place after humans started unplugging themselves from the Matrix following Neo forging peace.

The new version of Morpheus is not a real person, but a piece of code, created by the machines to be a new agent; a mixture of Morpheus and Agent Smith. 

Like the original Morpheus, this new one has inherited an inquisitive mind, and quickly breaks out of the training simulation he’s locked into at the movie’s beginning. Being a piece of code, Morpheus does not have a body in the real world – but technology has progressed significantly and Morpheus is able to create a body out of nano-magnets.

Where is Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith?

"Human beings are a disease. A cancer of this planet." - one of the best Matrix quotes

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Another legacy character who has been recast. Weaving’s Agent Smith was destroyed by Neo in Resolutions. In the new version of the Matrix, the machines have created a new version of Smith to keep Neo at bay – Neo has always needed a polar opposite. Like Weaving’s Smith, Groff’s Smith soon goes off-script, and history repeats itself. Well, not quite, because while Weaving’s Smith was absolutely against Neo, Groff’s Smith eventually sides with Neo. Things are not as binary as they seem.

Who is Neil Patrick Harris’ character?

The Matrix: Resurrections

(Image credit: WB)

Harris’ starts as a psychiatrist but turns out to be the Analyst, who is keeping the Matrix functioning by manipulating both Neo and Trinity. He’s essentially the new Architect, building on the code of his forbearers and maintaining the new Matrix. By keeping Neo and Trinity at bay, his version of the Matrix creates enough power to help sustain the machines in the real world.

Why could nobody find Neo?

Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Resurrections

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Morpheus searched for Neo for years, but couldn’t find him. Yet, Bugs meet Neo in the Matrix. That’s all because the machines have given Neo a false avatar – hence why, after taking the red pill, Neo’s reflection in a mirror changes to being of an old man. That was how he appeared to everyone else. The Analyst needs to keep Neo in the Matrix and has gone to extremes to make sure no one discovers his true nature.

Who is Bugs and why did she free Neo?

Jessica Henwick in The Matrix Resurrections

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Bugs was a person plugged into the Matrix. The day Neo jumped off a building while celebrating the success of his Matrix games, she witnessed the event and saw Neo’s true self – not the old man camouflage, but the Keanu Reeves-looking Neo. From that point, she knew something was desperately wrong, and eventually managed to escape the Matrix. From that point, she began looking to find and save Neo – and finally put an end to humans being enslaved by the Matrix.

What happened between Matrix Revolutions and Matrix Resurrections?

The Matrix Resurrections

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Sixty years passed between the third and fourth Matrix movies. Neo managed to broker peace between the machines and mankind at the end of Revolutions, leading to years of peace. During that time, Morpheus searched for Neo, and the machines continued to enslave humans for power. However, without Neo and Trinity in the Matrix, humans were not creating enough energy to sustain the machines. Without enough energy, a machine civil war took place. The Analyst realized that Neo and Trinity were the magic ingredients needed for the Matrix to work properly, and so enslaved them both in the new version of the Matrix. The machines also kept Neo and Trinity’s bodies nice and healthy, presumably so they could continue powering the Matrix for many years to come. There was also a mass purge of programs from the Matrix, hence why the Merovingian was on the run and in hiding. Presumably, the Oracle from the original trilogy was also purged.

For humanity, there was also a split. Humans once lived in Zion, but that was a place made for war against the machines. Niobe and others decided humanity could be more than that: they went on to create Io, where humanity began to flourish. Working in symbiosis with machines, they managed to grow strawberries and create a better place to live. Awakening Neo disrupts the peace with the machines, which Niobe is fearful of, but she eventually changes her mind. It’s also implied that Zion may have been destroyed during the robot civil war. It’s an interesting mirror that both the machines and humans caused chaos among themselves following the peace brokered by Neo, and now both initially do not want to awaken Neo to keep the new peace ongoing.

Will there be another Matrix movie?

The Matrix Resurrections

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

There’s no confirmed sequel in the works. Any follow-up story would no doubt see Trinity and Neo reconstructing the Matrix in their own image, and the difficulties they come up against doing exactly that. There would surely be a machine uprising against them, as they would undoubtedly start freeing too many humans, and therefore not allowing the machines to have enough power. Whether director Lana Washowski wants to tell that story – or let our imaginations run wild with the possibilities the future of the Matrix holds – remains unknown, though the filmmaker has said that she did not intend The Matrix Resurrections to be the start of a new trilogy.

“No,” she said bluntly when asked if this was the start of another three Matrix movies. “I didn’t ever want to make another Matrix movie. I told everyone for 18 years I didn’t want to make another Matrix movie. [Sister and co-director] Lilly told everyone she didn’t want to make another Matrix movie. Then I had a tragedy in my life, my parents passed away, and I needed something to help me with the grief. Inventing a story where two people come back to life was healing and comforting and I was non-judgmental, I just wrote it, and I didn’t know what I was gonna do with it, and then I read part of the story [to a colleague] and she said, ‘Oh, my God, you have to tell this story.'”

For more on the Matrix, check out our interviews with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Priyanka Chopra, and Jonathan Groff on working on the long-awaited sequel.

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