I watched The Matrix Reloaded and I came away confused. In The Matrix, Agent Smith is this weird nihilist–he wants to scrub the matrix of free humans so he doesn’t have to be embodied any longer. When he complains about the sweat and the smell and the taste of humanity, he’s really complaining about the fact that he has to exist. In the world of The Matrix, the Agents are a security system that try to eliminate the free humans, and in a world without those free humans, Smith is free to shuffle off this mortal coil.
Killing Morpheus, Neo, and the others, then, is a very active nihilistic effort toward nonexistence for Agent Smith.
Then Reloaded comes along and Agent Smith is back again. At the end of The Matrix, Neo dives into Agent Smith and makes him explode. In Reloaded, Smith comes back, telling Neo that he “knew what he was supposed to do” and refused to do so. Because of some vague write/copy error, Agent Smith is no longer a security system in the matrix. Instead, he is a virus, and he’s real mad about something or other.
And that something or other is the weird, incongruous thing. Agent Smith’s was trying as hard as possible to hurtle toward death in The Matrix, but for some reason he stopped himself?
Even weirder is the speech he gives to Neo right before the “burly brawl” scene:
But, as you well know, appearances can be deceiving, which brings me back to the reason why we’re here. We’re not here because we’re free. We’re here because we’re not free. There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist.
[Several Agent Smith Clones walk in]
It is purpose that created us.
Purpose that connects us.
Purpose that pulls us.
That guides us.
That drives us.
It is purpose that defines us.
Purpose that binds us.
We are here because of you, Mr Anderson. We’re here to take from you what you tried to take from us.
[Attempts to copy himself into Neo]
A character whose entire being was formulated around a desire for death is angry because his purpose in life was taken away?
Ugh this movie y’all.