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Free. You call *this* free? All I do is what he tells me to do. If I have to choose between that and the Matrix. I choose the Matrix!
~ Cypher to Trinity

Cypher Reagan is the secondary antagonist in the 1999 film The Matrix and a posthumous antagonist in The Matrix Online.

He was a human released from the Matrix by Morpheus. But he hated the real world, and after nine years on the Nebuchadnezzar, he decided he had to get back into the Matrix even if it means betraying Morpheus and the Nebuchadnezzar's crew for Agent Smith and the Agents.

He was portrayed by Joe Pantoliano, who also played Gabe Ugliano in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Ralph Cifaretto in The Sopranos.

History

When Morpheus believed that their next target, Neo, was the One, Cypher made contact with Agent Smith. When Trinity was in the Matrix, Cypher contacted her and enabled the Agents to trace the line, but Trinity got away.

Later on in the movie, after Neo was on the ship with them, Cypher went into the Matrix and met with Agent Smith in a restaurant. Cypher told Smith that he wanted to have his memory erased and be reinserted into the Matrix, stating that "ignorance is bliss." He also said that he wanted to be someone rich and important, like an actor. Smith told him that Cypher could have anything he wanted, if he gave Smith the access codes to the Zion Mainframe. Cypher told Agent Smith that he did not know them, but Morpheus did. So the two of them made a plan to trap Morpheus.

When the crew went into the Matrix to visit the Oracle, Agent Smith, who had been told by Cypher the whereabouts of their hideout, organized a police squad. When the crew got back to their hideout to exit the Matrix, The Machines used a De ja vu to block their escape, then sent Smith, the other agents, and their squad in to catch them. Mouse was killed, and Morpheus was caught by Agent Smith and the police. The rest escaped through the walls. But Cypher, pretending to fall behind, was let out by the police, who knew he was on their side. He then took a short cut to the nearest Phone and got out before the others. When Cypher was back on the ship, he took a lightning rifle, killed Dozer and wounded Tank before they could get the others out.

Cypher then answered Trinity's wireless phone and revealed his treachery. He then pulled Apoc and Switch's plugs, killing them. He wanted to save Trinity for last, because he still had a bit of love for her, so he went for Neo. Cypher tested Morpheus' theory that Neo was the One, saying that if what Morpheus believed was true, there would have to be a miracle to stop him from pulling the plug. Unfortunately for Cypher, Tank was not dead and he blasted Cypher with the rifle, killing him.

Cypher's death.

After Cypher's death, a group called Cypherites were eventually formed. They hold the same beliefs as Cypher.

Quotes

Ignorance is bliss.
Why didn't I take the blue pill?
I should have taken the red pill straight up your ass!

Trivia

  • In recent years, The Matrix has been looked back as an allegory to gender transition in a transgender analysis approved by the Wachowskis, who came out in the 2010s as transgender women. According to this analysis, Cypher's insistence at the film's beginning that the attempt to free Neo from the Matrix will kill him represents the toxic narrative among transgender individuals formed by the continuous pressure of the gender-normative society to conform its established standards, like that no one will ever be able to truly identify with the gender they feel if they don't transition before puberty.
  • Despite that Cypher was killed in the original film, Joe Pantoliano lobbied hard to reprise his role in The Matrix 4, which is slated for release in 2021. According to Pantoliano, he even send messages to Lana Wachowski to ask her to include Cypher in the fourth film, but received no response.

Navigation

            TheMatrixTitle.png Villains

The Machines
Deus Ex Machina | Architect | Agents (Agent Smith, Agent Jones, Agent Brown & Agent Johnson) | Merovingian | Twins | Trainman | Vamps

Humans
Cypher | Bane

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