What happens to a person (both their consciousness in the Matrix, and their body) once they are take over by an Agent program and then the Agent leaves, if nothing traumatic happened to the Agent while "wearing" them?

The only examples I remember canonically can not shed any light on this since the person was damaged/killed while being taken over (helicopter pilot and truck driver in The Matrix).

I'm only looking for canonical examples.

  • P.S. I'm aware of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/12287/… but the only answer to that question explicitly limited itself to exclude "voluntarily leaves" case Mar 17, 2012 at 16:59
  • 3
    Given the answer to that question contains the quote "As for an agent willingly leaving a host, I'm fairly certain that's not in the three movies (or the one movie, depending on who you ask)" and no one called him on the extrapolation that followed, I think you're asking for something beyond what was provided in canon.
    – dlanod
    Mar 17, 2012 at 19:55
  • 1
    As the person who asked the question that this is considered a possible duplicate of, I did get an answer, but that answer does NOT cover the point @DVK is making. I don't know if Animatrix or anything else covers this, but I do think it covers an exception that we didn't get an answer to.
    – Tango
    Mar 18, 2012 at 16:59
  • @DVK - Since my answer explicitly references both questions, I've voted to close the older (yours) as a dupe.
    – Valorum
    Nov 28, 2014 at 23:24

3 Answers 3


There are three fully canon examples of an Agent leaving a 'civilian' after possessing them.

Animatrix canon.

In the Animatrix segment "Detective Story", Trinity shoots a private detective who's just been taken over by an agent. No sooner has he been shot then the agent leaves (to find a less disabled host) and he is restored to his former self with no obvious ill-effects aside from the fatal gunshot wound.

Webcomic canon.

In the comic "Day in...Day out" which you can read online here, a civilian is taken over by an agent. After an extensive firefight (in which 'Agent White' loses an arm) she is restored to her body and has no memory of the incident but still has the injuries suffered during the assault.

Day in, Day out webcomic

This is extremely similar to the comic "Wrong Number". An Agent takes over a telephone repair engineer and kills a redpill, then regains consciousness with no memory of having been possessed.

enter image description here

Film canon.

The last instance offers no clarity as to the mental state of someone being left by an Agent but when Trinity shoots the helicopter pilot (in the famous "dodge this" sequence), we see the pilot revert to his former self physically within seconds. The agent reappears a few minutes later, after having possessed another human.

  • You might want to add the example from Wrong Number as well.
    – Null
    Nov 25, 2014 at 23:27
  • @Null - I was just thinking that. Have you noticed the major rewrite between the webcomic version of Wrong number and the one that was in Matrix Comics Vol 2?
    – Valorum
    Nov 25, 2014 at 23:35
  • I've only read the webcomic. What was the difference?
    – Null
    Nov 25, 2014 at 23:38
  • @Null - Dramatic. The comic-book version is in colour and there's masses of new dialogue. Nothing that affects the overall meaning but it's a big change nonetheless.
    – Valorum
    Nov 25, 2014 at 23:43
  • 1
    @Null - * coughs * torrent *
    – Valorum
    Nov 25, 2014 at 23:55

This comes up in the comic Day In... Day Out (not sure how canonical they were?) where the answer is ... not much. The possessed has no memory of the Agents actions while under control - essentially blacking out and waking up wherever the Agent lets go.

You can see the comic here.


I don't think there is an example where a person is shown alive after an Agent has left the person's body (although I'd have to re-watch Animatrix to be sure). However, think about the many examples where the "free humans" kill Agents (usually with bullets). You often see the Agent revert to its previous host with visible evidence of the shot that "killed" the Agent. It is reasonable to assume that if the Agent would remove the human from the Matrix when leaving (i.e. leaving nothing behind) then they would do the same to the corpse that was shot.

So a host will probably not just disappear after the Agent left. If the host died you would have a lot of inexplicable deaths. Also, the Agents have no incentive to kill their hosts. I even speculate that this is how they got Mr. Anderson home after bugging him (they could have also drugged him, but this seems easier, seeing that he didn't have any memory of being drugged).

  • They don't expressly show any bodies after an agent leaves a body, but they do agents taking over a new body, which meant they left their old one.
    – Rob
    Apr 18, 2012 at 16:16
  • @Rob: Well, yes. But what happened to their old one?
    – bitmask
    Apr 18, 2012 at 17:59
  • There are multiple example, just not in the films
    – Valorum
    Aug 25, 2014 at 15:46

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.