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Smith was winning the "muscle"-fight in The Matrix Revolutions.

Since you die in the real world if you die in the Matrix, why didn't Smith just beat Neo to death?

Was he somehow blinded by the possible powers he could possess if he absorbs Neo?

Is there more to it than just plot convenience?

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  • I always liked the idea that it was for the same reason that doing so caused all the Smiths to explode. Neo and Smith are opposites. Smith absorbing Neo caused them to cancel each other out. Not that that's stated in the script anywhere.
    – Devsman
    Nov 3, 2020 at 17:27

1 Answer 1

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Since you die in the real world if you die in the Matrix, why didn't Smith just beat Neo to death?

While this is true of most people, Neo is the One. Agent Smith shot Neo repeatedly in The Matrix -- killing him both in the Matrix and the real world -- yet Neo was somehow resurrected. Neo was even less powerful back then, too, so Smith couldn't be sure that he could actually beat the One to death. The only way for Smith to be sure to kill/stop Neo would be to possess him.

Was he somehow blinded by the possible powers he could possess if he absorbs Neo?

Smith's ability to absorb the abilities is definitely an incentive for Smith to possess Neo rather than simply kill him (again, assuming that's even possible).

It's also worth noting, though, that Smith has the eyes of the Oracle since he has possessed her, and Smith knows from her that he "wins" in the end:

Oracle-Smith: Wait... I’ve seen this. This is it, this is the end. Yes, you were laying right there, just like that, and I... I... I stand here, right here, I'm... I'm supposed to say something. I say... Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo.

Although Smith knows he "wins" in the end, he doesn't know what is going to happen after he "wins". That's because the Oracle tells us that

We can never see past the choices we don't understand.

Smith doesn't understand what happens after he possesses Neo so he doesn't know that possessing Neo will also result in his own destruction:

Oracle-Smith: What? What did I just say? No... No, this isn't right, this can't be right. Get away from me!

Neo: What are you afraid of?

Oracle-Smith: It’s a trick!

Neo: You were right, Smith. You were always right. It was inevitable.

{Oracle-Smith possesses Neo.}

Oracle-Smith: Is it over?

{Neo-Smith/Neo nods.}


Quotes from the films taken from https://www.matrixfans.net/movies/the-matrix-revolutions/transcript/ and https://www.matrixfans.net/movies/the-matrix-reloaded/transcript/.

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