- "You know.. I know this steak doesn't exist. I know when I put it in my mouth; the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy, and delicious. After nine years.. you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss."
- ―Cypher justifying his decision to betray his friends and re-enter the Matrix.
Cypher (born Reagan) was a redpill assigned to the Zion hovercraft Nebuchadnezzar under the command of Morpheus. He was also the one who betrayed the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar to aid Agent Smith to help him achieve information on the Zion mainframe.
Search for the OneEdit
Cypher's job, as with all other operatives, was to free human minds trapped within the Matrix. Cypher was disgusted with the nature of reality in comparison to the relative comforts found within the illusory world of the Matrix.
Although a former bluepill, Cypher had skills on the operator console that allowed him to monitor the virtual reality broadcast feeds. When Neo quietly approached from behind, Cypher was startled, then switched off one of the displays at the console. He offered Neo a drink of the crew's homemade alcohol, which startled Neo in return from its powerful concentration. Cypher chided Neo on his selection by Morpheus' and his belief of being The One: "Jesus...what a mind job". He warned Neo to do the same thing that all other Zion operatives do when they see an agent: run.
Meeting with SmithEdit
However, Cypher was preparing for an illicit face-to-face negotiation with Agent Smith within the Matrix. Eating steak, Cypher explained that "ignorance is bliss". Completely disillusioned with life outside the matrix, and thus bitterly regretting his decision to become a redpill, he struck a bargain with Smith to return him to the Matrix and erase his memory of ever awakening from it in exchange for Morpheus. He also stated his desire to be "someone important, like an actor". Despite Smith's persistence, Cypher did not know the codes to the Zion mainframe but planned a trap for Morpheus, who did.
Raid at the rendezvous pointEdit
Cypher's plan began as Morpheus took Neo to see the Oracle for the first time. He dropped his activated cell phone into a trash can, allowing the agents to trace its location. When Morpheus returned to the Lafayette Hotel, the Agents suddenly altered the hotel's programming, replacing all the doors and windows with brick walls, ambushing the resistance. Neo witnessed a black cat strangely repeat its own action, and mentions "déjà vu". This alerted the others to a possible trap, as they explained that déjà vu is a glitch in the Matrix caused when something is changed. Unfortunately, Mouse was discovered before they could react, and was killed by the police.
Morpheus and his team attempted to escape down through the main wetwall of the building, but dust kicked by Neo made Cypher sneeze, leading to their discovery by the police. Agent Smith possessed the policeman's body and grabbed Neo through the wall, but Morpheus jumped the agent, breaking his hold on Neo. While Morpheus' team escaped hastily down the wetwall, Morpheus fought Smith, but was outmatched and eventually captured for interrogation.
Betrayal of NeoEdit
Cypher managed to separate himself from his escaping comrades and jacked out before the others at an old TV repair shop. As Tank guided the rest to the same location, Cypher picked up a lightning rifle and blasted Tank. The beam glanced off Tank's chair and Tank attempted to counter before a second blast knocked him away. Tank's brother, Dozer, attacked, but Cypher fired a direct hit and killed him. Dropping the weapon beside Tank's body, Cypher took the operator headset and called Trinity, revealing his plan to the team.
Sadistically, he unplugged Apoc and Switch's headjacks from their bodies, killing them instantly. As he prepared to do the same to Neo, darkly testing the theory that Neo can't be killed if he is actually the One, Tank managed to regain consciousness and killed Cypher with the same lightning rifle he left beside him.
With Cypher's damage partially undone, Morpheus was later rescued by Neo and Trinity, but the agents realized that Cypher, their informant, may have failed. Morpheus was still alive but no further communication from Cypher was received. They ordered a Sentinel strike against the Nebuchadnezzar, which was stopped moments after Neo, empowered as the One, returned to the ship after his later encounter with agents.
As a redpill on the Nebuchadnezzer, Cypher severely despised reality and apparently wished he had chosen the bluepill instead. He much preferred the Matrix in comparison to reality, claiming that it was and could be more real than life on the Nebuchadnezzer was, above all Cypher possessed no loyalties to anyone and was a self-serving man to the end, he displayed no qualms over betraying and killing people who were close to his friends.
Cypher possessed an immensely sadistic side to his personality and brought on by his need to be free of the Matrix transformed him into a homicidal maniac, after revealing his treacherous nature he proceeded to unplug and effectively murder Apoc and Switch. The one person he despised more than anyone however was his leader, Morpheus whom he described as a "jackoff" and was effectively tired of his "bullshit" (his beliefs of the One) and as such took great joy in betraying him and wished he could have seen the Agents break him.
Cypher also possessed strong feelings of lust towards Trinity whom he thought he was in love with and disturbingly informed that he had dreams of her this did not stop him however from betraying and attempting to murder her like the rest.
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At the beginning of The Matrix, viewers can witness Cypher's plan taking hold to return himself to the power plant. Knowing that Trinity is enamoured with watching the bluepill known as Thomas Anderson, he allowed a call he received from Trinity to be traced by Agents.
- ↑ An archaic definition for the term, "cypher" is "zero", making the character the (human) opposite of "the One", Neo, who encounters a negative later in his adventures.
- ↑ Cypher's role is akin to the role of the biblical figure Judas and his betrayal of Jesus Christ.
- ↑ Joe Pantoliano revealed the character's motivations in an interview as having fallen into disillusion with reality. Having been one of the previous men scouted as a potential "One", he has fallen from grace and is aware of previous candidates who had died, as well as others after himself. He has gained a desire to return to the Matrix as a result of his discontent.