The X-files

Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man
Episode: 4X07
First aired:11/17/1996
Written by:Glen Morgan
Directed by:James Wong

A very interesting episode. Going back to the conspiracy from the start.

In the Lone Gunmen's office, Scully and Mulder listen, as Frohike reveals what he suspects to be the chilling, secret past of The Cigarette-Smoking Man. Hiding in a nearby high rise, The Cigarette-Smoking Man eavesdrops on them with electronic listening devices, his sniper's rifle trained on the office's front door.

Frohike believes The Cigarette-Smoking Man was orphaned as a baby. His father, a Communist spy, was electrocuted. His mother died of lung cancer. In 1963, he was an Army Captain (whose only friend is the father of 1-year-old Fox Mulder). Recognizing his capabilities, the right-wing conspiracy that operates within the shadows of the official government recruits the young officer - his first assignment: the assassination of JFK. In its successful aftermath, he lights his first smoke... and becomes The Cigarette-Smoking Man.

By 1968, even J. Edgar Hoover takes orders from the Cigarette-Smoking Man, and no President has ever suspected he exists. The Cigarette-Smoking Man personally takes charge of the operation against Martin Luther King. Yet, even The Cigarette-Smoking Man has a dream. He longs to be a published author, and writes political potboilers under a pen name. Despite a pile of scathing rejections, he keeps trying.

Christmas 1991. The Cigarette-Smoking Man has covertly started wars, assassinated world leaders, rigged elections, the Oscars, the Olympics, the Super Bowl and moved the Rodney King trial to Simi Valley. Despite his power, he's a lonely man leading an empty life. He still can't get his written works published. And with the Soviet Union gone, he doesn't even have any more enemies.

Then it happens. A survivor is discovered in the wreckage of an alien craft. His mysterious associate, known to Mulder and Scully as Deep Throat executes the only alien which survived the crash. The Cigarette-Smoking Man has a new purpose, and new truths to conceal. He goes forth on this mission with a vengeance. Young FBI agents Fox "Spooky" Mulder and Dana Scully take on the "X-Files." Unknowingly they are part of The Cigarette-Smoking Man's plans.

This year. The Cigarette-Smoking Man is jubilant when a magazine finally accepts one of his stories. He prepares his resignation, and lights his last cigarette. Until he realizes the magazine is nothing but a cheap girlie rag -- whose editors even had the nerve to change the story's ending. With all his dreams destroyed, he sits on a park bench and muses about the similarity of life to a cheap, tasteless box of chocolates. Resuming his role, The Cigarette-Smoking Man lights up a smoke.

The present. The Cigarette-Smoking Man's finger is on the trigger of a sniper rifle, ready to repeat the act which started his shadowy career. He watches Frohike leave the office but does not shoot.

Important Quotes:
Mulder -- "I've been here twenty minutes and I still don't know what the hell is wrong! No one would kill you, Frohike, you're just a little puppy-dog."

William Mulder (Mulder's father) "My one-year old just said his first word."
CSM -- "What was the word?"
William Mulder -- " "J.F.K." "

Man -- "The President of the United States is dead. It is official now. President Kennedy is dead."

CSM -- "I work very hard to keep any President from knowing I even exist."

Deep Throat -- "Security resolution council ten-thirteen states, "Any country capturing such an entity is responsible for its immediate extermination. I'm the liar. You're the killer."
CSM -- "Your lies have killed more in a day than I have in a lifetime. I've never killed anybody."
Deep Throat -- "Maybe I'm not the liar."
CSM -- "I have a chance to go an entire lifetime without killing anybody... or anything."
Deep Throat -- "With all of our work in the past thirty years, all of our victories, if the world were to see this... it would destroy all we've gained in a few hours. Tonight... we have a new... enemy."

Frohike -- "Henry David Thoreau wrote, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." His life has been anything but quiet, yet I believe nothing but desperate. He's the most dangerous man alive, not so much because he believes in his actions, but because he believes his actions are all which life allows him. And yet... the only person that can never escape him... is himself."

CSM -- "Life... is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable, because all you get back is another box of chocolates. You're stuck with this undefinable whipped-mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there's nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while, there's a peanut butter cup, or an English toffee. But they're gone too fast, the taste is fleeting. So you end up with nothing but broken bits, filled with hardened jelly and teeth-crunching nuts, and if you're desperate enough to eat those, all you've got left is a... is an empty box... filled with useless, brown paper wrappers. "

Back to The X-files: Season 4