Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man | The K Files | The X Files Podcast | Case File 326
Sympathy for the Devil should play quietly underneath every moment of this 4th season episode which for the first time on the show shines a light on XF’s chief baddie, the CSM. No Mulder, no Scully, just CGB and the ghosts of his blood-spattered past. File this under A for Ancillary Characters (Lone Gunmen eps like Unusual Suspects are also here in addition to Skinman episodes SR 819 and Avatar).
Open the case file below for the full report:
Though the veracity of the tale is iffy, what we see in the ep is very compelling: essentially this character embodies the concern woven throughout the show that shadow men have been controlling the destiny of the country (and the world), not for the good of society, but for their own cynical motives. Whether or not he actually assassinated JFK or MLK himself, no matter what the blood is on his hands because he was part of the back-room decision to take them out.
It’s an exciting episode also because this was the first glimpse into this character beyond the usual nefarious smoking and yelling at Krycek. This glimmer sets up a lot of thematic things for old Smokey as we go forward into the peak seasons of the show such as his continued attempts to be a creator as opposed to destroyer in his relationship with Mulder and (intriguingly) Scully (see Amor Fati, En Ami from season 7). He’s a devil of a character, our Cancer Man, and I wish for a whole feature-length William B. Davis close-up smorgasbord. Season 11 maybe? Although yikes, now his face looks like a literal skull [sidebar – GREAT idea for a Halloween costume this year is the monster face CSM from season 10, youch]…
The Smoking Man, armed with a sniper rifle and surveillance equipment, spies on a meeting between Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, and the Lone Gunmen. Frohike claims to have discovered information about the Smoking Man’s mysterious past, stating that his father was an executed communist spy and that his mother died of lung cancer, causing him to be raised in various Midwest orphanages.
The narrative changes to 1962. The Smoking Man is an Army captain stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He talks to a friend and fellow soldier, Bill Mulder, who shows him a photo of his infant son, Fox. The Smoking Man is summoned to attend a meeting with a general and several strange men in suits. They assign him to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. In 1963, posing as a “Mr. Hunt,” the Smoking Man shoots Kennedy and frames Lee Harvey Oswald. Afterwards, he smokes his first cigarette from a pack previously given to him by Oswald.
Five years later, the Smoking Man writes a novel entitled Take a Chance: A Jack Colquitt Adventure, using the pen name “Raul Bloodworth”. After hearing Martin Luther King, Jr. give a speech criticizing America’s attitude towards the distribution of wealth at home and social revolutions abroad, the Smoking Man meets with a group of men, including J. Edgar Hoover. Unlike most of the men present, the Smoking Man admires King’s principles and perseverance, but he recognizes that, as King grows more popular, his idealism might undermine American involvement in the Vietnam War and other military activities. He thus convinces the group to have King assassinated and volunteers to perform the task. Shortly thereafter, a publishing company rejects his novel.
In 1991, the Smoking Man meets with subordinates, discussing his orchestration of the Anita Hill controversy and the Rodney King trial. He orders that the Buffalo Bills not win the Super Bowl. He further reveals his drugging of a Soviet goaltender to ensure the outcome of the “Miracle on Ice” hockey match. One of the Smoking Man’s subordinates invites him for a family dinner. The Smoking Man politely declines the invitation and states that he is scheduled to visit family. On his way out of the meeting, he distributes his Christmas presents to each of the subordinates – all receive the same gift. The gift is a striped tie. He is next seen walking past Fox Mulder’s office.
Later, while at home, the Smoking Man receives an urgent phone call from Deep Throat, who meets him near the site of a UFO wreck. An alien from the UFO is alive. Deep Throat and Smoking Man reminisce about the multiple times they changed the course of history. They flip a coin over who is tasked to kill the alien survivor. Deep Throat loses, and thus reluctantly shoots the alien.
A few months later, in March 1992, the Smoking Man attends the meeting where Scully is assigned to the X-Files and eavesdrops on the agents’ first meeting. In 1996, he receives a letter telling him that his novel will be serialized in the magazine Roman a Clef. He types up a resignation letter, and excitedly finds the magazine at a newsstand. However, he finds that the ending has been changed. Bitter, the Smoking Man sits on a bench with a homeless man, giving a monologue on how “life is like a box of chocolates“. He tears up his resignation letter and leaves the magazine at the bench. – Wiki
The Truth is Already Here.
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