The X-Files (1993– )
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Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man 

A Lone Gunmen member is targeted for extermination after he uncovers information linking the Cancer Man to several assassinations.

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Fox Mulder (voice)
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Dana Scully (voice)
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Morgan Weisser ...
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General Francis
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Dan Zukovic ...
Agent
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Aide
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James Earl Ray
David Fredericks ...
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Lydon
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Storyline

While the Cigarette Smoking Man listens in on a conversation Scully and Mulder are having with Froehike, he recalls his own past and how he got to be where he is today. As a young army officer, working alongside Mulder's father, he was recruited by a General and an intelligence operative. His past was effectively erased and from that point working only in the shadow world. He was implicated in the assassination of presidents and civil rights leaders. He was also a frustrated mystery writer but his bizarre tales of assassinations and alien conspiracies are seen as too outlandish by the publishers he's approached. Written by garykmcd

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17 November 1996 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When CSM is out on the street looking for the magazine that published his work, there is another white magazine that references Darin Morgan on the shelf. See more »

Goofs

CSM has some letter head with an address in Pasadena California. La Cienega is not a street in Pasadena and the zip code is not a Pasadena zip code. Rather, the Zip Code is in nearby South Pasadena and La Cienega is in Los Angeles. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
The Cigarette Smoking Man: [looking through a rifle sight at Frohike] I can kill you whenever I please. But not today.
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Connections

References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A New Side to the Cigarette Smoking Man
31 March 2016 | by See all my reviews

There are few villains nastier than the Cigarette Smoking Man, he's merciless, cruel, and extremely dangerous, to the point where liking him could be rather difficult. But after watching Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man, I actually felt a good deal of sympathy for this character.

Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man begins with the Lone Gunmen telling Mulder and Scully that they may have found the identity of the Cigarette Smoking Man, while the Smoking Man prepares a rifle ready to fire on the Gunmen. As he hears the story the Lone Gunmen have found, he begins to think back on his own life.

Here we learn that Cigarette Smoking Man was recruited from the Army and given the assignment to assassinate President Kennedy and frame Lee Harvey Oswald. Five years later, he assassinates Martin Luther King, Jr.

I love how this is done, I love how the plot plays off the death of two of the most famous assassinations in human history. This was done by Glen Morgan to show that the Cigarette Smoking Man is "the most dangerous human being alive", and this was done brilliantly.

We also learn during the flashbacks that the Smoking Man is an aspiring writer who desperately wants to get one of his science fiction novels published. The scene where he gets a call from a publisher to say that his story will be published in a magazine, we see a side to the Smoking Man I never thought we'd ever see.

He shows a lot of excitement at this news even typing up a letter of resignation from the Syndicate. The next day when he buys a copy of the magazine, he finds that the ending to his story has been changed, and the shopkeeper tells him that the magazine is rubbish, we see this great look of sadness in his face, this is where I first felt sympathy for him. I especially liked his play on the "Life is like a Box of Chocolates" phrase!

But what I liked most about the Smoking Man in this episode, is how it is hinted that he doesn't like his the evil life he leads. He not evil because he thinks he's right or because he likes it, but because he believes that his life allows him nothing else.

This is the Cigarette Smoking Man I want the character to be, a stone-cold nasty man on the outside, but on the inside he's a desperate, lonely man longing for a second chance in life.

The only thing I found disappointing was where Frohike tells Mulder and Scully that everything he found out may not be completely true, and many fans may like this to leave a little mystery in the character, but this for me is the perfect villain, forced to do evil things, but really wants a second chance in life.

I love at the very end of the episode where the Smoking Man aims his rifle at Frohike but decides not to, yet. Depending on what in the episode you believe to be true this can be interpreted in many different ways. Did he do this because having power over his enemies is enough. Well I prefer to interpret this as he could kill him, but doesn't really want to, because he doesn't want to be evil, and the world isn't forcing him to be evil that night.

This is the Smoking Man I want to see in the X Files, and Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man does a great job of giving this mysterious character some backstory, while allowing the viewer to decide what is true, and what is not...


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