Deep Throat always warned us to Trust No One, but it looks like the show has double-downed on that controversial, and contested, identity of the Cigarette Smoking Man.
Way back in season six episode ‘Two Fathers’ in 1999 we learned the Cancer Man’s real name – C.G.B. Spender, the dad of Jeffrey Spender.
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Dana Scully dismissed that ID as just another of the villain’s aliases, but it seemed to check out as the series went on, and at the top of season 11 he again confirms that real name: Carl Gerhard Busch.
Also in 1999, in season seven episode ‘The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati’ (co-written by show creator Chris Carter with David Duchovny, fact fans), we had our first confirmation of a link between the Cigarette Smoking Man and Fox Mulder.
It turns out that “Carl” had been having an affair with Teena Mulder (Rebecca Toolan), and he claimed to be Fox’s dad.
That revelation didn’t exactly go down well with fans.
And despite DNA evidence in that hokey two-part finale ‘The Truth’ before the show first went off air in 2002 “proving” that Spender Jr and Mulder were half-brothers, many of us have simply refused to believe it.
Well, whether you Want To Believe or not, it’s true.
It seems like the show has resisted the (surely overwhelming?) temptation to undo that bit of plot while playing around with the show’s mythology.
In a pre-credits opening to season 11’s first episode ‘My Struggle III’, not only does the Cigarette Smoking Man confirm his real name, (which is more than The Doctor ever did for us), he also confirms that yep, he’s Fox Mulder’s dad. Whether you like it or not, sorry.
Oh, and that episode title? Things have clearly picked up where they left off in Season 10, which was bookended with ‘My Struggle’ and ‘My Struggle II’.
As for what happens after season 11, Dana Scully is definitely gone after Gillian Anderson announced her departure from the show, which could mean it’s all over (again).
Chris Carter has said “for me, the show has always been Mulder and Scully”, which will be a surprise to agents Reyes and Doggett, so it seems like that really could be The End.
The X-Files returned to Fox yesterday (January 3) in the US, and is coming to Channel 5 in the UK later in the year.