In Goochland, Virginia, the McPeck
family drives home in car with an eleven year old boy in
back seat. Their car runs a gauntlet of people who are
shouting and holding signs. The boy, Jason, has cancer and
the religious beliefs of the family prevent them from
seeking medical help. At night, a storm comes up, a light
glows outside the window and Jason sees men in black
approach out of the light.
As Scully leaves her apartment she finds a
newspaper outside her door - the Goochland newspaper
describing Jason's miracle cure. The family claims the cure
was by angels. Mulder also got an anonymous e-mail about it
from the Defense Advanced Research Project's Agency (DARPA).
Someone wants them to investigate. ("Mulder: I just gotta
know whether it was Roma Downey or Della Reese")
While Mulder checks other sources,
Scully visits the family. They believe that it was God's
work. Jason says the angels looked like men, told him not to
be afraid and pinched him hard on the back of the neck.
Scully realizes that Jason has a neck wound and possibly has
a chip implanted there, just as a chip cured her own cancer.
Scully returns to her car to find the Smoking Man waiting for her. He asks her is she's
not at all curious as a medical doctor about the chip that
was put in the boy's and her own neck.He claims to have
saved both Jason's and Scully's lives and left the newspaper
and the e-mail. He says he is dying himself and he wants to
make right and share his secrets and use the cure to save
more people. Scully asks if he wants to give the cure to them, and he says he wants
to give it to her only and not to Mulder. (He's tired of
Mulder's mule headedness.) He says that she cant tell Mulder
anything, or he won't give her anything and will take his
secrets to his grave. He leaves a paper on the seat as she
The paper has a phone number
(202-555-1030). Scully traces the number and gets the address. The
address is some kind of a government facility. She starts to
leave, but the guards stop her and demand an ID. Scully
shows them her badge and they automatically give her a
visitor's pass. They send her to the third floor where she
finds an office labeled "CGB Spender." CSM tells her -
CSM: "In the end, a man
finally looks at the sum of his life, to see what he will
leave behind. Most of what I’ve worked to build is in ruins.
Now that the darkness descends, I find I have no real
He is dying of cerebral inflammation
resulting from his brain surgery and has only a few months.
He is willing to give her the science that provides the
miracle cure, but she has to travel with him - it will take
a few days and she must not tell Mulder.She is reluctant and starts to walk away. He stops
her by saying that he has access. He has miraculous chips,
with the genetic research that makes them work, that are
closely guarded. He says that there are men in the building
who would kill them both in the blink of an eye for the
offer he is giving to her. He tells her that he’s destroyed
a lot of things in his life, including the people most
precious to him, and all that he wants is a chance to do
something in service to man before he goes. Scully's interest overcomes her and she leaves word
for Mulder that she will be out of town for a few days,
claiming a family emergency. She is carrying a microphone,
hidden in her bra.
Scully and the Smoking Man talk as they
drive. CSM starts to smoke but she doesn't like it so he
throws the cigarette outside the window and tells her that
it's time he quits. She asks "Just like that?" He says that
no sacrifice is purely altruistic. People give, expecting to recieve. Scully asks him what
it is that he is expecting to receive. He answers "Trust". He has always had a sort of affection for her and
Mulder, however for her he had a special affection. He held
her life in his hands when he cured her of
Mulder is worried
about Scully. He goes to her apartment and has the landlord
let him in. Mulder asks him questions and he reveals that
she left with a tall man that smokes a lot. Mulder leaves
without even looking at her apartment.
The Smoking Man thinks Scully is drawn
to powerful men but also keeps distant from them, which is
why she would die for Mulder but won't allow herself to love
him. She dismisses his comments as "pop psychology."
He takes her down a dirt road, and we see that
they are being followed. They arrive at a pleasant country
home where a woman named Marjorie Butters lives, who the
Smoking Man claims is 118 years old, although she is as
vital as a much younger woman. She is gardening and greets
CSM with a hug. Scully sees that Marjorie has a scar on the
back of her neck - apparent evidence of the validity of the
Smoking Man's claims for his science.
Skinner and Mulder are concerned but
can't find Scully. She took an FBI vehicle and her mother
knows nothing about an emergency. Scully phones Skinner and
says everything is OK, but she won't talk directly to Mulder. Mulder
becomes convinced that she is in trouble. Scully and the
Smoking Man stop for gas and she goes to the bathroom,
talking on the tape to Mulder. She secretly mails the tape
to Mulder but as they drive off the man following them is
seen to have gotten the envelope out of the mailbox.
They end up at a lake home, late at
night. Scully is asleep in the car and the Smoking Man puts
on gloves, brushing a lock of hair out of her face. Scully
wakes up to find herself in satin pajamas. She thinks the
Smoking Man drugged her but he says he just carried her in
so that she would be comfortable. They are in Milford,
Pennsylvania. She is upset and ready to leave, but finally
decides she has to know the answers.
The Lone Gunmen arrive at Mulder's apartment, in
disguise. They got into Scully's apartment and found e-mails
on her computer to somebody named "Cobra." Mulder and the
Gunmen barge into Skinner's office carrying Scully's laptop.
For the last 6 months Cobra has been e-mailing Scully from
the department of defense, but she is unaware of it.
Somebody has been posing as Scully to win Cobra's trust.
Mulder is convinced that the Smoking Man is doing this and
Scully's life is in danger.
Meanwhile, the Smoking Man tells Scully
that they'll be meeting their contact for dinner and provides her an
evening dress. At a fancy restaurant, Smoking Man says that
their contact, Cobra, is to human genetic science what the
early nuclear scientists were to nuclear warfare. The
Smoking Man says that if Cobra receives assurances, the
science ("holy grail") he turns over will be not just a cure
for cancer but a cure for all human disease. How? From the
final frontier - largely extraterrestrial. Scully thinks
that he wants it to cure himself, but he replies "That which
makes miracles can also make great evil. There are those who
would use this power for their own purposes, to chose who
will live and who will die". Theoretically the Smoking Man
can be cured but it appears that he doesn't really want to
be. He is a lonely man. The Smoking Man goes outside for a
smoke. The man who has been following them approaches CSM
and points out that Cobra hasn't shown up, so they have to
wait, but Scully won't stick around for ever. The Smoking
Man tells him, "Just do your damn job."
Cobra, however, has slipped Scully a note about
where she should meet him. The Smoking Man lets her take a
small motorboat to the Calico Cove inlet, down the lake.
Another boat approaches hers. Cobra comments that they are
finally meeting and that she is just as she described
herself. He hands her a CD-ROM. She denies that they have
spoken before, and he becomes confused and frightened.
Suddenly he is shot and dies before they can say more. The
sniper (the man following Scully and CSM) then targets
Scully, but the Smoking Man kills him before he can fire at
her. She returns to the lake home where the Smoking Man
meets her. Because she still believes him, she gives him the
CD-ROM but he gives it back.
Later, Scully is at Mulder's apartment
where the Lone Gunmen help examine the content of the disk. It is
empty. They return to the building where Spender's office
was, but it is vacant. Mulder says that the Smoking Man used
Scully. Marjorie Butters was a fake. Jason has a chip in his
neck but the parents probably won't let them examine him.
Scully believed the Smoking Man but Mulder thinks he used
her to save himself, to get the science on that disk -
saving himself at the expense of the human race. Scully says
that for a moment she saw something in the Smoking Man's
eyes, a longing for something more than power - something he
could never have. Realizing what he is doing, the Smoking
Man throws the real CD into the lake, apparently dooming
himself and keeping the cure for all disease from the human
race. He lights up a cigarette and starts to
By Michael Marek / Jamie Ruby /
Interview from Official
Question: Did you
approach Chris Carter about writing your own episode?
WBD: Actually I approached Frank Spotnitz.
Question: Did you come up with the story
yourself, or did you work on it with the writing staff to
fit into the mythology of the show?
proposed an idea for a story and submitted a treatment. The
idea was based on the famous scene in Richard III where
Richard comes upon Lady Anne who is mourning the death of
her father-in-law as well as her husband, both killed by
Richard. She is incensed to see him but he is such a clever
villain that fifteen minutes later she agrees to marry him.
In my proposal, Mulder had been killed, and CSM comes upon
Scully in the funeral home and begins a process of winning
her allegiance. It later turns out that Mulder is not dead
but is in on the scam with CSM as he proves to him that
Scully is not a worthy partner. Scully realizes that Mulder
is really a wimp and that she is actually attracted to real
power and decides to leave Mulder and join CSM. At the very
end we learn that it is all happening in her mind and the
story is really her nightmare of CSM. Frank really liked the
CSM/Scully dynamic but felt they had done too many dream
episodes and fake Mulder deaths. He wanted the story to be
real. From there we started working on a story where CSM
works on Scully for his own purposes.
Regarding CSM's illness, did you have any knowledge of his
ultimate fate when writing this script?
I still have no knowledge of his ultimate fate but no, I did
not know of his illness when I began working on it, although
serendipitously I had CSM pretend to Scully that he was
dying as a way of convincing her that he had changed. When I
started CSM was not ill and Fowley was still alive. We had
to make some adjustments.
Question: Was your goal
to make CSM somewhat more sympathetic?
I guess it was to make him both more villainous and more
sympathetic. Certainly I hoped to make him a more complete
Question: Why did you choose to have CSM
interact one-on-one with Scully, instead of his usual Mulder
WBD: One reason behind doing the script
was so that I could finally work with Gillian. I had joked
that if they didn't give me a scene with her I would write
one. So I did!
Question: CSM makes a reference to
Mulder and Scully's relationship. What do you think should
happen with that relationship?
WBD: Well I think
it's obvious that Scully should leave Mulder and marry CSM.
Question: Do you personally think CSM is Mulder's
WBD: It could be that he has become ill
because the operation where he transferred brain tissue from
Mulder failed. Perhaps the reason the operation failed is
that CSM believed that his DNA matched Mulder's but
complications arose because the DNA does not match. Frankly
I don't know at this point.
Question: Do you have
any immediate plans for life after "The X-Files?"
WBD: Nothing specific but a number of projects
are being thought about. I will continue acting, directing,
writing, and teaching but I don't know which of those will
Question: Do you have aspirations to
write another screenplay?
WBD: I definitely want
to write more.
His commitment to
drama, though, has seen Bill (William) direct many plays.
Now he has actually penned an X-Files episode himself. When
asked if he prefers the conspiracy episodes or unusual
diversions like "Triangle" and "Musings of a CSM", Bill
maintains that "I always enjoy the mythology ones [but] I'd
like to see more use of the character outside of that
plot-line. I have written a script that they plan to use in
part or in all - they haven't decided yet exactly what
they're going to do with it. I try to give CSM some activity
that is not just part of that [mythology] plot-line. It
develops the relationship that we haven't explored between
CSM and Scully." Bill once said that to get more scenes with
Gillian he'd have to write them himself. "Well that's what I
did," Bill answers, laughing.