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The Cigarette Smoking man offers to show Scully the cure for cancer if she travels with him- and hides her trip from Mulder.



A boy claims angels from the sky cured his well-publicized cancer, a “demonstration” says the CSM (William B. Davis), who offers Scully “the cure for millions”---but Mulder can't know.Cigarette Smoking Man offers a dangerous bargain to Scully. Vowing to atone for his many nefarious deeds, Cigarette-Smoking Man offers a skeptical Agent Scully a most enticing gift in the "En Ami"

Episode Summary

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 drives off.

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 legacy"

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 cancer.

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 smoke...

By Michael Marek / Jamie Ruby / Rohan Seth

Episode Interviews Articles

Interview from Official Website

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?
WBD: I 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.
Question: Regarding CSM's illness, did you have any knowledge of his ultimate fate when writing this script?
WBD: Well 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?
WBD: Oddly I guess it was to make him both more villainous and more sympathetic. Certainly I hoped to make him a more complete person.
Question: Why did you choose to have CSM interact one-on-one with Scully, instead of his usual Mulder scenes?
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 father?
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 predominate.
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.

Research Information

"En Ami" roughly translates from French into "like a male friend," although the phrase is a play on words to sound like "enemy" in English.

The exterior of the restaurant in the CSM/Black-Haired Man scene is actually the Old Writers Building on the Fox lot which houses the writers and producers of "Chicago Hope."

In the restaurant scene, Scully wears a backless Richard Tyler Couture dress.

Episode Information

David Duchovny Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
William B Davis Cigarette Smoking Man
Bruce Harwood Melvin Frohike
Tom Braidwood John Byers
Dean Haglund Ringo Langly
Michael Canavan Cameron McPeck
Jacqueline Schultz Irene McPeck
Cory Parravano Jason McPeck
Mitch Pileggi Walter Skinner
Thomas Roe Guard
Louise Latham Marjorie Butters
Tom Bailey Apartment Manager
Timothy Landfield Scientist/Cobra
Michael Shamus Wiles Black-Haired Man

Air Date: 19th March 2000
Shooting: 31st January to 9th Februrary 2000

Written by William B Davis
Directed by Rob Bowman


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