(Note: This post contains spoilers for the first episode of “The X-Files” Season 11.)
The first episode of “The X-Files” Season 11 started with a major reveal fans have been waiting to find out for years: the identity of the Cigarette Smoking Man, also known as “the Cancer Man.”
The lead antagonist of “The X-Files” has been a major part of the show since its original run, often at odds with Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and pulling the strings of the show’s conspiracies. In the cold open of the first episode of Season 11, “My Struggle III,” the Smoking Man finally told everyone his name, a secret that’s been carefully guarded throughout the entire run of the show: Carl Gerhardt Bush.
But that wasn’t the only thing the Smoking Man revealed in his short monologue at the start of the episode. Bush (William B. Davis) also confirmed a theory fans have been carrying around since the show’s original run that started back in 1993. In the monologue, Bush explained that he has two sons: Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens), an FBI agent he controlled and manipulated to further his conspiracies, and Fox Mulder.
That’s a huge piece of information that explains a lot about the Smoking Man’s actions over the years — he’s often seemed to toy with Mulder, and even when he and Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) seemed close to discovering the truth of the Smoking Man’s plans, Bush seemed unwilling to kill Mulder to stop him. Now we have a pretty good idea of why.