In the Season 4 episode "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man", we see CSM personally kill both JFK and MLK. However, when he and Deep Throat are confronted with killing an E.T. in the modern day, he claims that he has "never killed another person or thing" and talks about how he wants Deep Throat to do it so he can live his whole life without having actually taken a life. I want to know why he seems so intent about this - when he killed MLK, he volunteered to do it himself. And he even said he had a great deal of respect for King, which makes it strange that he would be so troubled about killing an alien he knew nothing about.

Anyone have another further pieces to this puzzle, as to why he would make such a big deal about this?

2 Answers 2


Because we don't really know for sure that he did the killing. The flashback may or may not have been accurate. As the episode centers around Frohike telling Mulder about CSM (Cigarette Smoking Man) from a magazine article he read. The details are murky and my be inaccurate. Frohike even states as much and at the end leaves to go get clarification. There are also some contradictions/inconsistencies with CSM's background in regards to earlier episodes. The story Frohike had may have only been parts of the novel CSM wrote, published in the magazine. The novel may have been based in part on CSM, and embellished. Also, CSM is a liar. He very well could have killed even if it wasn't JFK or MLK.

  • So the "reason" is to try and emphasize the point of view aspect of story telling? It's pretty believable, since they've done stuff like that before (Jose Chung, of course).
    – levitopher
    Sep 17, 2015 at 23:04
  • I had just watched the episode and was doing some follow up reading on wikipedia to try and clarify things. Its a confusing episode because it doesn't definitively answer the question of who is the Cigarette Smoking Man? But that also gives more mystery to the character.
    – user25738
    Sep 18, 2015 at 16:21

Well I think that when CSM is reading the magazine and says that the ending is all wrong it basically means that the whole scenario with the alien is not accurate (or at least isn't CSM's version of the truth as he originally had written it) and I think this is backed up by the fact that later in the saga it is said that the rebel leader is the sole survivor of the crash in WV, therefore the murder of that alien in frohike's account is inaccurate and probably never took place at all.

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