Why Is the Cigarette Smoking Man Alive in the New Season of 'The X-Files'?

The new series shows its Darth Vader, played by William B. Davis, alive and well. Yet 'The X-Files' have already watched him die -- twice.

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You can never truly kill the devil, and if Chris Carter is to be believed, the Cigarette Smoking Man is “the devil” of The X-Files. The X-Files has a habit of disregarding the fatal possibilities of enormous fires — remember when Mulder inexplicably survives the Cigarette Smoking Man’s boxcar fire in the Season 2 finale?

Fans brave enough to have gotten all the way through the original series know that the CSM is considered dead at the end of the finale. In that episode, he has very advanced cancer and is living in a hut in New Mexico, and then — it seems — gets killed by a rocket bomb. Yet here he is again at the beginning of Season 2. According to a New York Times interview, William B. Davis, the Canadian actor who has been an integral presence on the Fox series since its very first episode, is slated to appear in three episodes this season, including the premiere. It probably wouldn’t be The X-Files without him, after all.

Davis stated in the Times interview that he assumed he wouldn’t be back when he was not included in 2008’s The X-Files: I Want to Believe film. But, as he and Files-head should have learned by now, the CSM doesn’t usually stay dead. By rights, he should have died in Season 7 when Krycek and Covarrubias, who are both erstwhile CSM henchmen, push him down a flight of stairs in his wheelchair. The camera zooms in on his face, and given his weak constitution, it is widely assumed that he passed away.

Here’s a (dubbed) version of that scene:

Before that, also in the seventh season, the CSM was at death’s door after injecting himself with genetically modified (“hybrid”) DNA, which caused an issue in his brain. This ended up just getting him in a wheelchair, and resulted in the tracheotomy.

Apparently, his health problems have been extremely protracted, and enough to allow him to survive several potentially deadly scenarios since falling ill 16 years ago in the chronology.

Then again, who’s closer to the alien technology and eugenics-type research that is in the wind these days than the all-powerful CSM? He may have the elixirs in place to make himself essentially immortal. Let’s hope it’s something crazy like that and we don’t have to watch him die again in the (series?) finale of Season 10.

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