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My Struggle III   Credits   Gallery   Transcript    

"My Struggle III" is the first episode of the eleventh season of The X-Files. It is written and directed by Chris Carter.


Picking up after the last event series’ cliffhanger, Mulder and Scully learn that they aren’t the only ones desperately searching for their long-lost son, William. The very fate of the world may depend on it.


The episode opens with an introduction by Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis), in which his full name is revealed as Carl Gerhard Busch.

Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) wakes up in the hospital after having a seizure, now realizing the events of My Struggle II were a vision and haven't actually happened yet. She starts rambling a bit about the plague to Fox Mulder (David Duchovny). Mulder initially presumes Scully’s ramblings are a product of her illness but leaves the hospital to investigate. Elsewhere, Agent is chased down and hit by a car in a parking garage. Spender hides behind a door of an apartment building that reads “The 209” as his would-be assailant demands the whereabouts of a boy. Spender calls Mulder and The Smoking Man intercepts the call, revealing that he is in a room with Monica Reyes. A car chase soon unfolds between Mulder and another man, in which Mulder is able to evade the man.

Spender later appears at Scully’s bedside, revealing that someone is looking for William. He first balks at telling her the location of her son, revealing only the name of the family that adopted him - Van De Kamp. Mulder tails a henchman who he believes will take him to The Smoking Man, but he arrives somewhere else with mysterious conspirators; Mr. Y (A.C. Peterson) and Erika Price (Barbara Hershey). The pair says they were once part of the Syndicate but have their own agenda involving the colonization of space. They try to negotiate with Mulder into turning over his son but Mulder refuses.

Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) tries to meet with Scully, but can't find her. As he goes to his car, he is met inside by The Smoking Man and Reyes, the latter holding him at gunpoint. The Smoking Man asks Skinner to turn his back on the whole human race in return for immunity from the Spartan virus, but Skinner is very hesitant. Meanwhile, Scully tries to leave the hospital but her seizures return causing her to crash her car. She is rescued by Agent Einstein and Agent Miller, and is readmitted to the hospital. Both agents leave the room. An assassin sent by Mr. Y and Erika enters and tries to suffocate Scully, but Mulder steps in and saves her by slicing the assassin's neck.

After Mulder kills the assassin, Scully says that she doesn’t think The Smoking Man sent him. She then reveals her visions are from William. As Skinner comes in, Mulder confronts him since he smells like smoke. In a flashback to when Skinner was in the car with the Smoking Man, the latter reveals (in a further flashback to 17 years, "En Ami") that he, not Mulder, artificially impregnated Scully.

The final scene (out of focus) shows a teen, presumably William, having seizures.


  • When Spender is attacked, the door he closes has the number 209 on it, the number of the episode itself.
  • Features flashback from fifteenth episode of the seventh season "En Ami".

Background Information[]

  • An episode delving into the history and backstory of the Smoking Man has been done before, though it was in the Season 4 episode "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man", although it was left ambiguous in that episode whether or not the events actually took place.
  • The episode will explore the Cigarette Smoking Man's backstory and apparent family ties to Fox Mulder.[1]
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Jeffery Spender since The Truth.
  • This episode gives the official name of the Smoking Man, revealing it to be Carl Gerhard Bush. His initials C.G.B. where originally given back in the season 6 episode "Two Fathers", although was unknown at the time whether or not it was one of his many aliases.
  • Although it is supposed to take place in early 2016 (immediately after "My Struggle II"), the Smoking Man's opening monologue shows Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States, which occurred in January 2017.
  • The Cigarette Smoking Man can be seen digitally inserted behind several historical figures during his opening narration. Including Presidents Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and George W. Bush; illustrating his long history of influence over the United States Government.
    • Although the Cigarette Smoking Man was shown to be present at Bush's inauguration in 2001, this is an error was he was in hiding at that time (a period which spanned from 2000 to at least 2002).
  • It is revealed, that all the actions of the Cigarette Smoking Man during the previous seasons within the Syndicate, were just a smokescreen and that he was deceiving them all along in order to ruin the Project so that the aliens won't colonize the earth. Instead, he plans to depopulate the Earth through the Spartan Virus and wipe out almost the entire human race except from some few chosen people-Scully and William among them.


My name is Carl Gerhard Busch. But I've been known by many aliases during my long career with the U.S. government. It's been a humbling job, though I'm hardly known as a humble man. ​​​'I've been a witness to history, much of it violent, much of it an abomination of the values Americans hold dear. I've had a privileged seat at the centers of power, held the reins of that power, making sacrifices few are capable of, of which even fewer are willing. If people knew the truth, they'd riot in the streets.

Too much is made of the will to power, as if our will is free, our choices our own. Our destinies are forged in our bones, made real by a raging impulse to self-destruct. I'm not a bad man, more a practical man.

- Cigarette Smoking Man's opening voiceover detailing his history and life.

The truth still lies in the X-Files, Mulder.

- Scully to Mulder.



Guest Starring


  • Arggy Jenati as Female Paramedic
  • Harry Han as Male Paramedic
  • Naiah Cummins as Nurse
  • Sandy Da Costa as Alien
  • Fiona Vroom as Young Cassandra
  • Jett Klyne as Young Spender
  • Jeremy Schuetze as Young Cigarette Smoking Man
  • Alexandre Campion as Young Mr. Y
  • Ercia Govier as Young Erika




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