First appearance: “Patient X”
Name: Jeffrey Frank Spender. (Middle name is seen in Two Fathers, when Mulder is searching the database.)
Date of birth: Not known. He is supposed to be fairly young, though, and a new(ish) FBI agent. Late twenties? Early thirties?
Date of death: Still alive and kicking as of the finale, despite appearing to be shot dead by his father at the end of “One Son” – some time in February 1999.
Parentage: Well… His mother is Cassandra Spender, a wheelchair bound multiple abductee, who, at the start of “Patient X” is looking forward to being abducted again. She is, in fact, the eponymous “Patient X.” She’s abducted at the end of the episode, causing her son to quest for her for a while, and blame Mulder for it. In “Two Fathers,” though, we learn that she’s been turned into the first ever successful alien/human hybrid, with green blood and miraculous healing abilities. If the colonists find out that she exists, they’ll have no reason to delay their coming. So, she thinks she should be killed. Spender, though, has other ideas, thus unwittingly risking everything in his misguided efforts to keep his mother safe…
And his father….? Well, Jeffrey says that his father left when he was 11, and his mother fell to pieces. (He blames her abduction fantasy on this mental breakdown) His father has been writing to him, hoping for a reconciliation, but Jeffrey always returns the letters unopened. However, in “The End,” he is approached by a total stranger who claims to be his father, and claims to be able to help his career. This father is none other than the Smoking Man. (Which is why Spender is played by the same actor as played the young CSM, of course) Why he doesn’t recognise him if he left when he was 11, I don’t know
Attitude to the paranormal: Spender is very much the sceptic, though maybe out of fear and self-defence, since he had an experience himself. In his youth he had a memory of an abduction, though he now dismisses it as simply him recycling ideas implanted by his mother. Is he scared to believe, since belief would mean this horrible experience must be true? Does he hate any suggestion of alien involvement since he’s ashamed and angry at having been made to believe it?
However, as of “Two Fathers,” Spender has seen an alien die with lots of bubbling green blood, so presumably can’t really doubt much longer. If he lived much longer, that is…
Attitude to Mulder: Hostile. He is concerned about his reputation, and thinks that any association with Mulder will give him a bad reputation. Fortunately for him, he has a friend in high places (CSM, of course) who makes sure that nothing bad is entered on his record as a result of his involvement with Mulder. In “The End,” CSM urges Spender not to let his career suffer by having any involvement with Mulder, and says that he can help him up the career ladder in the FBI.
However, by “The Beginning,” Spender seems quite happy to do his new-found father’s bidding, taking over the X-Files and keeping Mulder away from things. However, can we detect a note of admiration in his voice when he tells CSM that Mulder will never give up? Also, he possibly looks uneasy and disapproving when CSM talks about how he’s killed men, and how fun it is to break a man’s spirit.
How much does he know of the conspiracy? Is he just being manipulated by CSM, doing what his father tells him, in the belief that it’s good for his career? Has CSM actually told him what They’re up to?
So far, it really seems as if he doesn’t know much. He looks scared and stubborn about the paranormal, angry with Mulder for his involvement (as he sees it) in his mother’s disappearance. He has also been told repeatedly by CSM that Mulder is out to ruin his career. Of course, things may change, but at the moment he doesn’t look like a serious contender to be moved to the “Them” page. Hey, he might even come round to Mulder’s side…
Home, office etc: We’ve yet to see his home. Did he live with his mother? Does he have a woman? We don’t know.