The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 3

Teliko

0
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 18, 1996 on FOX
7.3
out of 10
User Rating
268 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
After several African-American men are killed and the color is drained from their skin, Mulder learns about the Teliko, an African folktale about a creature who must suck the pigmentation from a person's body in order to survive.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Teliko

    9.0
    Teliko was a superb episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was intriguing and it was cool that it dealt with African Folklore. The cast was great and played their roles very well. It was interesting to learn how Samuel Aboah survived along with the physiological motivations. There were some great character moments and scary scenes. I liked how every thing played out. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • I Was A Teenage African Albino Witchdoctor

    6.0
    Uh oh, Season Four takes a dump on only its third episode. This one is essentially a rewrite of "2Shy" from Season Three, only with black men instead of fat women, and with a synthetic world-music score. It's also a rehash of "Tooms," "Squeeze" and every other monster-eats-people-to-supplement-his-diet episode that Chris Carter seems to really, really like.



    Yeah, I really didn't care for this episode.



    Anyway, it appears that with Season Four, the dorky trenchcoats may have been ditched for good. Let's hope. Scully has lost her too-poofy, too-red hair in favor of a more sexy, streamlined look. She looks absolutely stunning. Production values, cinematography and direction are all top notch by now. Looking forward to a good ride in Season Four!moreless
  • Mulder and Scully look for an African American man who is apparently stealing pigment.

    7.0
    Whoever said this episode was similar to the "Tooms" episode is right on the money. Both episodes have strange eerie men who can fit into tight places and kill their victims to get something from them. The difference between this episode and the one from Season 1 is that the original episode was actually interesting. This one felt like a re-hash with only a semi-interesting Mulder/Scully relationship going on.



    After a man dies on a plane with all the pigment sucked from his body, Mulder and Scully figure out (after about thirty minutes of questioning and chasing after dead people) that it seems the man is the result of some African folk tale where they visit you at night and steal the pigment from your skin. There's some other supposedly shocking information, like the fact he doesn't have a pituitary gland, but I feel like the episode doesn't make us care enough about the outcome or the victims. We get the same bureaucratic men and women who get in the way of Mulder and Scully until they die. Every single time.



    Definitely not one of the best episodes of X-Files.. usually, I'm intrigued by the stand-alone plots, but the last couple have been disappointing.moreless
  • Mulder and Scully find themselves chasing after a "Tooms"-like monster, who is loosely taken from an African folktale. The Teliko is attacking African American men and stealing their pigmentation in order to survive.moreless

    7.0
    In many respects this feels like a monster-of-the-week 'filler' episode that is trying to be taken seriously. It has no real ties to the show's vast government-military-industrial complex conspiracy and does not offer much in the way of character development for the show's stars. The monster itself is not terribly too creative and seems to harken back to previous monsters-of-the-week such as Tooms. Yes, the episode does make some feeble attempts to deal with the experience of West African immigrants and Scully, typing up her report, does end the episode with a bland criticism of ignorance and prejudice. Their is certainly nothing wrong with the series tackling such social issues, but in this case they seem to be treated as a last minute after thought or the remains of an earlier draft of the script. The X-Files series was certainly capable of dealing with ethical questions, social issues and injustices within the context of speculative fiction, but this episode's efforts to deal with prejudice and immigration are too bland and superficial to raise the overall quality of this episode.moreless
  • A bit dull

    7.6
    This episode's storyline could be great, but it just fails to get there. The biological anomaly perspective is always interesting, and even in this episode it is. The paranormal abilities of Samuel Aboah, though, take this interesting point away and suck the life out of it. Also the albino makeovers look a bit weird, chalk over the actor's skin, blah. Couldn't they find real albino actors?



    Mulder asking for Marita Covarrubias's help was a delight, and it would have been nice to see Mulder working with her more, maybe go overseas or something with her help, though the help she gave with the burkina fasoan embassy was almost enough.moreless
Maxine Guess

Maxine Guess

Flight Attendant

Guest Star

Michael O'Shea

Michael O'Shea

Lt. Madsen

Guest Star

Don Stewart

Don Stewart

Businessman

Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

Laurie Holden

Laurie Holden

Marita Covarrubias

Recurring Role

Brendan Beiser

Brendan Beiser

Agent Pendrell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (8)

    • This case is entered in Dana Scully's notes as "Field journal entry number 74"

    • Scully's FBI badge number is: JTT0331613

    • Principal Settings:
      Washington, D.C.; United Nations Headquarters; New Yok City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    • The mantra for this episode is "Deceive, Inveigle and Obfuscate." The three synonyms, two of which are not commonly used words, were referenced four separate times in this episode: (1) Replacing the usual tagline at the end of the opening credit sequence; (2) spoken by Scully; (3) spoken by Mulder; (4) written by Scully in her final report.

    • In this episode it is established that Aboah cannot produce melanin himself because he has no pituitary gland. In actuality, melanin is produced in the pineal gland and the lack of a pituitary gland would not alter the production of melanin whatsoever.

    • When Scully is viewing Owen Sanders' eyes you can clearly see that the actor is wearing contact lenses in order to make his eyes appear red.

    • Factual Error: When Marcus Duff visits Aboah at his apartment, he states that he is there to assist Aboah with his naturalization petition. However, to become naturalized as a United States citizen, a petitioner must have resided in the United States continuously for at least five years. Aboah arrived in Philadelphia only three months prior to Duff's visit.

    • Despite the episode's African theme, the soundtrack is more global. The women chanting -- particularly prominent in the bus stop scene -- is a sample from the Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Choir.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • (Examining a picture of the victim)
      Scully: I'm sorry, I thought you said that Owen Sanders was black.
      Dr. Bruin: He was.

    • Scully: Mulder, not everything is a labyrinth of dark conspiracy, and not everybody is plotting to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate.

    • Pendrell: Shouldn't we wait for Agent Scully? Just so I won't have to repeat myself.
      Mulder: She's not coming.
      Pendrell: Why not?
      Mulder: She had a date.
      (Pendrell's face falls)
      Mulder: Breathe, Agent Pendrell. It's with a dead man. She's doing an autopsy.

    • Scully: Death is a health crisis.

    • (The agents are looking at the body of an African-American who's skin has turned white.)
      Mulder: There's a Michael Jackson joke in here somewhere but I can't quite find it.

  • NOTES (7)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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