The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 3


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 18, 1996 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
284 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

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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  • A poppy??

    I'm watching this episode on netflix right now. correct me if I'm wrong but at time index 21:52, the camera pans by the passenger's seat in that derelict car, there appears to be a poppy on the floor of the passengers side. this must have been filmed in vancouver. The reason I saw what I think is a poppy is I'm a veteran and I tend to pick out military things... can anyone also see if I'm correct?moreless
  • Its in the eyes, I can tell you will always be danger-Mumford and Sons

    I've gotta give it to them for making a scary villain, more so with those eyes, this show has a way with eyes (Squeeze/Tooms). Nothing much else here to say though, a pretty routine half human/creature chase this is The X Files though after all so were treated to creepy set pieces like the ventillation shaft for instance.
  • Teliko

    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

    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.

    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
Maxine Guess

Maxine Guess

Flight Attendant

Guest Star

Michael O'Shea

Michael O'Shea

Lt. Madsen

Guest Star

Don Stewart

Don Stewart


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


  • 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)