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Recap / The X-Files S04 E03 "Teliko"

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Season 4, Episode 03:

"Only when the sun fell, when the rest of the world was sleeping, would they come out."
Written by Howard Gordon
Directed by James Charleston

Minister Diabira: I grew up hearing the old stories, believing them as only a child can believe.
Mulder: What kinds of stories?
Minister Diabira: The Teliko... spirits... of the air.

Mulder and Scully investigate after several African men are found dead, with their skins bleached white.


  • Albinos Are Freaks: Samuel Aboah is a Burkinabè immigrant who lacks a pituitary gland and harvests them from other African or African-American men to restore his skin tone. He is compared unfavorably to a vampire-like creature from West African folklore (the eponymous Teliko) by a Burkinabè ambassador. He is depicted as a merciless killer with a seemingly inhuman ability to squeeze into small spaces.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Minister Diabra's summation of when the Teliko come out to catch their prey.
    "Only when the sun fell, when the rest of the world was sleeping, would they come out."
  • Distress Ball: Mulder gets attacked, and is saved by Scully.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Mulder's joke.
    Mulder: There’s a Michael Jackson joke in here somewhere, but I can’t quite find it.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Averted. Aboah kills black people only for their melanin. He also kills white folk if they get in his way.
  • Tranquilizer Dart: Aboah's way of incapacitating his victims.

"But what science may never be able to explain is our ineffable fear of the alien among us; a fear which often drives us not to search for understanding, but to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate."