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"The X Files: Teliko (#4.3)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The X-Files" Teliko (1996)"The X Files" Teliko (original title)

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21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Deceive, Inveigle And Obfuscate

Author: Muldernscully from Roy, Utah
27 July 2006

Teliko is a solid season four episode that deals with African-American males who are having their pigmentation drained from them. This isn't a spectacular episode by an means, but it's engaging enough to be entertaining. Mulder's "Michael Jackson" quote is the funniest line from the episode. Even though this episode has nothing to do with the conspiracy, the writers threw Marita Covarrubias into the episode. She seems to be out of place in Teliko. Mulder's informants don't have to be in just myth/arc episodes. But this was not the episode for her to appear in. She is inconsequential. Samuel Aboah has a similar ability to Eugene Tooms, in that he can squeeze into really tight places. Also, he needs the pituitary gland hormone to survive, just like Tooms needed livers. So, it was almost like a remake of Squeeze. There are enough differences, however, to still make it entertaining. Off camera, Pendrell must be quite obvious about his affection for Scully, since Mulder jokes about Pendrell's crush on Scully with Pendrell. Cute moment. Plus, in Teliko, you get to see Scully crawling through ventilation ducts again. Gotta love that.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Following 'Home' is a tough thing to do.......

Author: bigblue123 from United Kingdom
7 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Teliko' follows the cracking episode 'Home' which of course is a hard act to follow. Although 'Teliko' does not offer the thrills of 'Home' it still provides the tension and is a good 'Monster of the Week' episode.

The Monster in this episode is a man called Samuel Aboah who has come over from Africa and requires the pigments from other African men in order to survive. As African men seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate Mulder and Scully at first have no idea what is going on. However, Mulder later comes up with one of his wacky theories which, as always, turns out to be right.

This episode has a lot to offer X-File fans. It is creepy and tense in parts, created partly by some great music. Also, there are some terrific scenes notably the one where Aboah kidnaps and drains the pigments of a young teenager. Also, the scene where you see how Aboah actually does it is tough to watch. The climax is exciting (with Scully crawling through a series of tunnels being pursued by Aboah). The performances all round are good and the actor playing Aboah does a good job with very few lines.

I didn't like Aboah's ability to squeeze into tight places as this was too similar to the Eugene Tooms character in 'Squeeze'. Also, at the beginning when the man is attacked in the toilet on the aeroplane - would someone not have heard his incredibly loud screams? As a previous reviewer has already mentioned the inclusion of Marita Covarrubias is completely pointless. Anyway, these are only minor things.

Overall a good episode.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Samuel Aboah, the new Victor Eugene Tooms

Author: XweAponX from United States
28 February 2013

Season 4 of The X-Files was a new production crew building upon earlier Mythos. And so, this episode was overlooked.

There is a new "Victor Eugene Tooms" - Samuel Aboah (Willie Amakye) who can contort himself into a coffee can much like Tooms could. But where Tooms has an insatiable appetite for exactly five human livers per sleep cycle, Aboah has other physiological needs: as he as no pituitary gland.

This is also the first time we hear the phrase "Deceive, Inveigle and Obfuscate" which along with "Deny Everything" and "Apology is Policy" is added to the X-Files list of things that cannot be "programmed, categorized, or easily referenced".

Skully solves part of this conundrum from behind a microscope while Mulder chases down clues including tapping his new contact Marita Covarrubias, giving Mulder access to a man who tells him some remarkable stories from his African country of origin about a lost tribe of "Ghosts".

Never mind how Aboah can squeeze into a food cart in a hospital and escape from a Quarantine area, never mind how he can crawl into small storm drains. This guy can fit into any area his head can fit into, no matter how small.

So while in the American continent, as evolution produces Liver Eating, Long Lived aberrations, in Africa parallel evolution produces what we see here.

This episode plays out in darkened rooms and at night, where things that must not be seen are performed with impunity.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The X-Files: Teliko

Author: Diamhea from United States
10 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Season 3 of The X-Files was mythology heavy, with several multi-part sagas giving way only for humor-laden Darin Morgan outings and disappointing Monster-of-The-Week entries such as "Teso Dos Bichos" and "Hell Money". After wrapping up the loose ends remaining from "Talitha Cumi" in the bold "Herrenvolk", Season 4 jumps right out of the gates with perhaps the most controversial X-Files episode ever: "Home".

The following episode: "Teliko", finds itself in quite a precarious position, sandwiched between two spectacular Monster-of-The-Week episodes. Samual Aboah: (this week's mutant), draws obvious parallels to Eugene Tooms from the legendary Season 1 entries "Squeeze" and "Tooms". His wants and needs are obvious, as he requires melanin: (freshly extracted from his victims' pineal bodies) for survival. His background is rooted in West African culture and myth, inventively tied in by writer Howard Gordon.

As usual per The X-Files, the teaser plays out at the cost of some random tertiary character's life; in this case on a flight into Philadelphia from Burkina Faso. Aboah's feeding results in a complete lose of pigmentation in the victim, a unique and unsettling view that pervades throughout the episode.

Scully's usual token resistance to Mulder's aberrant theories is mostly absent here. They share similar ideas regarding the source of the crisis, which is a rare occurrence; yet not wholly unwelcome. Some episodes such as Season 1's "Shapes" insist on having Scully discount all of the obvious evidence so that her scientific skepticism is intact, however at the cost of her integrity. In "Teliko" she quickly discovers the effect, while she spends the rest of the episode searching for the cause.

A late-night rendezvous with Marita Covarrubias (her first appearance in a regular MoTW entry), leads Mulder to the African ambassador who tried to cover up the initial murder on the flight featured in the episode's teaser. Realizing that Mulder has put many of the pieces of the puzzle together, Diabria (The ambassador) delivers a chilling narrative detailing the "Spirits of The Air", those of which Samual Aboah is suspected to belong to. Scully remains steadfast that there is a medical explanation for Aboah's condition, one which likely ultimately takes his life when his melanin intake is cut off per his capture; however at the cost of nearly half a dozen lives.

"Teliko" is an atmospheric gem, with Mark Snow delivering one of his best eerie scores that compliments the illusory street lamp-lit alleys of Philly well. The showdown in the construction site is also claustrophobic, with the mutant Aboah crawling like a spider through the ventilation system, again drawing obvious comparisons with the beloved Tooms.

"Teliko" fits nicely in Season 4, a season which is chock-full of similar Monster-of-The-Week episodes. While many of its concepts are rehashed and may appear uninspired, it delivers plenty of scares augmented by an exotic predator in a well-conceived script.

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"You'd be surprised at what I believe, Sir."

Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
20 June 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I know she was trying to save her partner, but I think it would take more than that for me to crawl around through some dark and unforsaken duct-work knowing that a killer was around attempting to maintain his identity and keep it a secret. You have to give Scully credit, she made the save just in time after Mulder went catatonic following a poisonous dart to his neck, courtesy of Samuel Aboah (William Amakye), a West African 'spirit of the air' from which the episode derived it's name - 'Teliko'.

One has to marvel at the amount of research that must go into these X-Files episodes, because the story line is built here around a rare species of passionflower, the Teliko connection, and the absence of a pituitary gland in the protagonist, which makes him go off in search of victims to replenish his need for the melatonin required to maintain the pigmentation of a black African. Of course, Mulder, in his own unique way, manages to make the connections necessary to solve this case, even if he almost got the short end of the stick in the bargain.

The episode contains the unlikely appearance of Mulder's newest contact in the person of Marita Covarrubias at the U.N. Her role here was written in such a way that it made sense, leading Mulder to an official who could provide background on what might have been happening with the murder victims disappearing at the hand of Aboah. I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise at this point in the series that the writers dipped into prior history to come up with a character similar to one like Eugene Victor Tooms. That was an easy pick up for fans of the X-Files, even if it went all the way back to the first season.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Quite spooky

Author: Juan Sarmiento from Netherlands
29 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode both works and fails.

The dialog throughout is not very memorable. Not many memorable lines, it's just random talk.

However, this episode is entirely saved by the monster of the week and his creepy ways of killing. The way he squeezes into small places reminds me of Season 1's Eugene Tooms. But honestly, I think that this guy was creepier. the characters are both very similar, both kill to survive. so the story is almost identical except for the reason and ways that they kill.

The actor playing Aboah really creeped me out. He had that sweet smile and the quiet creepyness. The scariest scene of the episode was when he had taken that young man into his apartment. You could feel his helplessness of not being able to move or scream for help. All he could do is cry.

Another great scene was when Mulder and Scully chased him inside the sewers and he injected Mulder with that paralyzing seed. Some truly spooky directing all the way through.

I'm giving this episode THREE stars. Not great, but still quite spooky.

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4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Deceive, Inveigle, Obfuscate

Author: Sanpaco13 from Sandy, UT, United States
16 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode takes on an interesting theme. It breaks some convention in that it is a Monster of the Week episode but it gets it's own tag-line: "Deceive, inveigle, obfuscate." The line is repeated numerous times throughout the episode but isn't quite explained until the end. The monster is an African albino dude that can hide in small tight spaces, hides a peashooter in his throat, and eats people pituitary glands in order to darken his skin pigmentation. Something like that. Mulder and Scully are called in on the case to investigate a possible disease outbreak based on the disappearance of a number of African American men and then the discovery of one of them turned completely white. I have a little bit of a problem with the way Scully reacts to seeing the photo of the first victim. I mean they've told her that the CDC is involved and that the man is African American. Now I'm sorry but just because his skin pigment turns white and his hair turns blond, it is still pretty obvious that he is African American. But instead of her question upon seeing the photo being, "what happened to his skin?" instead Scully asks, "I thought you said that man was African American?" Am I really supposed to believe that she was fooled by the pale white skin? Even with white skin he doesn't look Caucasian. Anyway. I guess that's enough rant about that part. The rest of the episode to be honest is rather boring. We see the teliko kill a few more times, Mulder and Scully catch him and test him for a disease, he escapes, and then for some reason which I didn't quite catch, Mulder happens to figure that he is hiding in some abandoned warehouse. Something about asbestos? Anyway, here the episode actually gets exciting for a little while as Mulder is paralyzed by the peashooter seed thing and Scully ends up crawling through the air vents after the teliko. I always find this scene to be rather creepy. One reason is the resemblance between the dead body she finds and the teliko. With the reference in your mind that the dead man looks like that, it shocks you all the more when you realize he is alive and coming after you. In the end the teliko gets put on treatment for hormone deficiency and the government denies a bunch of junk or whatever and Scully's final commentary sums it up nicely. "My conviction remains intact that that the mechanism by which Aboah killed and in turn survived, can only be explained by medical science, and that science will eventually discover his place in the broader context of evolution. 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. To obscure the truth not only from others, but from ourselves." Anyway, the idea for the episode was pretty solid but I honestly found the teliko monster to be lame. The only scary thing about him was thinking he was a dead guy in the vents and then being startled because he wasn't. I guess it might be kind of creepy to be awake and paralyzed as he pulled my pituitary gland out through my nose. But I didn't feel the full effect of that fear while watching the episode. I give it a 4 out of 10.

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