Director: James Charleston
When a joint FBI/Police task force investigating the deaths of four African-American men in Philadelphia turns up no leads Assistant Director Skinner contacts Agent Scully. He shows her photographs of the latest victim, Scully notes that the man has lost all the pigmentation in his skin. The Centre for Disease Control would like Scully with her medical background to investigate whether the men are the victims of a new pathogen. Scully performs an autopsy on the latest victim which reveals that his pituitary gland has been destroyed.
Mulder however believes there is more to the case than a disease, he contacts Marita Covarrubias in the United Nations who puts him in touch with Minister Diabira from Burkina Faso, West Africa. Diabira covered up a recent similar death on an international flight from Africa to the United States because he knows the identity of the killer. An African mythical figure called a Teliko, a evil spirit of the air, who emerge at night to suck the life and colour out of their victims. Scully's investigation finds no evidence of a pathogen affecting any of the victims.
When a young African American student disappears from a bus stop, they are able to arrest a suspect, Samuel Aboah a recent immigrant from Africa. Hospital tests reveal he does not have a pituitary gland. Mulder theorises that the Teliko are not spirits but members of a lost African Tribe who lack a pituitary gland and have survived over the years by taking what then need from others.
Teliko is also a mythological African 'spirit of the air', sometimes thought to be an albino.
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.
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) Breathe, Agent Pendrell. It's with a dead man. She's doing an autopsy.