The X Files (1993– )
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A small Indian man on a creaky cart with powers of illusion is believed to have the ability to take over people's bodies and kill them by leaping into their anal cavity. Doggett and Scully try to stop his gruesome killing spree.


Tony Wharmby


Chris Carter (created by), John Shiban




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Gillian Anderson ... Dana Scully
Robert Patrick ... John Doggett
Michael Welch ... Trevor
Jordan Warkol ... Quinton (as Jordan Blake Warkol)
Deep Roy ... Beggar Man
Bill Dow ... Chuck Burks
Andy Hubbell Andy Hubbell ... Quinton's Father
Jane Daly ... Mrs. Holt
Christopher Hutson ... Mr. Burrard
Maura Soden ... Trevor's Mother
Calvin Remsberg Calvin Remsberg ... Mr. Potocki
Jacob Franchek Jacob Franchek ... Red-Headed Kid
Mimi Savage Mimi Savage ... Teacher
Winston Story ... Bellboy
Tony Adelman ... Trevor's Father


A small Indian man on a creaky cart with powers of illusion is believed to have the ability to take over people's bodies and kill them by leaping into their anal cavity. Doggett and Scully try to stop his gruesome killing spree.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


12 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 October 2002 (Netherlands) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Welch (Trevor) also played Josh in Malcolm in the Middle: New Neighbors (2001), which aired immediately before this episode on Fox on January 21, 2001. See more »


John Doggett states that one victim's death certificate (the man died in India) was written in Farsi.

Farsi (or Dari in Afghanistan) is a language which is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. There are relatively few speakers in India and it certainly wouldn't be used for government documents such as death certificates. See more »


John Doggett: I try to keep an open mind, but it tends to shut my eyes.
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
See more »

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User Reviews

Where's a butt-plug when you need one?
8 August 2015 | by lnvictaSee all my reviews

Badlaa was the first Doggett-era X-File episode I ever saw, and upon initial viewing I thought it was awful. No questions answered, sloppy writing and a silly premise. However after seeing it in sequential order years later, especially after the previous couple episodes being so dull (Surekill and Salvage), Badlaa was a breath of fresh air. It doesn't spell everything out for the viewer, it has a unique monster-of-the-week (to say the least), and it feels like a genuine X-File because you are just as confused as the agents are - what is the killer's motive? How is he doing what he does? Why is he killing these people?

The episode revolves around a small, legless beggar man with powers of illusion - he uses some form of Indian magic that allows him to hide in plain sight or alter other people's perception. He can disguise himself as anyone and can act as a parasite by entering through the victim's ass and using their body as a flesh suit. If that isn't a creative MO then I don't know what is. The beggar stows himself inside an overweight man on a flight from India to America. Once in the states, he begins killing people seemingly at random, posing as a janitor at a school and spying on certain kids and their fathers. There is no clear motive of the killer which causes tension between Scully and Doggett because Doggett believes the case is a waste of time from the get-go, but Scully is dead-set on finding the connection.

In the end, a boy finally claims to have seen this man which proved Scully was on the right track, but other questions remained unanswered: Why was a random beggar terrorizing these families in the US? What was the pattern? What was the point?

It can be simplified as this: revenge (badlaa). The businessman in the beginning treats the beggar like a subhuman, pitying him and perfunctorily giving him spare change. Then the beggar goes on to kill seemingly anyone in his path, using a janitor's body to get himself access to a school's-worth of victims. This man had presumably never seen America, and growing up with such terrible luck and literally making a living begging for his life, he is angry at these people for having what he doesn't - freedom. Maybe there was a clear motive the writers had in mind, but from what I gathered the beggar man wasn't choosing victims so much as he was trying to live their lives. He wanted what felt like a normal life, and he did so in the only way he knew how - by killing the hosts from the inside out and experiencing the American dream first-hand. He had no remorse, like the businessman had none for him as a beggar. No one knew this man's suffering so he brought it to them - these people were simply unfortunate enough to be in his path.

Perhaps I looked too much into this episode, but there's something primal and terrifyingly human about Badlaa that I can't quite put my finger on. It leaves so much to the imagination but provides you with the canvas from which interpretations can be made. The screeching of the beggar's crawl is undoubtedly creepy, and his MO is downright horrifying. Badlaa can be dismissed as a silly X-Files episode or appreciated as a metaphor for the lower- and upper-class. Regardless of how you see it, Badlaa allows you fill in the blanks for yourself, and as a stand-alone episode, it's one you won't forget.

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