Quaking aspens, (Populus tremuloides,) propagate primarily by coming up from the roots, forming clone colonies. Each tree that comes up will be genetically the same as the others, and all trees that are connected by the same root system are considered one organism. The largest one is named Pando, and he is thought to be the largest living organism in the world, with a weight of about 6 million kilograms.

Dear cophineaphile,

Thanks everso for posting your latest chapter of The Colony.  I was getting so desperate for some period-piece Nevada ranch lesbian action that I re-watched Desert Hearts, and I still haven’t gotten over being creeped out by Patricia Charbonneau since the first time I saw it, many years ago.

Your pal (who hopes another chapter comes out soon,)


The Wine Files Days 39-42

This round up of X-Files episodes is brought to you by water. Why no wine? Because I went to an industry tasting on Sunday that featured wine from over 100 wineries and then went out to dinner with friends where we drank more wine and ate too much, so I’ve promised my body I’d be kind to it for the next few days. Because self-care is important.

Let’s look at the episodes I watched while my body started to recover from the weekend.

The Episodes                                                                                                                

S2 Ep15 Fresh Bones

S2 Ep16 Colony

S2 Ep17 End Game

S2 Ep18 Fearful Symmetry

 Fresh Bones features voodoo magic in one of the Carolinas that brings the Agents to a immigration detention center where the Haitians who are kept there just want to go home but instead they are treated horribly by an out of control, culture appropriating, whack-job of a general (or whatever his title was) who is seeking revenge…or something. IDK what he was really after but he was using some dark magic because he was a power hungry moron and also a man started climbing out of Scully’s hand, so.

Colony is the first of a two episode arch that ends with End Game. These are mythology episodes and we meet Mulder’s ‘sister’ who has returned from wherever the fuck she’s been for 22 years. Only *spoiler alert* she’s not really his sister. She’s part of an alien clone colony that is slowly being killed off by an alien bounty hunter and I spent most of these episodes thinking this happened later in the series BUT CLEARLY I’M WRONG.

If you want to cry about animals watch Fearful Symmetry. If you don’t want to get pissed off about how unfairly animals are treating and then wonder why you don’t always feel the same way about humans, don’t watch Fearful Symmetry.

Tune in next when I’ll definitely be way more tipsy (word grammar check is telling me the correct phrasing is ‘tipsier’…fuck that) while writing and we will probably meet up with some other weirdos on this wonderful journey called the X-Files.

X-Files 216: “Colony” AKA CLONE CLUB

There’s like a Terminator vibe, don’t you think? (Courtesy of X-Files Poster Project)

SYNOPSIS: Mulder and Scully stumble into a massive set of sleeper cell Russian scientists, all clones (and alien/human hybrids), being murdered by a Russian assassin who can change forms.

THE TRUTH: Russians cloned a guy, trained them into a bunch of sleeper cell scientists. They are alien/human hybrids, with the strength, acid blood. And they can only be killed by a metal dagger to a spot on their neck. And there’s an assassin here to kill them – and he can change form! And Samantha is back! And she is one of the clone’s adopted daughter’s! And I think she said she was abducted more than once! And there are babies being grown in plastic bags! And Mulder’s dad seems a hell of a lot like CSM! And Scully woke up at 11:21 again! And there’s a Star Wars reference! AND #!*% IS GOING DOWN!

FIRST APPEARANCE OF: Shape shifters! Talking too loud on cell phones! Fox’s family! ADULT SAMANTHA! A story credit for Duchovny! Pointy pop out neck knives! 



This episode was like the first act of a movie – visually interesting, gripping, great opening, constant twists and action, the main characters in danger, crazy ass twists – as if Fox’s family wasn’t enough, we get the return of his sister? WHAT? There’s even the start of a really satisfying Mulder/Scully fight.

Plus both the beginning and the ending are these huge cliffhangers. Seriously, this one never lets up.


Used so well here. Part of that is it takes most of the episode for Mulder and Scully to get up to speed on what’s going on. But also, it’s like a physical embodiment of all the anxiety they already legitimately  have about who they can trust. Now, they literally cannot trust anyone.


CSM Dad who speaks weird Mulder is just a moment in this episode and yet it gives so much to play with it later.

And then there’s Samantha. In that one scene where she explains what happened to her, I went from not believing her, to completely believing her (adoption and memory loss – totally bought that), to wondering if she wasn’t lying after all with her there’s a conspiracy, I need your help ending. I don’t remember the show so I have no idea who this person really is. I bet she isn’t really Samantha because I feel like Mulder has to actually find her, that’s his quest, this ‘her showing up’ business is too easy. But even so, the set up here is so well played I really really don’t know. Bravo writers and actors. Bravo.


Seriously, what more do you want, a free sandwich to try and eat between the gasps and “OH NO HE DIDN’T”s?  How can you chew when your mind is full?

Okay, if you wanted to quibble, you might criticize the Okley Dokley Ed Flanders of a knob who works at the motel and can’t remember to give a message like three seconds after he’s received it. That’s just ridiculous. 

But front to back, I’d say it’s the best episode ever, so far.


It’s not really about sleeper cell Russians, but that is a big part of the premise, and it’s a completely original and super cool version of that idea. Who needs “The Americans”, if you really want to mess with the US, sneak in doctors who can completely devastate our medical system. Wow is that a scary concept.  Brilliant.

FAVORITE LINE: Scully: “Whatever happened to trust no one?”  Mulder: “Oh I changed it to trust everyone, didn’t I tell you?”

(Close second: Mulder’s weird pissed off boyfriend “STOP SCREENING ME” rant on Scully’s machine – after which of course he does not pick up his own damn phone when she calls back. Because that is what crazy weird pissed off boyfriends do.)

I WANT TO BELIEVE: that Scully really does screen Mulder’s calls – how much crazy can a girl take in a given day? And that Samantha is really Samantha.


She seems so sweet. GOD BE PLEASE BE SAMANTHA!