Since we're all sharing, I have something I wanna add. I had a son. His name was Jacob and he died when he was six years old. A few of you already knows this. I've mostly kept to myself because I couldn't deal with talking about it or, you know, people feelings sorry for me. But I know now that I need to move through all this. And ya'll are like my family. I can't hide anymore.
Dennis is the oldest tenant at The Coterie with a mild case of arrested development, and an aspiring musician. He has lived at The Coterie for two years and is considered to be a familiar loner by the other residents. He worked to overcome his painful past without the help of his fellow Coterie members, which eventually put his mental health in jeopardy.
Dennis once had a successful corporate job and was happily married, living in a large house with his wife, Jennifer. They eventually had a son, whom they named Jacob. Dennis was always working or away on business, which soon led him to stray in his marriage and have an affair. Dennis was also a somewhat absentee figure in Jacob's life due to his work.
Jacob was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Dennis and Jennifer tried everything to help their son, but Jacob passed away at the age of six after battling with cancer for many years.
After his son's death, Dennis was unable to cope with the traumatic loss and spiraled into depression. His marriage eventually fell apart, especially after Dennis came clean to Jennifer about his affair. Jennifer divorced him soon after, and Dennis decided to quit his job and focus on music.
He moved into The Coterie soon after, where Dennis struck up a reputation of being a semi-creepy older man with dreams of becoming a rockstar. With each day that passed by, Dennis' reputation as a closed-off loner became true, and he was well-known for the cycle of women he brought through The Coterie doors.
Dennis has an athletic yet slim build, with a defined body. He has long blonde hair that is often swept back, and trimmed facial hair. He dresses in relaxed, loose, multi-colored clothing.
In Broken Arted, At the end of the night, a frantic Jennifer arrived at The Coterie searching for Dennis. She played a cryptic voicemail on Jennifer's phone that Davia recognizes as a goodbye message. She pieces together the night that he spent time with everyone, and realizes it was his way of saying goodbye to those he cares about. In the message, he talks about he wanted to die instead of his son.
In Vitamin C, Davia spent the next several days looking for Dennis, who was still missing. She checked every hospital and prison within a radius of The Coterie but came up empty-handed. Dennis later called her and informed her that he admitted himself to a mental institution for psychiatric care.
In Capoeira, Dennis and Davia have sex then plan to have their first official date later that day. That afternoon, Gael shows Davia the mural he made over Jacob’s mural, though he feels conflicted if he did the right thing as now he can’t reach Dennis. She tells him not to worry but when she gets back to her apartment she calls Dennis worriedly, though he doesn't answer. That night, Davia gets a call from Dennis who is in Malibu Canyon to get away from the mural and his negative feelings. He promises that he isn’t going to hurt himself but also can’t come back to The Coterie until he finds a way through his grief. He can’t be the man for Davia until he can do that. She understands but makes him promise not to disappear and to keep in contact with her. He promises and they say I love you before she closes her computer.
In Because, Men, Davia and Dennis facetime as she wants to check-in on him. He‘s doing okay and spending time in nature to regroup. She misses him and he returns the sentiment. Despite her feelings for him, she was hurt and angry at him for leaving the way he did.
In New Moon, Davia asks Dennis if he wants her to wait for him. He doesn't think it's fair for him to ask that of her, even though their relationship is something he wants, and he does love her. He just doesn’t know how long it will take to feel whole again or if he ever will be.
In Driver's Seat, Davia goes on her first date since her phone call with Dennis, though the pair continue to text with him sharing photographs of his nature walks with her. After her date, she scrolls through his messages before video chatting with him. He remarks he was just thinking of her and she comments on his guitar being there. He admits he’s playing a new song. She tells him to play it and it’s a beautiful love song that she begins to sing with him. Dennis remembers standing and looking out at the water. Davia stands on the balcony. He steps into the ocean. That night, Alice reveals that Dennis's loft might be opening up as he doesn't know if he wants to renew his lease.
In She's Back, Dennis returns to The Coterie and finds Davia drinking the kitchen. He realized he’s been an idiot and didn’t need to leave the best thing in his life to find some light, when she is his light. Matt appears in the kitchen wearing Davia’s bathrobe. She introduces Dennis to Matt.
In Knocked Down, Davia storms into The Coterie and into Dennis’s room, angry enough to hit him. She flashes back to him meeting Matt and her telling Dennis she has company. In the present, she yells at Dennis for calling her his light but not wanting her to wait for him. He explains that what he wants and needs is here with her. He doesn’t have to say anything but he’ll be here when she figures it out. He promises not to leave. She does have work and storms out.
Gael lays on Dennis’s bed as they talk about the baby as he doesn’t know one way or the other if he’s the father. Dennis offers to loan him the money for the paternity test. Gael refuses as he feels bad for her as she’s alone. Dennis assures Gael that he’s there for him and Isabella has Gael. Gael worries about how to support the child, but Dennis knows he’ll figure it out. Gael asks if it’s too much for him to talk about. Dennis apologizes for freaking out and calls the wall portrait beautiful. Gael asks about Davia but Dennis knows she’s pissed off for a good reason. Gael tells him to give her time as she does love him.
Davia lays in bed as she replays seeing Dennis at the hospital, him taking photos of her, the flour in his old house, and comforting one another. She thinks about their times and moments. The first time he said he loved her. Singing together. She tells Dennis that she was hurt when he left and can’t deny that she loves him and feels ready alongside him. He apologizes for hurting her and that being away made him realize that he needs and wants her. He doesn’t want to be apart from her again. They kiss happily. She then realizes she has to talk with Matt. Dennis thinks it might be awkward at first since they work together. She is surprised to know that Dennis knew they worked together. He admits that Gael told him when he called to check in on her. Davia finds that interesting as he only came back because she’s dating someone new. He realized he didn’t want to lose her. He doesn’t want to keep her waiting as he wants to be ready to be with her. She asks if he is or if this is just a knee-jerk reaction. She can’t trust that he knows what he’s capable of. If he’s ready and ready to stop running from his grief, or her, or happiness, then he has to prove it. She doesn’t know how he’ll prove it. But she won’t wait while he figures it out.
In Shame, Gael gathers the Coterie group to tell them Isabella is back. Earlier, he told Isabella that she didn’t do anything wrong and that if they tell people the truth they’ll be understanding. He’s okay with telling them and so is she. In the present, Gael tells everyone that Isabella is staying in his loft because she’s pregnant. He imagines what everyone will say so he lies that she’s just looking for a job until she can get on her feet. He will stay with Dennis and pay the roommate fees. He asks them to refrain from the usual gossip and treat Isabella nicely. When he’s gone, Kelly remarks that this will be hard for the tea spillers. Mariana asks Callie if she knew already and she does. Davia isn’t okay with it and learns that Dennis already knew. She tells Dennis that she and Gael have gotten close and she thinks Isabella is using him. They bicker with Dennis telling her that if Gael wanted her opinion he would ask. Davis snaps that she knows what it’s like to carry someone else’s emotional baggage and it doesn’t end well. She abruptly leaves.
Davia and Dennis cross in the kitchen as Kelly joins them. Davia remarks about the word “retreat” has two different meanings - sanctuary and running away. Kelly asks why Dennis is back, to which he remarks that he missed people. Kelly wants his loft but he doesn’t plan to leave anytime soon. Davia tells Kelly not to worry - Dennis tends to change his mind often.
That night, Davia apologizes to Dennis for being bitchy and judgy. She wants to have compassion for Dennis without losing herself, but she’s not sure how to do that. She knows he’s hurting but she’s hurting too. It hurt when he left and she couldn’t talk to anyone because she couldn’t hear about his son’s death. They both live there and she doesn’t want to be mad anymore, so she forgives him for leaving. Just because she doesn’t trust that he knows himself right now, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still care about him because she does. She permits him to talk now. He thanks her for saying everything. He hasn’t been nice either and apologizes for his part. He knows it will take time for her to trust him, but he’s going to prove he’s ready to prove he can be with her. She doesn’t want him to feel like he has something to prove.
Gael calls a second Coterie meeting with Isabella present. He tells them that Isabella pregnant with his child. She’s going to stay as long as she needs to. The group is quiet for a moment before everyone assures him that they’re supportive of them. Callie assures Isabella that she is always welcomed here. Malika is thrilled to have a Coterie baby. Kelly offers to babysit but everyone brings up the raccoon incident. Gael apologizes to Davia for earlier. Dennis emotionally shares that he had a son who died at the age of six. He’s kept it to himself because he couldn’t talk about it or handle it. He needs to move through it and everyone here is his family and he can’t hide anymore. They assure him they’ve got him. Kelly apologizes for what she said about his loft. She then stands offering a hug. Malika is touched as she never does that. Dennis chuckles and stands up, hugging Kelly. It isn’t long before it turns into a group Coterie hug. Mariana invites Isabella into the hug.
In Closing Arguments, Dennis tells Davia that he has all his certificates for The Toast Truck as it’s all about the things you can make from toast. She remarks that he had her at bread. He rather emotionally admits that while he was at the hospital he visited the children’s ward for the first time since Jacob’s death. He had to go because he wanted to face the memories and be okay. He saw the parents eating crappy food out of vending machines and remembered starving when Jacob was admitted so many times. He’s decided to park the truck outside of the hospital once a week and bring the meals up to parents of sick kids to bring them comfort. Davia thinks it’s amazing. He knows grief makes people pull back and isolate when he really needs to reach out to others. She’s proud of him and how far he’s come. He tells her that she’s a big part of the reason why he could do it and why he’s still here.
The groups perform their intended skits for the crowds while Davia watches Dennis laugh. She envisions herself singing on the stage as she remembers her moments with Dennis. Him coming to her in the night, spooning him, singing together, comforting one another, and then her moments with Mat. From their first meeting to dancing in the kitchen. She remembers fighting with Dennis over him wanting to be left alone and her refusal. She remembers kissing Matt in the kitchen, holding his hand after she revealed her disorder, seeing Dennis in the kitchen when he came back, and playing footsie with Matt under the table. Now, she smiles surely. After the showcase, Davia visits Dennis as she’s come to a decision and knows what she wants.
Jacob Cooper - Jacob was Dennis' only child who died from a rare form of cancer.
Jennifer Cooper - Jennifer and Dennis were married for several years. They had one child together, a son named Jacob. They were happy, even though Dennis was away on business and working a lot. She explained their relationship as, "distant". She called him a "bad husband and father". Jacob was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and after a long battle, Jacob passed away. It was after his death that Jennifer and Dennis' marriage truly began to crumble. Dennis lost his job and spiraled. They separated and Dennis moved into The Coterie while their divorce was being finalized. After it was finalized, Dennis initially didn't want any of the money from their shared assets, despite her mild insistence. When he decided he did want half of the money, she told him to talk to her lawyer. During his depressive spiral, he reached out to her and left a lengthy message on her machine apologizing for his past behavior. Despite their rocky past, Jennifer was worried about him and went to The Coterie in the hopes of finding him. When she didn't, she was consumed with worry for his safety. After Dennis was discharged from the hospital her let her know he was safe but has minimal contact with her now.
Davia Moss -Dennis and Davia are residents at The Coterie. Their relationship was initially rocky, with Davia often making snarky remarks about his sex life and life in general. After being forced to get to know one another, they became friends. After Dennis's hospitalization, their friendship advanced to a different level. Davia's concern and appreciation for Dennis have increased, with Dennis now able to see past the walls Davia puts up to protect herself. They also support one another through the obstacles life throws at them.
So I moved in here where everyone is too young to have a kid and too self-involved to ask what my story is. Look, I know I'm not going to be a rockstar, I just need something that can fill me up. - Dennis to Stef Foster
Dennis: You wanna know what I told him after I hit him? I told him that you're trying to move on. I told him that you're trying to learn how to love yourself, respect yourself. Believe that you're worthy of love, fully and exclusively, Davia. Because you are! I told him that if he can't be that person if he can't give you everything that you need then he should leave. Which he did. Davia: What do you know about love and self-respect? You hate yourself, Dennis. How about, I start treating myself with respect when you do? - Dennis and Davia in "Re-Birthday"
Dennis (to Jeff): No, just be good to her. [to Davia] Be good to yourself. - "Broken Arted"
Notes and Trivia
He believes that cell phones are an addiction, just like drugs, alcohol, and sex.
Dennis teaches an improv class in the lounge of The Coterie.
Dennis was once married, but he and Jennifer divorced after their son, Jacob's death.
He has lived at The Coterie for two years before anyone knew his story or what he did for a living.
Dennis sings a duet with Davia in "Imposter", which is also the first time he sings in the series.
He is good at baking, which is seen when he helps Mariana bake coconut squares.
He knew all of Davia's "drivia" questions.
At the end of "Broken Arted", Dennis leaves a cryptic voicemail on Jennifer's phone that Davia recognizes as a goodbye message. In the message, he talks about wanting to die.
It's eventually revealed in "Vitamin C" that while Dennis thought about dying, he ultimately chose to check himself in at a psychiatric hospital for treatment after thinking about how hard Jacob fought when diagnosed with cancer.
Dennis built a mural in his room of Jacob, which he later allowed Gael to tear down and turn into a computer saver.