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I'm still a work in progress, but I'm grateful that I'm not turning 40 as the man I was. I'm glad to be turning 40 as the man I am here today in the coterie with all of you. Despite the occasional blowup.


Dennis Cooper[2] is a major character in the Freeform series, Good Trouble. He is portrayed by Josh Pence.

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. With the support of his best friend-turned-girlfriend Davia, Dennis worked through his grief and faced his problems head on. While his mental health stabilized, his relationship with Davia fell apart, leading him to pursue a career as a Toast Truck owner and a new life for himself.

Biography

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 and spent years in and out of hospitals with chemotherapy treatments. 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.

Personality

Physical Appearance

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.

Throughout Series

Season 1

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.

Season 2

Season 3

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 Making a Metamour,

In Picks and Strikes,

In Lunar New Year.

In Opening Statements,

In Anticipation,

In Blindside,

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.

Season 4

In "Turn and Face the Strange", Isabella comes downstairs to a frustrated Dennis. Neither of them are into journaling, though she's keeping a pregnancy journal for the baby. The baby is the size of a lemon now. He is having a soft opening for his food truck, which she's invited to, and he's coming up with the food costs. She offers to help as she has restaurant experience. She helps him reduce waste for his menu.

On opening night, Dennis serves food from his food truck when Davia arrives. Flashing back to The Coterie, Davia is happy that Dennis is ready to live again. It also made her realize that he doesn't need her anymore - which was the foundation of their relationship. She wanted to save him but he saved himself. She wants to be wanted, not needed. She loves him so much and will always support him, and he returns the sentiment. She goes to leave when he pulls her in for a hug. Now, Davia arrives at the food truck opening. She asks if he's okay and he is.

Isabella is leaving for the night when Gael stops her. She was offered a job by Dennis and he's thrilled as she gets to stay. He remarks that it does take a village, and she admits she's lucky to be a part of this one. Gael, now alone, thanks Dennis for hiring Isabella. Dennis remarks that Isabella is good and saved his ass. Gael asks about Davia and Dennis admits she was right about needing to get himself together, but once he does, he'll see what's meant to be.

In "Kiss Me and Smile For Me", Dennis and Isabella arrive in The Coterie kitchen, with Stef greeting Dennis happily with a hug. Callie introduces Isabella to the moms, as they explain she's moved back in and is pregnant. Stef thinks Dennis is the father, but they correct that an arriving Gael is the father. Gael greets the moms as Callie asks where they want to go to dinner. They propose a kids friendly pizza place, but Stef wants to have a grown-up dinner. Isabella offers to watch Ka'amaya as she used to have princess parties. Lena isn't thrilled with leaving Ka'maya, though Stef interjects that Lena leaves her all the time when she goes to Sacramento. Lena counters that it's different as she leaves her with Stef, who wanted to have a grown-up conversation tonight. Dennis was going to cook dinner and Davia hears as she enters. Davia is thrilled to see the moms and so is Malika. Malika greets Ka'maya happily and they all agree to attend dinner. Callie will text Jude that they're staying in.

Dennis and Isabella laugh as they cook, but Gael watches from the counter. Davia and Dennis have an awkward interaction in the counter as he tells he that she can invite Matt but she claims he already had plans.

After dinner, Mariana turns the dinner into an impromptu going away party for Callie, who is heading to D.C. to work for the ACLU. Joaquin asks Dennis if the parties are all the time, but Dennis admit things have mellowed. The Coterie crew does another shot together. In private, Dennis tells Callie that he told Stef about Jacob before anyone else knew, and he somehow knew he could trust her. It's an amazing thing to have a family you can trust. He tells her to carry that wherever she goes because that's how he knows she'll be okay. She becomes emotional as they hug.

GT 403 Promo6.jpg

In "Meet the New Boss", Dennis sees Davia with her box and she begins to cry. He takes the box and asks what happened. She can’t talk about it with Dennis. She ultimately does, as they sit together as she confides about her insecurities about not being enough. She feels shame over herself and her body now that the video is her reason for being fired. He brings up singing with her as she out-heckles a heckler. She needs to learn to defend herself and see this as an opportunity to pause, reassess what she wants, and see what else is out there. She asks why he’s being nice and he’s just being her friend as she said. He asks why she was reluctant to talk to him, and he realizes it’s because she thinks she still needs to take care of him. He has her close her eyes and picture what she can do instead. He asks what the outrageous exuberant, “I am Davia Moss” thing she can imagine. She opens her eyes, finally picturing that thing,

In "It's Lonely Out in Space", Dennis and Isabella serve customers until Craig from the Fat Boys truck asks Isabella to move her truck out of his spot. Dennis reminds him that it's first come first serve. Craig asks if the Toast Truck has access to a bathroom with their Chili toast on the menu. Dennis realizes what the man is doing, and Craig simply states that he doesn't write the health codes. Dennis and Isabella are forced to close up for the day. Isabella wants to get more social media engagement with TikTok, but Dennis believes that word of mouth will work.

Dennis and Isabella serve their customers happily. In the studio, Yuri drunkenly unloads on Gael and coerces him into having some wine. Before Gael can drink it, Isabella arrives with a Toast Truck customer who needs to use the bathroom. Yuri compliments Isabella and shakes her hand. While the patron uses the bathroom, Isabella explains they are getting their steps in and were in the neighborhood. Yuri remarks that she has a pregnancy glow, which is similar to what his ex-wife had. Dennis arrives with another patron who needs to use the bathroom too, even though it's occupied by Isabella's friend. Dennis sneaks out to get back to work, with Isabella trying to cover that the whole group are friends.

Dennis tallies up that they are $10 in the black, but she reminds him about her idea, which he brushes off again. Isabella spots Gael and hurries to him. She returns to the truck with plans to call a coche for the OBGYN appointment, now that Gael can't come. She's emotional over the appointment as she's been nervous ever since the scare earlier in the pregnancy. Dennis offers to take her, and she appreciates the offer, calling him her angel.

Gael is making Ramen when Isabella and Dennis arrive laughing. Isabella tells Gael about the food truck that stole their spot that morning. Since they park in the same lot, the pair took spray paint to the side of the truck. They tee-pee the truck and end up getting into a spraying fest with one another. Now, Isabella and Dennis cheers to being petty and karma being a trifling bitch. Gael asks about her checkup which went well. Dennis leaves to make a shopping list for tomorrow.

Dennis tells Isabella about hiring a booker to hold their spot in the morning. Isabella appreciates and enjoys the job, but she can't keep letting him pay her when he's not making a profit or working with her ideas. She doesn't understand why he doesn't want to do everything he can to make the truck a success. He doesn't want to look foolish in front of his former friends who will pity him for being in a food truck after the high life he had before. She looks around for the people from his past but doesn't see them. She remarks they are in the rearview mirror while the Toast Truck is in the future, pointing out the vandalized truck as proof that he's a very silly person.

Isabella records Dennis singing and playing his guitar and promoting the Toast Truck. She cheers for him and even partakes in a portion of it. Dennis asks Isabella how the video is doing and the likes are pouring in with the comments praising him as "#ToastDaddy". He remarks the some of the comments are just weird.

In "So This is What the Truth Feels Like", Isabella stands in the maternity ward looking at the babies when Dennis joins her. She couldn't help but visit the babies, and she asks if the food is ready to bring up to the children's ward. He talks about how perfect Jacob was and how it was the happiest day of his life. They leave to get the food when he sees Jennifer and Nathan leaving the ward with a newborn baby boy. He remembers Jennifer telling him about her pregnancy and impending marriage to Nathan. He flashes back to reading Jacob bedtime stories. Jennifer asks how he is and he congratulates her on the baby. She congratulates him too, mistaking the pregnant Isabella for Dennis's partner. Isabella thanks her. The pair leave and Isabella asks Dennis if that was his ex-wife, and he says it was. She suggests getting the food but he can't do it right now. She understands that he's hurting but he can't turn his back on the parents waiting for food. He offers her double time and she tries desperately to convince him to stay but he leaves emotional.

Dennis goes to a rooftop as he thinks about Jacob and the crippling depression he felt before. Isabella delivers the food to the families and kids who are happy to see it. Dennis remembers telling Davia that grief makes him want to isolate but he needs to reach out to people, like he did before with The Coterie. Isabella encourages everyone to eat and, as she's picking up the coolers, Dennis offers to help her. A parent thanks them for the food as it does mean the world to everyone.

Dennis and Isabella are in The Coterie and she talks to him about his ex with a new baby. He admits that Jen was the only person who knew what they went through and how hard it was to grieve, but now she's moved on. Isabella reminds him that a new baby doesn't mean she isn't still grieving. Dennis just feels more alone now. She blames herself for being in the ward. He tells her about the emergency C-section that Jennifer had with Jacob and how supportive everyone was there. He commends the staff and suggests them if she's considering a hospital birth. He thanks her for being there for him and she assures him she won't tell anyone about Jennifer. They share a hug, unaware the Gael is lurking in the stairwell, watching them.

In "Something Unpredictable, But in the End It's Right",

Relationships

Familial

  • Jacob Cooper - Jacob was Dennis' firstborn son with his wife Jennifer. Jacob died at the age of eight from a rare form of cancer, leaving Dennis devastated. At the time time, Dennis was a working white-collar man in a stressful job. He didn't have time to properly enjoy his marriage or fatherhood, and holds deep regrets over the things he did wrong while raising Jacob. The loss of his son left Dennis with a deep depression that he's only recently begun to recover from. When Dennis thought about dying, he ultimately chose to check himself in at a psychiatric hospital for treatment after thinking 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 screen saver, opting not to stare at his pain but choose when to see his son but always know he's there.

Romantic

  • 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.

1x06 Dennis Davia Singing.gif

  • 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.

Friendly

  • Isabella Tavez - Dennis and Isabella became friends during her pregnancy, and he helped her to the hospital when she feared she was having a miscarriage. His support continued after her scare, and she helped him cut costs for his food truck, later helping him open it. He appreciated it so much that he gave her a job working with him.

Quotes

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.
    • In "Vitamin C", 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 screen saver.

Gallery

Dennis Cooper has a photo gallery.


Appearances

Good Trouble 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Season 1 N/A
Season 2 N/A
Season 3
Season 4 N/A

Navigation

v - e - d
Characters (Good Trouble)
Main Callie Adams FosterMariana Adams FosterMalika WilliamsAlice KwanGael MartinezCurtis WilsonDavia MossDennis CooperJamie Hunter
Major Alex WoodAndre JohnsonAngela MillerBenjaminBryanCasey PierceClaire BadgleyDom WilliamsDyonteElijah AdrieuxEvan SpeckYuri EllwinGina SperoIsaac HallIsabellaJoey RivertonJoseph TurnerJosh MandelaKathleen GaleKellyKendra ZahirLindsay BradyMarcusMattMelina AbdullahNicolette BaptistePatrisse CullorsRachel BoyleRaj PatilRebeccaRubySam HigginsSandra ThompsonSumiTeresaTony Britton
Minor Bonnie MossCary PlackDianaGwen TuckermanJazmin MartinezJeff MaxwellJennifer CooperKate NguyenLibby WilsonMargaret ChoMeera MatteiRafael MartinezRowanTate WilsonTolu EzeTrea KwanYari Clarke


References

  1. As celebrated in "Something Unpredictable, But in the End It's Right"
  2. As seen in "Unfiltered" and directly mentioned in "Truths and Dares"
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