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Denise Cloyd (TV Series)

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This article is about the TV Series character. You may be looking for her Comic Series counterpart, her Road to Survival counterpart, or the producer.
"I asked you to come with me because you're brave like my brother and sometimes you actually make me feel safe and I wanted you here because you're alone, probably for the first time in your life, and because you're stronger than you think you are, which gives me hope that maybe I can be too. I could have gone with Tara, I could have told her I loved her, but I didn't because I was afraid. That's what's stupid, not coming out here, not facing my shit, and it makes me sick that you guys aren't even trying because you're strong and you're smart and you're both really good people, and if you don't wake... up... and face your..."
—Denise's final words to Daryl Dixon and Rosita Espinosa before (and after) being shot by Dwight[src]

Denise Cloyd is a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. She is a resident of the Alexandria Safe-Zone and took over as the town's doctor after Pete Anderson's execution. She formed a romantic relationship with fellow survivor Tara Chambler.

Pre-Apocalypse

Ohio

Denise attended medical school with aspirations to become a surgeon, however because her high levels of anxiety prevented her from handling such a profession, she eventually changed her focus of study to psychiatry. She was originally from Ohio.

She also had a twin brother named Dennis, who was six minutes older than her. She described him as being brave, yet dangerous; it is likely that because of this behavior, this is the reason he died during the early days of the apocalypse.

Post-Apocalypse

Denise was living in the Alexandria Safe-Zone and remained largely to herself, presumably because of her anxiety. She had initially offered her support to Pete, but he turned her down. Denise is a peculiar and unusual woman. She's also very apprehensive and insecure.

Season 6

"JSS"

Denise is first seen studying in the clinic when Tara and Eugene come in looking for aspirin. Denise insists on examining Tara when she complains about a headache. She reveals to them in casual conversation that she went to med school to be a surgeon, but had panic attacks due to the pressure, causing her to switch into psychiatry.

After the Wolves attack, Denise panics as Rosita rushes an injured Holly into the clinic. Tara and Eugene try to encourage her to help Holly as she bleeds out on the table. Denise ultimately agrees to help, but fails anyways. The guilt causes her to lash out at Tara. It is inferred that she stabs Holly in the head to prevent reanimation afterwards.

"Now"

Denise is first seen listening to Rick's speech at the town's gates. She is later found by Tara sulking on the floor of the clinic in frustration over her lack of medical ability. When Tara tries to encourage her, she tells Tara that the patient she's currently treating will most likely die. She confesses to Tara that she wished someone else to could take her spot so that she could just go back to her apartment reading her books. Tara tells her that being afraid is a fear you have to overcome to survive. Denise however, remains unsure.

Denise is later seen witnessing Jessie put down a zombified Betsy and listens to her speech about the new world.

After some more careful reading through her books, Denise manages to find a way to stabilize Scott's infection. Shortly thereafter, she finds Tara sitting on a porch and, much to Tara's surprise, kisses her. Denise confides to Tara, admitting that she's scared for the community; Tara insists that it "isn't the end of the world".

"Heads Up"

Denise is first seen being confronted by Morgan, who doesn't get the chance to tell her why he's there, as he is interrupted by Rick's arrival. The two leave Denise together.

Later, Denise is confronted by Morgan again. Once Morgan is inside, he requests antibiotics and a discussion regarding Scott and her treatment of his injuries occurs. The discussion leads to further probing by Denise, and Morgan finally admits that he isn't the one who needs antibiotics. He tells Denise that the presence of the individual in need of treatment (Owen) is a secret. He leads her to the location of the Wolf, who is confined in the makeshift cell. Carol notices the two leaving and follows them.

"Start to Finish"

Alone with Owen, Denise is sat in the corner as the Wolf tries to talk to her. He asks her a number of questions, to which she does not respond. Denise gets angry at Owen, tearing up, and tells him that the things he has done, such as killing people, are unjustifiable. He replies that he had freed the people he has murdered. It is revealed that Owen knew that she didn't know that Morgan had held him prisoner. He then reveals to her how he received his wound. He vows that he has done his part and that the world will take his role after his death. Denise asks to see the wound, to which he shows her, revealing that it has now become severely infected. Denise takes a closer look from afar. She insists that he can change from his current self. Owen silently watches as Denise reaches into her bag to retrieve an IV.

Later during the day, Denise is hard at work to treat Owen's wound when Carol runs in, knife in hand, and demands that she get away from him. Morgan joins them, blocking Carol from killing the Wolf as Denise steps back and sits in the corner, watching Morgan and Carol fight. Morgan knocks Carol out before Owen does the same to Morgan immediately after. Denise screams out, "No!", after Morgan is knocked unconscious, before Owen turns and points a knife at her.

Denise begs Owen not to kill Carol or Morgan as he unties himself. She says that he thinks they are going to die anyway and therefore he doesn't need to kill them, he can just let them die. The Wolf approaches her with the knife, backing her against the wall. She exclaims that he is "so full of shit", bringing Owen to a chuckle.

Before anything can happen, Tara, Rosita and Eugene, who had unknowingly been hiding in the same building, barge in with their weapons up. Owen grabs Denise by her throat, threatening to slit it. He orders them to lower the guns, to which they do, sliding them across the floor over to him at his command. Acquiring Tara's gun, he approaches the door with Denise, holding the group at gunpoint and telling them to stand back. He then turns the gun to Denise's head and walks out of the door and towards the herd with Denise as his hostage. Tara, Rosita and Eugene watch with resentment as the Wolf closes the door behind the two.

"No Way Out"

Denise is first seen with Owen holding her at gunpoint while hiding from the walkers.

From their hiding spot, the Wolf and Denise watch walkers stream down the street. Owen tells Denise they'll make a run for a lookout tower as soon as a gap opens up in the herd.

Owen spots a gap in the herd and sprints to the tower with Denise. He defends Denise when walkers attack her but his arm gets bitten in the process. Denise urges him to come with her to the infirmary so she can save his life, presumably by amputating the limb.

The two take shelter inside of a house, where Denise ties a belt around the Wolf's arm to amputate it. Denise points out that Owen saved her life, signifying his redemption. Both of them run outside, heading to the infirmary, with Owen pushing through the walkers and creating a gap while Denise follows. Carol witnesses them running from the townhouse balcony and shoots the Wolf in the chest, wounding him. He urges Denise to keeping going to the infirmary, pulling a walker away from her before he gets eaten by the herd.

Denise manages to make it back to the infirmary safely where she is met with Aaron, Spencer, and Heath. She inquires about her patients, who have been moved upstairs, before catching sight of Rick and Michonne running to the infirmary with a severely wounded Carl. Heath begins to question Denise if Carl is bitten. Filled with courage, she assures him he's not and begins asking him, Spencer and Aaron to prepare medical equipment for Carl's recovery.

As Rick and Michonne charge through the door, Denise points them to a gurney and begins inquiring about the circumstances behind Carl's grievous injury, to which Michonne gives the details. Denise immediately starts working on Carl's eye, while Rick, in a daze, leaves the infirmary to kill walkers. Michonne attempts to hurry Denise, but Denise remains patient, reminding her that her priority is helping to ensure that Rick's son makes a full recovery and that he'll be okay. After stitching her last suture, she allows Michonne to leave to help Rick, and Heath, Spencer and Aaron exit shortly after her.

Denise appears at the end of the episode, tending to a wounded Daryl. It is later shown that Denise had managed to stabilize Carl's condition and save his life.

"The Next World"

Two months following the Alexandria invasion, Daryl tracks down Denise to review her list of requested supplies in preparation for a supply run that he is heading to with Rick. Reading through it, he asks why she wants orange soda. Denise explains her plan to surprise Tara, who's leaving with Heath on a two-week supply run.

After Rick and Daryl return with Jesus, who is unconscious, they bring him to Denise, who is with Tara so she can check him out.

"Knots Untie"

Denise is seen helping pack for the group going to the Hilltop. Denise approaches Daryl and offers him an oatcake she had baked. Daryl refuses it, but Denise eventually persuades him to take it. Daryl, skeptical, voices his hopes that the cake tastes better than it looks; Denise laughs, telling him to "just eat it" before leaving.

"Not Tomorrow Yet"

Denise is seen present at the meeting in the church, listening to Rick's speech about the danger of the Saviors. When Rick asks if anyone objects to the idea of attacking the Saviors, Denise remains silent.

Later, when Denise is talking to Tara, Tara tells Denise she loves her and explains that she doesn't have to reply. Denise says she will after Tara returns from her two-week run with Heath. Tara suggests that Denise come along on the mission to the Saviors compound before leaving with her on the run immediately after. Denise expresses her wish to go, but replies that she can't as she's the only doctor Alexandria has. Tara understands and the two kiss.

"Twice as Far"

Denise is first seen on the town lookout, overseeing Eugene and Abraham's departure from the gate. She then finds Daryl and Rosita and discusses with them about a local gift shop/pharmacy she found while driving through the nearby area. They disagree with the plan, but she tells them it's a risk they have to take, and if it really is a pharmacy, there could be drugs inside, which could be used to help Alexandria. They relent, but Denise further insists in accompanying them, noting that she knows her way around and, with her newfound experience with dealing with the undead, can prove to be of assistance. Initially skeptical, Rosita agrees, but only if Daryl comes with them.

They drive-off in a beaten-up truck, and she tries to assist Daryl with driving it. "My brother taught me how to drive," she says, "especially beaten-up trucks like this". Eventually, the trio come across a downed tree and decide to continue to the apothecary on foot. After coming across a set of railroad tracks, Denise initially sides with Rosita's idea of following them to their destination, but decides to stick with Daryl when he rejects the suggestion.

Catching up to Rosita, who continued along the tracks, Denise apologizes for leaving her. They eventually make it to the gift shop and Daryl and Rosita begin to salvage abandoned medical supplies from the locked pharmacy. Waiting outside, Denise pockets a keychain bearing the name "Dennis". The three hear noises coming from one of the back rooms before Denise decides to investigate. In the darkened room, she finds a lone decaying walker laying amongst baby supplies before she makes a hasty retreat after discovering a child's shoe sticking out of a murky and bloodied sink.

Denise is seen waiting outside on the verge of tears, staring at her keychain. Once Daryl and Rosita have collected the needed supplies, the three head off towards home. Daryl and Denise have a talk about the keychain, with Daryl correctly guessing that Dennis was Denise's brother and Denise further explaining that he was her twin. She mentions how her brother was brave, but also angry; Daryl compares him to his own brother.

Following the railroad tracks home, Denise ventures away and inspects a car, finding a walker and a blue cooler inside. She attempts to call this to attention, but Daryl and Rosita brush it off, deciding that the cooler is not worth the risk of retrieving. Believing otherwise, Denise opens the car door and reaches for the cooler, dragging the walker out with it. She prevents the others from assisting her before she dispatches the walker. Rummaging through the cooler, she claims a single can of orange soda from a six-pack as a reward for her efforts.

Daryl and Rosita chastise her for taking an unnecessary risk; Denise counters that she was trying to conquer her fears, and reminds them of their life-risking mission of wiping out the Savior outpost. She goes on to explain her reasons for bringing the two with her on the run - Daryl, because he reminded her of her brother and that she felt safer with him, and Rosita, to help her cope with the feeling of being alone for possibly the first time in her life. As she lectures that they, too, need to face their worries and issues due to them being more than capable of doing so, she is suddenly (and accidentally) struck through the back of the head and through her right eye by a crossbow bolt; it does not kill her right away, but she eventually collapses on the tracks. Her killer, Dwight, then emerges from the trees next to the tracks, alongside several Saviors. After a tense confrontation between the two groups (with the assistance of Abraham and Eugene) which results in the Saviors retreating, Denise's body is carried back to the Safe-Zone and buried by Carol and Daryl.

Death

Killed by

As Denise is giving a speech to Daryl and Rosita about dealing with their own personal issues, Dwight's attempt to kill Daryl results in him misfiring and shooting Denise through her right eye before she can finish her last thoughts. Dwight later reveals that he did not mean to kill her; he claims that he was not exactly aiming at her. It's possible that Dwight never intended to kill Daryl, as he'd previously helped Dwight, his wife, and her sister, and offered sanctuary to him and his wife. His saying that his intention had been to kill Daryl could have been a lie told as a cover story, as he was with other Saviors.

Killed Victims

This list shows the victims Denise has killed:

  • Holly (Before Reanimation)
  • Owen (Indirectly Caused)
  • One Zombie
  • Possibly several unnamed patients (Out of Mercy, Pre and or Post Apocalypse)

Relationships

Tara Chambler

"You're my first patient, and with that symptom, I'm pretty sure I can't kill you."
—Denise to Tara[src]

Tara and Denise have developed a strong relationship. Tara encouraged Denise while she tried to save Holly. When Denise failed, Tara went to see how she was coping. Later on, outside, Denise kissed Tara on the lips, implying she might have feelings for her. It is unknown if Tara feels the same way, however. When Denise is taken hostage by the Alpha Wolf, Tara appears heartbroken as he has the knife to her and is the first one to turn over her gun when he orders them to. When the Alpha Wolf takes Denise outside with him, Tara looks at them devastated as they go outside to the walkers.

Denise survived and after the herd invasion, Denise and Tara began their romantic relationship. Within two months of dating, they became sexual and began sleeping together and living in the infirmary.

Eugene Porter

"Are you? - I'm sorry, I heard that story."
—Denise to Eugene[src]

It seems like they have a stable relationship. Eugene seems to be friendly to Denise in "JSS", and Denise jokes with Eugene about him "being a doctor", having been informed of his lie about knowing a cure, maybe telling they have a stable friendship. When Denise struggles with the idea of operating a surgery on Holly due to her own inexperience and worry that she'll fail but Eugene tries to tell her that being a coward is worse than trying and failing, and this seems to convince Denise to operate on Holly.

Pete Anderson

"Pete didn't want me here."
—Denise to Tara and Eugene regarding her position.[src]

Despite never interacting on screen, Denise mentions Pete didn't want her in the community during his time as the town's medic, indicating a bad relationship. This may have been because they were both doctors, and he saw her as competition.

Morgan Jones

"Swelling?"
—Denise to Morgan whilst he quizzes her on her medical skills[src]

Denise's help was enlisted by Morgan after he finds that the Wolf he has secretly in detainment has an injury. At first, he is hesitant to ask Denise for help, even walking away from her when she asks what is wrong, but later returns and assures her that her medical skills are better than what she gives herself credit for, showing that they have a good relationship. He also shows trust in her when he admits that she has a prisoner from the Wolves attack on Alexandria. Later, Denise appears upset that Morgan has thrown this weight on her to keep it a secret from everyone else in the Alexandria Safe-Zone.

Rosita Espinosa

"And I wanted you here because you're alone, probably for the first time in your life."
—Denise to Rosita moments before her death[src]

It is implied that the two have a stable relationship. After the death of Pete, Rosita now becomes Denise's medical assistant, and helps her when they bring in an injured Holly. When Denise is killed by Dwight, Rosita becomes saddened by her friend's death. After chasing after Daryl several days later, Rosita suggests to let Daryl go and kill the Saviors for what they did to Denise, showing that she did care for her and is still angered over what happened.

Owen

"You turned back for me, maybe it was because you needed a doctor, or maybe you changed."
—Denise to Owen after being bitten[src]

Owen had a strange relationship with Denise. The two first interact when Morgan secretly enlists her help to treat his infected wound. After a massive herd of walkers invade Alexandria, Denise and Owen share conversations over the atrocities that he has committed and appears disgusted, however after some thought she ends up treating his wound and tells him that he is capable of changing. Later on, following the confrontation between Carol and Morgan in which the two are knocked unconscious and Owen frees himself, Denise begs him not to kill them but he walks up to her and holds a knife to her throat, claiming that she represents what he likes about people. After gaining a gun from Tara, Owen holds Denise at gunpoint and exits the building with her as a hostage.

In "No Way Out", as Owen and Denise watch as the herd passes by, Denise goes into a state of shock, and starts to have a panic attack. The Wolf calms her down, and implies that he needs her, and says that he enjoys her company. Denise tells him to go to hell and insults him over the deaths of his entire group, although he just smirks at her comments.

As night falls, Owen plans to escape Alexandria with Denise by his side, and says ''we find a gap, we go up that guard tower, and go''. They then run for the ladder of the tower, but Denise is grabbed by a walker and tries to wrestle it off of her. Owen, instead of escaping, runs over and stabs it, getting bitten on the arm by another walker in the process. Denise insists that if he gets her to the infirmary, she can save his life. Once inside a building, Denise grabs Owen's belt and ties it around his arm, meaning that she intends to remove it. She seems very concerned that he is bit, and says she needs to get him to the infirmary immediately, showing that Denise wants him to live, and believes he is a better person than before. Denise finishes tying his arm up and they prepare to run to the infirmary.

The two push and shove through walkers, but Denise gets grabbed again. He pulls the walker off of her and reaches out for her and yells at her to come on!. Carol then unexpectedly shoots Owen through the chest twice and shouts at Denise to GO!, Denise is very shocked that he got shot and stops. Owen tackles the walkers that were approaching her and tells her to go!. He is then devoured as Denise runs to the infirmary. It is unknown if Denise feels remorse for Owen's death.

Daryl Dixon

"I asked you to come with me because you're brave like my brother and sometimes you actually make me feel safe."
—Denise to Daryl moments before her death[src]

It is implied that the two have a strong friendship. Daryl is seen numerous times, speaking to Denise. While on the scavenging mission to retrieve medicine from a local apothecary, she admits to Daryl during her speech that she recruited him to help because he is brave like her brother and he makes her feel safe. In "Twice as Far" when Denise is killed by Dwight Daryl is shocked and is saddened as he is burying her corpse.

Carol Peletier

"Go! Go!!"
—Carol to Denise after she saves Denise from the herd.

The two first interact when Morgan secretly enlists her help to treat his infected wound. When Denise is captured by Owen, Carol immediately tries to save her. Later, Carol shoots Denise's captor, in-which saving Denise from dying. Carol is then seen digging Denise's grave with Daryl.

Rick Grimes

"Please save him. Please..."
—Rick pleading Denise to have his son, Carl.

The first time the two are seen interacting with each other is when Carl is shot in the eye. Rick pleads Denise to save him, which she manages to accomplish. After when Daryl and Rick capture Jesus, Rick wakes Denise and Tara up in the middle of the night, saying he is sorry for waking them up. He asks for Denise's bed, for Jesus. Denise obliges.

They seem to have a stable relationship, with Rick being forever grateful for her saving his son.


Appearances


Trivia

  • Denise was revealed on July 29, 2015 and was described as "a medic becomes critical in the community of Alexandria after the death of Pete, and in the comic her skills as a surgeon prove pivotal, especially after a ghastly injury incurred by one of the main characters—an injury which may or may not happen on the TV version."[1]
  • The casting call for this character was Allison.
  • Denise is one of two characters in the series to be shot and killed by a shot meant for someone else (Dwight meant to shoot Daryl). Ben was also killed in this manner (he was killed by Merle Dixon in This Sorrowful Life. Merle meant to shoot The Governor, but Ben stepped in front of him).
  • Denise's death (getting shot with an arrow through the back of the head and through her right eye) resembles Abraham's death in the Comics Issue 98. Dwight contributes to both consecutive deaths.
  • Despite her humble introduction, in which Denise only mentioned having attended medical school, a psychiatrist must also complete three years of an in-house residency at a hospital, meaning that Denise had nearly twice as much medical experience as she let on. Given her anxious nature regarding surgery and her line about not wanting people to have high expectations, Denise may have been trying to undersell the extent of her medical knowledge.
  • In "Now," Denise was revealed to be lesbian or bisexual when she kissed Tara. She is the third LGBT female in the show and the fifth openly gay character following Tara, Alisha, Aaron, and Eric.

References

TV Series Characters
Grimes Family RickCarlJudithLori
Sheriff's Department LambertShaneLeon
Jones Family MorganJennyDuane
Atlanta Camp CarolGlennDarylMoralesMirandaLouisElizaAndrea
MerleTheodoreDaleSophiaJacquiAmyEdJim
Nursing Home GuillermoFelipeMiguelAbuelaGilbertJorge
Jenner Family EdwinCandace
Greene Farm MaggieBethHershelPatriciaJimmyAnnetteShawnArnoldLaceyDuncanOtisJosephine
Dave and Tony's Group NateRandallSeanTonyDave
Michonne's Group MichonneAndreMikeTerry
The Prison AxelOscarAndrewTomasBig Tiny
Woodbury JeanetteMcLeodPhilipCaesarShumpertJacobsonOwenErynGregKarenMiltonEricFoster StevensRowanEileenNoahPaulJodyHaleyGloriaPennyWarrenRichardMichaelGargulioCrowleyTim
Military Personnel WilsonBradySeanFranklinWellesCallaway
Prison Newcomers SashaTyreeseBobLizzieMikaBeckyLukeMollyJulioHenryNorisCalebDavidRyanCharlieChloeRichardsPatrickZachAllenBenDonna
Chambler Family TaraLillyMeghanDavid
Martinez's Group MitchAlishaRossPete
Ford Family AbrahamEllenA.J.Becca
Post-Prison Survivors GabrielRositaEugene
The Claimers DanBillyHarleyTonyJoeLenLou
Terminus MartinGregTheresaGarethAlbertMikeMaryAlex
Grady Memorial Hospital StevenAmandaLicariFrancoMcGinleyPercyBelloTanakaAlvaradoNoahDawnO'DonnellBobJeffriesGormanJoanGavinHanson
Alexandria Safe-Zone EricEnidOliviaBobNatalieMikeyJakeTobinSpencerKentBarbaraBruceFrancineHeathScottAnnaAaronDeniseDeannaRonJessieSamDavidBetsyMichaelStacyNicholasTommyWillAnnieSturgessBarnesHollyErinRichardsShellyCarterPeteRegAiden
The Wolves OwenEdwardAphid
Hilltop Colony PaulBertieHarlanFreddieKalEduardoGregoryCrystalAndyWesleyCraigEthan
The Saviors DwightNeganSimonSherryWadeCamRomanMilesJiroNeilPrimoPaulaMichelleMollyDonnieGabeBudT.Tina
Miscellaneous Survivors PaulaEastmanSamChristopherAnaClara
Animals NellyTabithaButtonsDukeFlameViolet
Walkers HannahSummerWayneLouiseDougErinNick
TonyBillJoe Sr.CarlaDellyEddie
Alive characters appear in green. Dead characters appear in red and italics. Unknown characters appear in blue. Undead characters appear in grey and italics.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Denise Cloyd (TV Series)

  • ...Denise...

    30 messages
    • I'm thinking Tara will take Holly's death. it won't be Sasha, and I feel it will have more impact than Holly. 
    • I really expected it. The commotion they were making, along with the evidence that someone was going get the bolt from the comics, as well...
  • Denise Cloyd and wolf theory

    4 messages
    • lol no
    • Or the wolf gets shot by carol instead...hmm I see

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