Mel Porter is a woman from Chicago, who owns a bar called the Watchfire - which she inherited from her Grandmother along with its waitress, Jess - an outgoing British girl living in Chicago. When Mel first meets Cole/Daggon, she chooses to help him despite having her doubts. After later been saved by him when the Vardian called Zin tries to murder her (learning who Cole is and what he is trying to accomplish) - she decides to aid him in his capture of the fugitives who have escaped from SAR TOP to Earth, mainly by helping him first adapt to life on Earth as well as helping him more directly in his pursuit of the escaped criminals.
During the course of the series, Mel discovers that her Grandmother had contact with the Cirronians (Cole's species) some time back as well as discovering that she herself is a human/cirronian hybrid. She is portrayed in the series by Amy Price-Francis.
Not a lot is revealed about Mel to begin with. Information about her mother or father is only briefly mentioned within the show, although a reference outside the show states how her father lost his life in a boating accident. After the death of her Grandmother, Mel inherited a former police bar known as 'The Watchfire' - along with a woman called Jess; a British girl from London in the U.K and was working at the Watchfire as a waitress prior to the death of Mel's Grandmother. As the series progressed, Mel began to learn more about her family's past - including how her Grandmother was a party girl during her day after finding and reading her old diary. She also had a cousin called Sal.
Information is also revealed about Mel's personal life. During her school years (from which she also attended Sunday School), she claims she spent most of her time "skipping class and annoying her teachers", as well as that she once took her father's car despite not having a license (something she told Jess about later). She had a boyfriend called Rod Archer, but whom disappeared after his business partner was killed by the gangster Marco Silvestri. Despite early claims in an investigation in the disappearance that Rod was dead, Mel refused to believe it and constantly held onto the belief that he was alive. Within the two years that passed after Rod vanished, Mel met up with a detective called Victor Bruno. The pair had an on-and-off relationship, due to Mel not feeling ready for a new love as she was still getting over Rod's disappearance. Victor was constantly doing favors for her, hoping to rekindle their relationship - even helping look for Rod. Despite their relationship not been rekindled, the pair remained friends. It's assumed she had other relationships, as she mentioned one with Cole when she first met him and - during one time when she was talking in her sleep - she mentioned about a man called Bobby.
Personality-wise, Mel was quite sentimental and had a love for art in its various forms. She also seemed to have a mixed personality; been cautious and avoiding certain situations but at the same time been brave and assertive, such as when standing up for something she believed in or when helping Cole. Her bravery aided her many times, due to her confronting several of the alien criminals. She was also persistent and knew when to stand her ground. Such an occasion outside of helping Cole was when she was working a shift for Jess, before forcibly dealing with an obnoxious customer who grabbed her ass.
Arrival of an Otherworldly StrangerEditOn the day of the prisoners escaping from SAR TOP, Mel's car had broken down and left her stranded on Highway 88, outside of Owensville. Not far from her, Daggon came down in his energy form and - after searching briefly - took on the form of an underwear model from a billboard image. Mel initially hid from Daggon in her car due to the fact he was walking down the road with nothing but underwear on, but after Daggon used his powers to repair her car (unseen by Mel as the hood was up), Mel decided to give him a ride.
Inside her car, she tried talking to him - both to try and learn about him as to why he was walking down the road with no clothes on, as well as talking about her own life - mentioning how he looked like the 'Cole' underwear model after driving past another billboard with the picture on - but found he had a very limited understanding of English (only repeating what he heard) and compared him to Rain Man. Due to him only wearing briefs, Mel has to give him some clothes to wear - although her problems increased when Daggon unintentionally stole a candy bar from a store they stopped at. Furthermore, she is left confused when Daggon gets out and wanders off - deciding to leave him and head back to the Watchfire. Not long after she arrives back at the Watchfire, Daggon also arrives - now calling himself Cole after been asked by a police detective (revealed to be Mel's ex-boyfriend Victor Bruno) to leave the scene of a murder (which had been caused by a fugitive he was tracking). Giving him something to eat, Cole briefly reveals to Mel about Rhee - an escaped prisoner and the one Cole needed to catch - by using his limited English and pointing at the screen to a news report on a murder. However, Mel is left confused by this and later has problems when Cole begins to wander around the bar in his underwear. Faced with no choice, Mel decides to give him some clothes that belonged to an ex-boyfriend. Using his powers, Cole convinces Mel to let him stay over for a night - giving him the spare room.
Mel's confusion continues when she sees a bright light coming from the spare room, but is left clueless as to what it is due to Cole not understanding her - admitting to Jess she feels she made a mistake picking him up. Jess reveals that there was a murder on Highway 88 the same day as Mel found Cole, but is convinced that Cole isn't a murderer. Confiding in Victor, Mel tries to talk to him - but sees Cole watching nearby (who promptly disappears). Confronting Cole, Mel begins to think he is a government agent working undercover - which Cole agrees to before asking for her help when he detects Rhee through the computer he is using. Pursuing Rhee, the pair managed to catch up - although the engine of Mel's car overheated.
As Cole and Rhee began to fight, Mel fled to a passing car and managed to convince the driver to help her - unbeknown to both her and Cole that the driver was in fact Zin in his human form. Zin promptly took Mel hostage. After Cole succeeded in defeating Rhee and taking her life force, he proceeded to return to the wormhole. However, he encountered Zin after feeling the life-forces of other escapees - learning that it was him who allowed Rhee to escape and also that 218 other prisoners have escaped to Earth. Zin threatens to kill Mel if Cole doesn't leave, revealing his other-worldly origins to Mel during his conversation with Cole. Cole starts to turn away, but then turns back - only for Zin to use his own energy manipulation power on him - blasting him back before them using his power to kill Mel and dump her out the car before driving off. Injured, Cole tends to Mel and manages to re-energize her life force after a few attempts - bringing her back to life. Carrying her away due to her still been weak, Cole tells Mel about the other escapees and how he needs to find and capture them all. Mel - having gained a new-found respect for Cole due to him saving her and realizing he cares for her - agrees to help him. She starts by letting him use the spare room as his 'base of operations' as he begins his hunts for the other fugitives, as well as keeping his secret of been an alien from Jess.
Adapting to the ChangesEditThroughout the series after meeting Cole/Daggon and been saved by him, Mel assisted him any way she could. Due to Cole having little knowledge of Earth's customs or language, she became both his teacher and mentor as well as his partner. Aside from teaching him the English language, she also taught him how to read, perform odd jobs, make drinks at the bar, dance and even how to drive - despite Cole not having a license. Needless to say, her job was not easy (especially as Cole would take some of her technological items - such as her iron, etc. - in order to assist in his hunting of the prisoners) but her persistence paid off as Cole adapted to life on Earth. At the same time, Mel learned more about Cole and his world such as how Cirronians 'mate' and how Cirron's sunsets looked - as well as learning that he had a wife and daughter who were both murdered by Rhee. However, sometimes when Cole tried to explain something to her, she would cut him off either due to not understanding or because there were more important matters to focus on.
She also bought him a cellphone so she could keep in touch with him on his hunting for the escapees as well as assisting him - such as during his escape from a government facility with Krace when she deleted all the facility's files on both of them or during his pursuit of Raahm - one of a pair of Orsians - where she controlled the telepathic messages sent to Raahm from his brother Saahm (whom Cole had already captured). On these occasions, Cole had told her what to do and often set up what was necessary beforehand. At times, Mel would help with simply investigating - such as when the pair pretended to be police officers using badges from the Watchfire, so as to investigate the disappearance of Jordan Baylor. Other times, it included helping Cole get into different places - such as helping him get inside an evening event at the Chicago Art Museum so Cole could catch Zareth or helping him break into the government facility where he and Krace escaped from so Cole could try and find out what Zin and Remel were planning.
On other occasions would become more directly involved. Such occasions included Cole's hunt for the Nodulian prisoner Tevv (where she used herself as 'bait') and later gained a sample of Tevv's blood during his fight with Cole, his hunt for the Enixian prisoner Kaiden (from which she helped Cole obtain photos of the Enixian bouncer so Cole could mimic his appearance) and his hunt for the Valix Sisters (where she pretended to be Cole's wife). Other times, Mel would be unintentionally caught up in Cole's hunts, which would be much more life-endangering. Such times included nearly getting killed by the Desserian prisoners Yahir and Suudor on separate occasions - only for Cole to save her.
Throughout her time with Cole, Mel showed concern for what he was doing or getting himself into - due to the nature of the job he was doing. She could also become frustrated or angry by Cole's well meaning acts of kindness, such as when he changed his appearance to look like Mel's missing husband Rod Archer - although she forgave him quickly before he helped her find out what had happened to Rod using his new form. Another time was when Cole helped a homeless girl called Tina, who had run away from home and was living on the street due to family issues. When she rang Mel's number to give information regarding Jordan Baylor, Cole invited her over as she had no place to live - to Mel's annoyance although she understood Cole's well-meaningfulness towards his actions (following the loss of his own daughter).
Throughout her time with Cole, Mel was fighting an attraction to Cole, while Cole was also fighting an attraction to Mel. The extent of Mel's caring for Cole came when Cole intended to infiltrate the Chicago Mafia to try and find out more of Zin's plans, only for Mel to openly refuse to help him after what happened with her ex-husband, Rod Archer. She later did help him, however, after realizing his determination. During their hunt for the Valix sisters, Cole did openly admit to Mel that he was glad that it was her who found him when he first arrived on Earth - stating his belief that no other human could have made a better partner than her. Mel also had moments where Cole would intentionally or unintentionally compliment her;
- Mel: You're amazing.
- Cole: And so are you ... Let's go home.
- Mel: Home is up there.
- Cole: Home is wherever you are.
Jess picked up on her feelings for Cole and would occasionally bring it up, although Mel would deny it each time and continue pushing the facade that Cole was a government agent who was working undercover (although the agency he apparently worked for kept changing). Detective Victor Bruno - Mel's ex-boyfriend - also realized the feelings that Mel had for Cole. Although he truthfully claimed to be worried about her when he brought up the subject of Cole living with her - to the point of believing Cole was a murderer when he was framed for the murder of Adam Curtis - his judgement was mostly caused by his jealously due to the brief relationship he and Mel had in the past. He later admitted this to Mel but claimed it wasn't the whole reason. Mel, however, would brush off Victor's accusations and claim Cole was both safe and working legally. When Cole did tell Victor about him being an alien from the planet Cirron, Victor questioned Mel on whether Cole was an escapee from a mental institution - due to not believing his story (which Cole appeared to find humorous later).
- Cole: You know, Mel, it's interesting how telling the truth here is often the least effective way of being believed.
Another issue Mel had to deal with was a Desserian criminal called Nestov - who had openly asked Cole for help after he was nearly killed. After Cole helped him, Cole allowed Nestov to live - to work undercover as a mole in Zin's operations. Nestov would cause issues for Mel both at that time and in the months that followed as she did not trust him - as well as been annoyed when he attempted to hit on her or by his attitude and way of doing things. As time went on, Mel did come to accept Nestov due to his overall good-meaning attitude and relentlessness - although she and Cole both did still have issues with him from time-to-time. Such issues included him trying to make money any way he could.
Mel: (Hears Jess calling of her) I better go - we don't need Jess asking questions.
Nestov: I can go see what she needs.
Mel: And I can make sure you never walk right again with one kick. (Walks off)
Nestov:...Then, I'll guess she'll go.
Cole: I don't think Mel likes you very much.
When Mel wasn't helping Cole with his work, she was dealing with other issues, such as helping Jess when her Visa was due to run out. When Jess left and returned to London after her ex-boyfriend Ewan got back in touch, Mel began to try and find a new bartender. However, she struggled at first as Cole (who she taught to make drinks) could not keep to a certain schedule due to his own work. The first bartender she chose was a woman who called herself 'Bunny' (due to her mother been a former playboy who still had contacts at the mansion), who used lap-dancing to entertain the guests - until Mel was forced to pay a police officer the money she made on the night to cover citation fines. The second bartender was a woman called Laura - who proved to be very clumsy, flaky, not very punctual and accident prone.
Discovery of her HeritageEditAs Mel dug into her past one night after Jess found a box of her Grandmother's items, she found her Grandmother's old diary - with the pair of them learning about how her Grandmother had a bit of a 'wild' reputation and also used to run a speakeasy. Furthermore, Jess reveals she used to play Truth or Dare with Mel's grandmother and that she had a liking for Tequilas. However, they find a unique entry on 25th August;
Circle of stones, Keepers of Light,
Miles below, where day becomes night.
Darkness descends, from skies up above,
Faith in the key protects those we love.
As well as this, Mel and Jess find a strange metal Triangle with black markings on it. Although Jess dismisses it as a Christmas decoration or just another item that Mel's Grandmother hoarded, Mel remains curious of it and intends to show it to Cole - but is distracted and forgets about it for the time being.
After Cole captured the life-force of Sidney Berkin, he found the triangle in Sidney's hand (which he had stolen earlier that night). When Mel told him that the triangle was with her Grandmother's belongings, Cole explains to her that the triangle is a Vardian artifact due to the ancient symbols on it. When Cole begins to translate it, Mel shows him the entry from her Grandmother's diary - which contains a partial translation. When Mel asked about how her Grandmother was able to translate it, Cole theorizes that her Grandmother possibly had encounters with Cirronians during her life. Although Mel believes it to be crazy, Cole explains that there are a lot of mysteries on Earth that aren't explained - such as the Egyptian pyramids, the Easter Island statues and Stonehenge to name a few. Cole then proceeds to begin translation - which is slow and difficult due to the Vardian text on the triangle been ancient. Learning more from the information he gathers on Zin's actions, Cole and Mel learn he is after something that is hidden below the Watchfire and that he needs 'the key' to access whatever it is.
Sometime later, after Cole and Nestov steal a weapon that is supposed to work on Cirronians, Nestov seemingly betrays Cole by shooting him with it - leaving Cole powerless and more-or-less human. After tying Cole up, Nestov then ties Mel up before staying in the bar to await Zin's arrival. Cole and Mel manage to break free - but with Cole in a weakened state as a result of losing his Cirronian abilities, Mel goes to see what Nestov is doing. Cole gives her the Collector just in case Nestov notices her, as although she can't use it due to been human, Cole hopes Nestov doesn't know that and as such may prove an advantage. Peeking from behind a door, Mel watches in horror as Zin enters the bar with his men - while Nestov gives Zin several items including the gun, the ark (the device Sidney Berkin was using) and the key.
Returning to Cole, Mel openly voices her stresses about all that is happening - only for Cole to notice that the Collector is glowing in Mel's hand. This leaves Mel confused as the Collector only works with Cirronian energies. When Cole brushes aside her initial belief that his device malfunctioned, Cole explains to her - as he stated some time back - that explorers from the Migar System have been visiting Earth for centuries and were likely responsible for mysteries such as the pyramids and Stonehenge among others. However, Cole also explains that many thousands of years ago, the Cirronians journeyed to a 'distant planet' in order to create bloodlines - people who would eventually become the keepers of a dark secret - with Cole realizing the planet was Earth and that the Cirronians who journeyed there interbred with humanity; both Mel and Cole realizing she is part Cirronian because of this. Cole furthers this by reminding Mel of both her Grandmother's diary and the Vardian artifact, as well as the day Mel picked him up by the side of the road.
Hatching an idea to get his powers back, Cole teaches Mel how to use her latent Cirronian abilities to reactivate his energies. Although Mel is initially reluctant due to not understanding how to use her powers, Cole guides her through the process. It proves successful as Mel is able to reactivate Cole's powers and make him as strong as before. Before confronting Zin's thugs, Cole teaches Mel how to use the Collector.
As Zin enters the hidden chamber under the Watchfire to retrieve the Strada Brac - a universal annihilation weapon that he has been searching for in the hope of gaining control over the Migar System - Cole manages to take down two of the thugs. When the third threatens him at gunpoint to throw him the Collector, Cole throws it over the fugitive's head to Mel - who surprises the criminal (and Nestov) when she extracts his life force. When Nestov panics and tries to run, Cole stops him but also stops Mel from taking Nestov's life force. She later helped Cole as he prepared to head down a transporter that had been set up in the bar to reach the Strada Brac's location - before watching as Cole entered to do battle with Zin. Cole later emerged victorious from the fight and - together with Mel - hid the weapon in a different location.
In the weeks that follow, Mel notices Cole seeming very distracted following his defeat of Zin. When she later talks to him about it, he reveals how he has found a way to locate and capture all the remaining fugitives at once, but must do it quickly and before a wormhole back to Migar (that Cole has activated after monitoring Earth's energy patterns) closes up. However, the process is been delayed due to a 'contaminated life force' that Cole must identify. When Mel worried about if the process would take their life-forces as well (due to Cole been Cirronian and herself been part Cirronian), Cole reassured her that he could alter the process to avoid their location.
Mel helped him try to identify the life force, suggesting various criminals that Cole had captured. However, none of the suggestions were correct. To make matters worse, Cole was knocked back due to a strong electrical shock and hit his head on the wall - causing him to lose his memory. Mel, immediately put on edge because of this, managed to eventually help him recover his memories (although Cole did remember some at first that Mel would rather forget).
- Cole: I remember something about this...
- Mel: Do you? That's good! ... That's very, very good!
- Cole: I got out of the bathtub without any clothes on...
- Mel: You had to remember that one!
Returning to the computer and correcting the earlier issue, Cole and Mel continued with the search. Eventually, they were able to discover that the Orsian known as Jager was the 'contaminated' life force as only he (and not his brother Hague) had been caught - thus causing an energy in-balance. Managing to correct it and finalize the process with Mel's help, Cole is able to capture all the fugitives successfully - his mission completed. Realizing now that Cole will be leaving for good, Mel (with notable sadness in her body language) accepted that he would be leaving. Although Cole offered her to come through the wormhole with him and live on Cirron due to her been a hybrid, Mel politely declined as she stated she would miss Earth too much - with the possibility of her going to visit also been out of the question as Cole would have to figure out a way to re-open the wormhole. Bidding farewell to each other, Cole left to head for the wormhole.
When Mel returned home later that evening, however, she is surprised to find Cole back at her house repairing a speaker. When asking him about why he didn't return home, Cole replies that he did but started thinking about his future - saying that with his family gone, simply returning to a job as a prison guard on the SAR TOP prison moon wasn't what he wanted to do. Thinking of Mel (and thanks to a slight miscalculation regarding how long the wormhole would stay open), Cole decided to return to Earth - seeing it as his new home. When asked about what he will do on Earth now there's no-one left to catch, Cole says about opening an electrical repair shop (since his power to manipulate energy and his technical knowledge would allow him to be an expert repairman). Mel agrees it would be a perfect job for him, as well as revealing she has a gift for Cole - giving him a telescope so he can see the Migar system if he ever feels homesick (with Cole pointing out where his system is). Unseen by both Cole and Mel, however, the alien life forces begin to re-appear across the USA.
Tracker (TV Series)