Background and early life
Mel was originally a member of the Fireflies in Salt Lake City, Utah, and trained as a medic under Dr. Jerry Anderson, a brilliant surgeon who was considered by his colleagues to be the only person capable of manufacturing a vaccine against the Cordyceps brain infection. During her time with the Fireflies, Mel and Abby had already become close friends, as evidenced by her thanking Abby for recommending that her father teach Mel more complicated medical procedures. The surgeon's death by Joel Miller's hands in April 2034 destroyed any hope the group had of curing the Cordyceps infection and ultimately was one of the leading factors in the Fireflies' disbanding.
Mel ended up in a group of ex-Fireflies with Jerry's daughter Abby Anderson, along with Owen Moore, Manny Alvarez, Nora Harris, Jordan, Nick and Leah in search of a new place to call home. They eventually reached Seattle, Washington, and were taken in by the Washington Liberation Front, dubbed by the WLF's leader Isaac Dixon as the "Salt Lake Crew". Mel was made a medic in the WLF's military, and eventually formed a romantic relationship with Owen and became pregnant with his child.
Mel was at the mansion when Abby brought Joel and his brother Tommy back to the fortified location where they had set up camp. She watched as Abby viciously beat Joel to death, and was one of several who argued that they should kill Ellie, as well, to tie up loose ends. Owen, however, talked them down, making the point that they would be no better than Joel if they did so.
Ironically, while she considered Joel to deserve worse than what he got, Mel was horrified by the cruelty that she witnessed and regretted taking part in the act, as well as being disturbed by what Abby was capable of. She and the rest of the group returned to Seattle without further complications. However, Mel distanced herself from Abby afterward, and Owen became quiet and withdrawn, eventually deciding that he wanted nothing more to do with the WLF or their war against the Seraphites.
Mel was assigned with Abby and Manny to head out to the forward operating base (FOB) past the stadium, cleared for duty despite being in the late stages of pregnancy. While feelings were strained between the two following Jackson, they exchanged pleasantries for a bit. Mel confessed that she felt Owen had been avoiding her recently, and asked if he'd said anything about it to Abby. Before Abby could answer, however, their truck was attacked by a Seraphite hunting party, sending them crashing into an abandoned home improvement store.
Forced to fight their way past the infected and the Seraphites, they were cornered at a gas station but were rescued by a patrol of Wolves who killed the remaining assailants and took them to the FOB. Having been shot in the shoulder during the skirmish, Mel was taken to the medical facilities to be stitched up. There, she met up with Nora. Later, Mel was harshly interrogated by Isaac on Owen's whereabouts following Danny's death and Abby's disappearance, though she did not reveal anything.
Mel later met up with Abby at the aquarium, where Abby asked her to treat Yara's broken arm. Mel determined that Yara's arm was beyond saving, and sent Abby out with Lev to get supplies to amputate it safely. Following their return, Mel surgically amputated Yara's broken limb and stitched up the wound, saving Yara's life.
The next day, she told Abby that she planned to leave with Owen and the others for Santa Barbara, California, provided that Abby didn't come with them, believing that Abby's actions were merely an attempt to regain Owen's favor and interfere with her relationship. When Lev ran away, Mel questioned Abby's motives, but Abby insisted that she was trying to do the right thing and convinced Owen to stay with Mel and finish repairs on their sailboat.
While they were gone, Ellie broke into the aquarium and killed Alice, their guard dog, and snuck up on Mel and Owen arguing over whether or not to pursue Abby to the Seraphites' island. As Mel began to leave, the couple were caught off-guard by Ellie. Holding them at gunpoint, she ordered Mel to point to Abby's location on a map, despite Owen's pleas for her not to as he believed Ellie would kill them once she had what she wanted. Though Mel initially agreed, she was slow to act, causing Ellie to become angry and point the gun at her. Owen leapt at Ellie to grab the gun, but she shot him in the chest. Mel drew her knife and attempted to kill Ellie, but was overpowered and stabbed in the neck. Ellie approached Owen, who explained with his dying breath that Mel was pregnant. Ellie was horrified to discover that the woman she had just killed was far along with a child. Tommy and Jesse arrived and took the shaken Ellie away from the aquarium.
Abby and Lev found Mel and Owen's bodies when they returned to the aquarium. Deeply horrified by their deaths, Abby broke down, but Lev found and gave her the map that Ellie had used in her failed interrogation, which also marked where their base was. The two left to avenge their fallen friends.
Personality and traits
Mel was a strong-headed but caring individual, showing that she was as capable as any other WLF member. She often put her medical expertise to use to help others, especially her friends. However, her independent nature and stubbornness were dangerous to her well-being. She endangered herself and her unborn child by traveling alone to the aquarium, through areas of the city not controlled by the WLF.
Mel's approach to violence was strictly needs-based, displayed in how she would only kill in self-defense, like when Ellie attacked her and Owen. She only considered killing others in circumstances she feared would later threaten her safety, revealed in how she agreed that leaving Tommy and Ellie alive was too great a risk. She was opposed to torture, being the only member of the group visibly perturbed by Abby's brutality and the only member to admit regret taking part in Joel's murder (despite believing his brutal death was more than justified).
Mel was among the more compassionate members of Abby's group, evident in how she had a sense of pity for her enemies, especially children.