Poor Rick; the threats just don't stop coming, from without or from within. At the same time he's being assaulted by external forces like Negan and his Saviors — not to mention the interminable army of the undead — he's also facing discontent with his own ranks, as we learned in last week's episode of The Walking Dead , "Sing Me A Song." While on a supply run with Father Gabriel, Spencer Monroe decided to spend the car ride complaining about Rick's leadership skills and insisting he could do a better job. So with the Alexandrian set up as a growing threat to Rick, how much longer does he have? Will Spencer die on The Walking Dead ?
If you think the handsome but not-so-bright Monroe is going to be the one to finally bring down the fearsome Rick Grimes… then you haven't been paying attention. (Clearly, neither has Spencer, or he wouldn't be so eager to pit himself against the grizzled and experienced leader.) The only possible outcomes of this situation seem to be that Spencer changes his mind and suddenly accepts Rick — unlikely, considering Spencer's pigheadedness — and that the young man is killed trying to depose the former sheriff. Effectively, Spencer has painted a pretty big target on his own back by daring to challenge the reign of Rick.
(Spoilers for the comics — and possibly the show — ahead!)
You won't be surprised, then, to learn that Spencer Monroe does indeed die in the comics; and from the character's storyline on the page, his demise will probably happen fairly soon — like, in the upcoming midseason finale, perhaps? Those milestone episodes have been known to feature the deaths of a major (or semi-major) character or two to sustain interest over the hiatus, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Spencer buy the farm in Episode 8, "Hearts Still Beating."
So how will it go down? Surprisingly, he won't be killed by Rick during an ill-conceived attempt at assassinating the leader. Rather, he'll probably be killed by the person he least expects… and by the person everyone else most expects: Negan. In the comics, when Negan arrives at Alexandria while Rick is off on a supply run (aka the exact circumstances under which we left off at the end of the last episode), Spencer takes the opportunity to unwisely raise his complaints with the Saviors' head honcho himself, and Negan is none too pleased with the man's cowardice — or his whining:
"Rick Grimes is not someone who works well with others. I'm just warning you. Rick wasn't originally the leader here. It was my father and he was doing a much better job of it. Rick came along, with his group, and really wrecked things for us here. He's... well... he's a maniac. That's the best way to put it. He's gotta be in charge. Otherwise, his ego drives him nuts. I am my father's son. I think I can be the leader he was. I think that's what we need. What you need."
Negan doesn't take kindly to this talk, disgusted that Spencer would wait until Rick was away and then go behind his back to try to talk Negan into doing his dirty work. He tells Spencer that he has no guts… and then proves himself wrong by disemboweling the man with a knife, spilling his literal guts onto the ground.
Of course, just because that's how it went down in the comics doesn't mean that's exactly how Spencer will die on the show. After all, the show has changed a lot about the Monroe family, from gender-swapping the parents to adding a second child. Alexandria leader Douglas Monroe became Deanna, his wife Regina became her husband Reg, and they had another son named Aiden (who you'll remember died when he was impaled on a fence by a grenade explosion and subsequently devoured by walkers). But Reg died exactly like Regina — throat slit by a rampaging Pete — and Deanna died exactly like Douglas — eaten alive when zombies invaded Alexandria — so there's no reason to believe Spencer won't also meet his comic counterpart's fate.
All in all, Spencer's had a good run, surviving for two whole years since he was introduced midway through Season 5. But in a zombie apocalypse, only the strong survive… and it's time for the last remaining Monroe to join his fallen family members.
Images: Gene Page/AMC (2)