Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet seen The Walking Dead's midseason finale.
Just when it seemed like Negan was more about burning faces and holding babies than outright having people murdered, here came The Walking Dead's midseason finale to make sure everyone knows just how effed up this dude is at all times. "Hearts Still Beating" took out not just one of Alexandria's many citizens, but two of them, and audiences had to say goodbye to both Spencer Monroe and Olivia. R.I.P. to one of them.
Impressively enough, these two deaths happened as part of the same overall scene, which is a mirror of the season premiere, which (you might remember) killed off Glenn and Abraham. Like the premiere, half of the scene came directly from the comic books, while the other half was an invention for live-action. Neither Spencer nor Olivia held a narrative candle to the flame of either Glenn or Abraham, obviously, but they were used to further exemplify how strict Negan's rules are.
To be fair, Spencer wasn't explicitly going against spoken protocol by bitching to Negan about Rick, but he perhaps should have taken an unspoken hint to pull it back before taking it way too far. He ranted and raved a little too long, and so instead of appreciating Spencer's sub-warnings and opinions of the Grimes Leadership, Negan decided to slice open his stomach and let his guts fall out with a sickening "SPLAWK." That bit was gloriously right out of the comics, and the splat-tastic gore was almost dwarfed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan's "guts" line. Almost, but not quite.
It sucks that relatively enjoyable characters like Deanna and Reg produced such twits for offspring as Aiden and Spencer. And Spencer dared say that his plan to woo Negan would have been what his mom would have done. I cannot imagine that would have been the case. She didn't even stand against Rick most of the time, much less get all bitchy about him when he wasn't around. That should show anyone else who tries going against Rick (and there will be several others), and I'm glad he got to be the one to kill off Walker Spencer.
Rosita wasn't so impressed with seeing Spencer lose his lunch and then some in such an eternal fashion, as their talk earlier seemingly squashed their recent differences. When Rosita attempted to put a bullet in Negan, she ended up blasting Lucille. To be expected, the evil bastard reacted worse than if he had been the one shot, and he tasks his minion Arat with shooting someone, and that's when Olivia's tortured existence came to an end with a bullet through her face.
Olivia is one of those characters that many fans love, since she was often put in hot mess scenarios. Particularly last week, when she got to slap the big bad right across his face after he "flirted" with her in his creepalicious way. No more of those situations, though, as Olivia has joined Alexandria's choir invisible. It seemed for a brief second like Rosita would have been the one to go, but that last second switcheroo sealed Olivia's fate. Tsk tsk tsk. For what it's worth, Olivia was killed off much later in the comics' storyline.
This should be a somewhat happy medium for Walking Dead viewers who were hungry for bloodshed but not willing to see any of the most familiar characters get killed off. We get to go into the show's winter vacation a lot less desperate for answers than we did after Season 6 bowed out, and without anyone's cranium necessarily on the line. (Fingers crossed for Eugene's chances.)
The Walking Dead is now officially in its dreaded midseason hiatus, so we'll have to wait until next year to see what happens next in the ongoing feud between Rick and Negan on AMC. But there's more than enough TV happening in the meantime, which you can check out with our midseason premiere schedule.