How Grey’s Anatomy dealt with the departure of Alex Karev is not sitting well with a lot of fans.
Viewers who had learned that actor Justin Chambers left the show — he played Dr. Alex Karev — were looking for answers when they tuned in for the winter premiere on Thursday night. But those answers didn’t come.
Would the writers have Karev die in the bar crossover with Station 19? Could he be written out of the show similar to what happened when they killed off T.R. Knight’s character of Dr. George O’Malley? Nope. At least not yet.
During Grey’s Anatomy Season 16, Episode 10, the absence of Alex Karev was briefly addressed by his wife, Jo, who stated that he was in Iowa visiting his mother.
Viewers who had tuned in hoping for a proper send-off, sadness at learning Karev had died, or at least a small semblance of closure was left wanting. Then, many of them took to social media.
Okay, Grey’s Anatomy & Shonda… what we NOT bout to do is pretend like Alex Karev’s character just disappeared into thin air and nobody noticed or cares?! I was prepared for a broken heart & crying myself to sleep over him tonight.. ??????
— Deanna Lauren? (@DeannaLauren2) January 24, 2020
Very upset to be watching Grey’s Anatomy and for Alex Karev to not be gracing the screen #GreysxStation19
— Addie Schmitz (@addiefs) January 24, 2020
omfg i just genuinely cannot comphrend that alex karev is not getting a send off on grey’s like in the grand scheme of things he’s probably the best character to come out of that show and the most well liked and he’s just. never gonna show up again i’m wheezing
— mindy (@jinsoulmina) January 24, 2020
Ok, I have a really big problem with @GreysABC. You mean to tell me Karev just goes to Iowa to be with his mother and that’s the end? I’ve been watching this show since 3/27/05. I deserve better. He deserves better. All Grey’s fans deserve better!! #GreysAnatomy @7JustinChambers
— Ashley Regina (@SmashleyDubs) January 24, 2020
Other Grey’s Anatomy fans were upset with actor Justin Chambers, believing that he should have stuck around a bit longer to give fans of Dr. Alex Karev better closure.
Wait when I read that Justin Chambers was leaving Greys, I thought they meant after the second half of the current season
We’re never going to get to see Alex Karev again and that’s so fucked up
Like you couldn’t stick it out for a couple more episodes ?? #GreysAnatomy16
— Briana Plantyn (@brianaplantz) January 24, 2020
Then there were those fans who are just sad. That sadness isn’t going to go away, either, as they can’t just look forward to the next new episode to see more of Dr. Alex Karev. He’s just gone.
Grey’s Anatomy without Alex Karev is just too depressing ?
— amanda maitreme (@AmandaMaitreme) January 24, 2020
I r e f u s e to watch greys anatomy right now, I am so upset over Alex karev I'm literally tearing up
— torree (@tvrree) January 24, 2020
Wait… what if Karev doesn’t comeback from visiting his mom and that’s how he leave Greys… I will not like that scenario. I need more episodes with him to look at him longer ??
— Ashleigh Price (@ashwash_412) January 24, 2020
Justin Chambers had been with the show since the first episode and was one of only four characters that made it to Season 16. When the news broke that he had already filmed his final scenes for the show, at least fans had some hope that it would get addressed right away.
There is also a lot of time left in Season 16, so the writers can circle back and address what just happened. The character still deserves some closure, and they can’t just leave Jo (played by Camilla Luddington) twisting in the wind with a storyline that Alex is only hanging out with his mom in Iowa.
With how it has been handled so far, though, is there any way to rescue this facet of the Grey’s Anatomy cast? Hopefully, the writers spent some time working out something that will become a welcome surprise later this winter.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 9/8c on ABC.