The reason Alex Karev left Grey’s Anatomy played out on Thursday night. But that doesn’t mean that anyone got closure out of it.
For weeks, fans have been trying to figure out what happened to the character of Dr. Alex Karev. One episode he was there and then he was just gone.
Actor Justin Chambers decided that he was done starring on the show, and midway through Season 16, he let everyone know that he wasn’t coming back.
During the winter premiere, ABC viewers learned that Karev was back in Iowa visiting his mother — at least that’s what Jo (played by Camilla Luddington) told everyone.
But there was more to the story.
The writers and producers then left viewers hanging for a long time. Like… a really long time. Then, finally, on March 5, during an episode called “Leave a Light On,” viewers got some answers.
Why did Alex Karev leave Grey’s Anatomy?
On Thursday night, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Jo, Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), and Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) received letters from the missing doctor.
In those letters, Alex let everyone know that he wasn’t coming back. Instead, he was going to go live with Izzie, and that was where he would spend the rest of his life.
Izzie (Katherine Heigl) hasn’t been on Grey’s Anatomy since Season 6, but Alex had since married Jo and was enjoying his life as a married man. At least that’s how viewers felt.
Below are some social media hot takes that Grey’s Anatomy fans had on Thursday night. They weren’t pleased.
no fucking way did alex just leave jo for izzie fucking stevens??? the same izzie that we haven’t seen for 10 seasons??? i refuse to believe he’d do the same to jo what izzie did to him. this is literally sickening. #GreysAnatomy pic.twitter.com/uopMohxGd7
— ?????༄ (@holyfaulkner) March 6, 2020
alex and april ditching character development by getting back together with their exes after serving soulmatery storylines for years #GreysAnatomy pic.twitter.com/JeZTk45eiB
— heartv ♡ (@heartmel_wood) March 6, 2020
Are you serious? Who decided that this was a good ending for Alex? I’m done. I’m hurt. #GreysAnatomy pic.twitter.com/VZOqGctJlU
— v (@vanessacooksonn) March 6, 2020
I’m going to forget I ever saw this episode and just tell myself that Alex died. #GreysAnatomy pic.twitter.com/UeJdX769lD
— Christalyn S (@Christalyn13) March 6, 2020
Grey’s Anatomy hurts the fans
This was a really bad way for the writers to deal with the sudden departure of actor Justin Chambers.
Maybe, somewhere, in a room where the writers had gathered, someone thought it was a great idea for Alex to reunite with Izzie, who had been the true love of his life.
At the same time, the entire character arc of Dr. Alex Karev had been one of redemption, with Alex overcoming his past to become the best possible version of himself.
Almost 16 years of character development was thrown out the window in an hour to provide a reason for why Alex was never going to appear on the show again.
All of that was made worse by Alex never actually telling the reasons he was leaving to Jo’s face.
A letter was the coward’s way out of this situation for the character of Alex and not something that fans ever thought that he would do.
Here is some more of that anger from fans:
Listen, I know Grey’s Anatomy is a black hole that I can’t escape, but I’m so mad at how Alex was written off
— Emily ? (@Emmy_Sue17) March 6, 2020
alex leaving jo fo i*zie is no doubt The worst thing that grey's anatomy has ever done…. what the fuck. im so mad
— hana⁷ (@kthstyls) March 6, 2020
Grey's anatomy just ruined 16 seasons of character development, alex karev would NEVER leave his home, his wife, his person and everyone else. And for izzie fucking stevens?!? What a joke. After everything that happened… I'M SO FUCKING MAD #GreysAnatomy16
— changes (@drewstrust) March 6, 2020
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 9/8c on ABC.