SPOILER ALERT: Following star Justin Chamber’s exit from the show in in January, the fate of Dr. Alex Karev is revealed, so fans who haven’t watched the episode yet can consider themselves warned.
Thursday’s “Grey’s Anatomy” finally resolved the mystery of Alex Karev’s abrupt departure from Grey Sloan Memorial after star Justin Chambers left the show after 16 seasons.
While his sudden exit was previously explained away by characters noting he was going to Iowa to be with his ailing mother, the truth was revealed — and it was a sweet blast from the past.
While Chambers didn’t appear in the episode, Karev did offer a voiceover to explain that he left Seattle — and his apparently soon-to-be-ex wife Jo (Camilla Luddington) — to reunite with his previous spouse, Izzie (Katherine Heigl). Heigl also didn’t appear in the episode, which shouldn’t be surprising given the actress left the show years ago under less than amicable circumstances.
Viewers learned that after Izzie’s departure, she secretly gave birth to Karev’s offspring, twins Eli and Alexis, whom she’s been raising on a farm in Kansas. According to the show, after Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) trial at the beginning of this season, Alex visited Izzie for the first time since she left, and met his children for the first time. He decided that was where he wanted to be.
“It is nearly impossible to say goodbye to Alex Karev,” said “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner Krista Vernoff in a statement.
“That is as true for me and for all of the writers at ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ as it is for the fans. We have loved writing Alex. And we have loved watching Justin Chambers’ nuanced portrayal of him,” she added.
“For 16 seasons, 16 years, we have grown up alongside Alex Karev,” . We have been frustrated by his limitations and we have been inspired by his growth and we have come to love him deeply and to think of him as one of our very best friends. We will miss him terribly. And we will always be grateful for his impact, on our show, on our hearts, on our fans, on the world.”