‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Fans Are Accusing the Show's Writers of "Assassinating" Alex Karev's Character

Hannah Jeon

From Good Housekeeping

  • Thursday night, Grey's Anatomy aired episode 13 of season 16 entitled “Save the Last Dance for Me."
  • After last month's shocking news that Justin Chambers would be leaving the ABC medical drama, viewers finally got an update on the fate of his character, Dr. Alex Karev.
  • In response to the new storyline, many Grey's fans are angry at how the show seems to be setting up the beloved character's exit from the show.

Brace yourselves, Grey's Anatomy fans: After weeks of wondering what will happen to Dr. Alex Karev following Justin Chambers's exit from the show after 16 seasons, it looks like we finally have some answers — but it's not exactly a heartwarming send-off like we'd hoped.

Since Justin's departure, his character's absence has mainly been addressed in off-screen references and passing mentions that he was in Iowa taking care of his sick mother. But the latest episode, entitled "Save the Last Dance for Me," gave us even more information: Alex is still in Iowa, but is not responding to phone calls from his wife, Jo (Camilla Luddington).

The upsetting update was revealed in a conversation between Jo and Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone)."He says that he's going through something and he needs time, and if I didn't know better, I would think he was getting revenge for when I needed time. But I know he would never do that, so ... I'm sorry. I'm anxious," Jo tells Amelia during the episode.

Wait, so does this mean that Alex is ghosting the love of his life? Needless to say, Grey's fans are definitely not happy with this update on Alex and what it means for his relationship with Jo. Some are even fearing that a divorce between the couple is the way the writers are wrapping up Alex's storyline.

"How are you really going to send Alex off with a bad ending? really #GreysAnatomy? really?" one fan tweeted. "Karev deserves better than becoming the distant husband who will eventually file for divorce," wrote another Twitter user.

Meanwhile, many other fans are enraged at the inconsistencies of this storyline with the character, pointing out that Alex would never suddenly abandon his wife with no explanation. After all, as longtime Grey's fans might remember from the many character exits in the show, Alex himself suffered through a painful divorce after his past love interest and ex-wife, Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), abruptly left him.

"Alex wouldn't just take off. He knows how much that hurts because Izzy [sic] did that to him. He loves Jo too much to just disappear," one fan wrote on Reddit. Many other viewers expressed the same sentiments on Twitter, conveying their frustrations over what they believe is a major step backwards for Alex's character development:

By the sounds of it though, there might be more to Alex's story after all, as showrunner Krista Vernoff revealed in a recent interview with Variety.

“It was a very careful threading of a needle, where we are giving a little bit of information and pain to Jo,” she explained. “We’re, episode by episode, illuminating the story of where Alex is. And it takes us quite a few more episodes to get there and to give the audience clarity.”

Krista also promised that the show's writers have dealt with Alex's character "as carefully as [they] could." Does this mean there's still a chance that Alex can get the happy ending he deserves? We'll have to find out in the next few episodes, but our fingers are definitely crossed.

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