Justin Chambers, who has played Dr. Alex Karev on Grey’s Anatomy literally as long as the show has existed, has announced in a truly heartfelt and heartbreaking way that he is leaving the show.
I cannot even cope with this news right now.
Justin, I mean Alex, I mean Justin, released a statement to Deadline that reads, “There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years. For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time.
“As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.”
While it’s absolutely fair that 15 years is a long time to be on one show, and 50 is a lot of years to live, and five kids is definitely a lot of kids to have … BUT HOW WILL THE REST OF US GO ON WITHOUT ALEX KAREV? (Also, I’m sure his wife is amazing, but I couldn’t find a way to work her into that sentence.)
In addition to the general mourning period that will inevitably follow this news, I have Very Important Questions!
1. What the heck will Jo do?
Let’s recap real fast: In the most recent season, Alex’s wife, Dr. Jo Wilson, has experienced a bit of a mental breakdown as the result of some terrible news she learned about her biological father, who is a super creep. Also, she just decided to adopt a baby who was abandoned at a fire station. Alex has been the most supportive husband and would probably love this baby … so what the heck is going to happen to this whole plot line now? Why did Jo come back to Alex for him to leave?
2. ARE THEY GOING TO KILL HIM?
Show creator Shonda Rhimes loves to write off her characters by murdering them in cold blood, as she has demonstrated time and time again. We can only hope that Dr. Karev will be allowed to float into the sunset, somehow, someway, just like Cristina Yang did. But if he does, then …
3. Is Jo going to leave also?
Camilla Luddington, aka Jo Wilson/Jo Karev, hasn’t said anything about her status on the show. Is she leaving also? Are Jo and Alex moving? Maybe to take care of his mom? But why wouldn’t they move her to Seattle? OMG is this why they brought his mom into the show in the first place?
4. Who will be Meredith's BFF now?
While Meredith Grey has two amazing sisters in Amelia and Maggie, Alex has been her ride-or-die for the whole series, especially after Cristina Yang left. If Alex leaves, where will Meredith be? What about her kids? Won’t they miss him? How can this be happening? What is even going on?
5. Who could ever fill his shoes?
Dr. Karev has also been working at a rival hospital, Pac North. He’s actually running the whole hospital and seems very invested in turning it around. So what happens with all of that? Will Pac North be thrown to the wolves? Will Dr. Weber step up to replace him?
6. Will this happen in the finale or before?
Whenever a character announces they’re leaving halfway through a season of Grey’s, I get really jumpy. You never know if Shonda is going to give us the rest of the year with someone we love or just have them walk out of our lives forever one episode in.
Seeing that Justin’s statement indicates he is on great terms with the whole team, I’m hopeful that we’ll get more than a few episodes out of him. Please, Shonda, please.