Grey’s Update

Maggie O'Connor, Staff Reporter

I have been watching season 16 of “Grey’s Anatomy” every Thursday with lots of things going through my mind. Who’s the father of Amelia’s baby? What’s going on with Teddy and Tom and most importantly, is Alex coming back? 

Well, one of my burning questions was finally answered in episode 16. Alex Karev, one of the remaining four characters that has been on the show since the beginning, will not be returning to “Grey’s Anatomy.” Let me just say, my soul is crushed. If you have not watched the episode “Leave a Light on,” go watch it because this will contain spoilers.

While I have loved Karev from the beginning, not many avid “Grey’s” fans can say the same. His beginnings as a surgical intern at Seattle Grace were rough, as he was depicted being violent and stubborn, earning him the nickname “Evil Spawn.” However, over the 15 seasons that Alex was a part of, his character had matured into a strong, resilient underdog that demonstrated his bad past did not define his future. Dr. Karev’s many love interests began with some short flings, but his first real relationship on the show was with another surgical intern, Izzie Stevens. 

Stevens was a light-hearted, muffin-baking ray of sunshine, also known as the opposite of Karev. However, Karev and Stevens’ relationship blossomed into a marriage (that ended in divorce later on in the show). Stevens’ was also later diagnosed with cancer, and went through many other traumatic events that led her and Karev to their breaking point. While Stevens was being treated for her cancer, she asked Karev if she could freeze fertilized embryos with him so that if she became sterile because of her treatment, she could still have children. Karev reluctantly agreed, and not much more was said about the children, until now. Stevens left the show in season six, with the reason being that Karev would not resume their previous marriage. 

Fast forward to season 16, where Karev and his current wife Jo Wilson are seen as the happy couple who could face anything and everything. Both having been through domestic abuse as children, Karev and Wilson seemed to be the perfect pair. In season 15, Wilson checked into a psychiatric ward for mental therapy, as she could not overcome the trauma of meeting her birth mother that abandoned her at a fire station. When Wilson was released from the ward, her and Karev seemed to be doing better. However, Wilson found records of Karev signing the papers to allow Stevens to use the frozen embryos, and low and behold, she did. That was the big shocker of the episode. Karev left his wife, his job, his friends and Meredith to raise his kids in Kansas with Izzie Stevens.

The fans’ reactions to the end of Karev’s storyline vary, but many of the posts online are negative. One twitter user wrote, “I am gonna pretend Alex Karev is dead and DID NOT abandon his entire family for Izzie Stevens.” There are many similar responses to this one out there on the internet, along with those that support the end of Karev’s story. 

The popular opinion, however, seems to be that Karev’s ending was unjust and did not reflect the character that he became. I feel the same way. While I am upset that Karev’s character arc was completely ruined by this irrational ending, I am more frustrated that Justin Chambers (the actor that plays Karev) did not even make an appearance in the episode. He just jumped ship without any warning, or a goodbye episode of any kind with him in it. It makes no sense to his character, and I think his ending could have been executed better. Nevertheless, seeing a character as significant as Karev leave the show is heartbreaking, and “Grey’s” will never be the same.