For Season 16, Episode 13, which aired Thursday, February 13, 2020 on ABC
It’s been a while since Alex Karev disappeared from Grey’s Anatomy leaving fans frustrated. According to Krista Vernoff, no clarity is expected any time soon.
Justin Chambers quit the show without notice whereas his final episode as Dr. Alex Karev aired in November 2019. It’s no surprise that so far fans have not been happy with how Alex’s absence is handled as well as his relationship with his wife Jo.
What we heard in January was that Alex was visiting his mom in the Midwest followed by Jo’s revelation of Alex ghosting her in a later episode ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’, which aired on February 13th.
Could it be his payback to her for pulling away earlier during her emotional crises, which she said she doubted, still a sad thing to be saying, isn’t it? At the end Jo returns to an empty apartment.
Again fans are not happy with the showrunner’s suggested plot twist of Alex ghosting Jo and everyone else because the Season 16 Alex wouldn’t do that, unlike the one of Season 1. Since Alex has matured so much since then, it sends us back to when Izzie left him after Katherine Heigl quit the show.
To put it mildly, Grey’s Anatomy found themselves in a tough situation having to explain Alex’s sudden disappearance. As Krista Vernoff explained, the story will play out eventually but it is going to take some time:
“It was a very careful threading of a needle, where we are giving a little bit of information and pain to Jo. 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.”
Looks like that’s exactly what’s going on from Jo’s storyline. The show wouldn’t want to cause Jo even more pain, let alone write Camilla Luddington out because of Alex.
“Jo went through so much pain and so much grief just last season that I wanted to be careful. And so it’s a bit of a mystery [what’s going on with Alex], so that we don’t watch Jo in the same place that we watched her in last season. We did it as carefully as we could. But it takes a while to get there.”
Fair enough. But what about Alex? We can’t just ignore his 16 years of fame, can we? Still, the show seems to be lacking due respect to the character while trying to explain his absence.
It has all been odd to say the least. Most likely, the Grey’s Anatomy writers had little to no warning about the exit so they deserve sympathy. Imagine them having to write out Alex while keeping Jo and going on with her story, at the same time rewriting for the whole Pac-North.
Alex would never ghost anyone. He hunted down Meredith when she disappeared after Derek died and he called Izzy constantly when she flaked after almost killing that kidney patient. Not buying it. Try again. #GreysAnatomy
— Sunny Face (@Sunnedae) February 14, 2020
Off-screen it gets even stranger. Neither the cast, nor the producers seem to be eager to even touch on the subject, whereas normally the audience and media knows about such things in advance or at least immediately after the happening.
There should be at least some bitterness behind-the-scenes, I guess. Grey’s Anatomy has had similar things happening for quite a while with the first few years being ‘toxic’, according to Ellen Pompeo.
Do you think Alex’s exit could’ve been handled gracefully? We’ll find out in Grey’s Anatomy Season 16, which continues Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.