Grey’s Anatomy season 16: How is Dr Alex Karev going to be written out of Grey’s Anatomy?

The ABC medical drama has been on our screens for 15 years and continues to be a hit with fans. However, the majority of the original cast has left Grey’s Anatomy and last month actor Justin Chambers, who plays Dr Alex Karev in the series, has been added to the list of casualties. So how are the show’s writers handling his exit storyline?

Season 16’s midseason finale ended with a bang as many of those working at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital were injured when a car crashed into Joe’s Bar.

Thankfully nobody was killed but graphic scenes were shown of Dr Blake Simms (played by Devin Way) who had to have his face peeled from his skull so he could be treated for fractured facial bones.

But there was another big shock in store for fans away from the screen.


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Actor Justin Chambers announced he would be leaving Grey’s Anatomy for good to everyone’s surprise.

In a statement, he said: “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.”

The last time fans saw Dr Karev at the hospital was in the episode which aired on November 14.

He had to take a leave of absence so he could take care of his sick mother.

However, it doesn’t look like Dr Karev will return to the series for an official send-off so fans have been wondering what is going to happen, especially since his wife Jo Wilson Karev (Camilla Luddington) is still in the series and works at the hospital.

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How is Dr Alex Karev going to be written out of Grey’s Anatomy?

Talking to Variety, showrunner Krista Vernoff has stated Alex’s departure from the show will be handled with care, especially since Jo had a difficult time last season when she found out she was the product of rape.

Vernoff said: “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.”


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She continued: “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.”

In the latest episode, Jo admits to Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) that Alex has been struggling during his visit home and hasn’t been returning her calls.

But what has happened to Dr Karev and what will be the reason for leaving his wife and job behind?

Grey’s Anatomy continues every Thursday at 9pm on ABC.

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