‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Alex’s Exit Feels Even More Infuriating After a Series Rewatch

When a show runs as long as Grey’s Anatomy has, it’s only natural for characters to come and go. Sometimes fans are ecstatic to see them leave, but other characters leave a hole in the hearts of fans. Alex Karev was that character on Grey’s Anatomy.

Many fans are still angry about the way he left, and were hurt that Izzy was the reason he walked away. He had a lot of growth over the seasons, and felt like he made a terrible decision. Fans have taken to Reddit to express their annoyance over the whole situation.

Alex Karev was a bad boy

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Every show has the antagonist who drives everyone crazy, and Karev fit that role perfectly when he first came on the show. He made it clear that he had absolutely no respect for women, and thought they didn’t belong in medicine. 

That quickly changed. Even though Karev still butted heads with many of his fellow interns, he really began to bond with a young woman who had amnesia. Karev won fan hearts as he dedicated a lot of time and attention to caring for the young woman who would soon choose the name Ava. 

When the relationship ended, Karev didn’t revert to his bad boy ways. Instead, he began a relationship with Izzie Stevens that once more saw him becoming the caretaker in the relationship. When she was diagnosed with cancer, Karev really stepped up to take care of her, but that didn’t stop her from leaving.

After she left, Karev bounced from relationship to relationship before he finally married Jo Wilson. The pair didn’t have a lot of chemistry, but it was the first stable relationship that Karev was in, and fans appreciated the fact that it felt like he finally had someone he could rely on.

Izzie Stevens had her own rocky relationships

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Not much was known about Stevens when she first came on the show until Karev discovered she paid for her student loans by modeling. He mocked her mercilessly, and openly implied that anyone as pretty as Stevens shouldn’t be a doctor. She took the hazing well, and proved she had what it took to make a great doctor.

Like Karev, Stevens also got too close to some of her patients. When Denny Duquette flirted with her, Izzie quickly fell for him. He never took her out on a date when he got out of the hospital, but when he was readmitted, Duquette asked her to marry him. Izzie accepted, and things were looking up for the pair.

Duquette needed a new heart, however, and Stevens cut his LVAD wire so he would qualify for a heart transplant. It ended in tragedy, and Duquette died.

While it looked like Stevens would be fired, her friends fought for her position, and she continued to work after a brief hiatus. She even opened a free medical clinic. Her romantic relationships continued to be a source of drama, however.

After sleeping with George O’Malley, she insisted he tell his wife Callie, and led to the end of their relationship. Once he left Callie, Stevens realized she wasn’t in love with him after all, and the relationship fell apart.

That’s when Stevens began hallucinating about Duquette, and believed his ghost was visiting her. Karev, who was living in the same house as her, was the first to catch on that something was wrong. Steven was later diagnosed with a brain tumor, and Karev proposed to her. 

The pair married, and things appeared to be good. Then Stevens messed up a procedure, and Dr. Webber fired her. Stevens left after writing a letter to Alex. She later returned in an attempt to patch things up, but Karev refused to take her back. 

When Meredith Grey went on trial, Karev contacted Stevens and asked her to help with the trial. This gave him an excuse to reach out, and they reconnected. That’s when Karev decided that he would rather be with Stevens and his children rather than his wife.

Fans are still angry that Alex Karev left

Justin Chambers as Alex Karev
Justin Chambers as Alex Karev | Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images

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In spite of his rough start, Karev is a fan favorite. Stevens, not so much. While she was very pretty, and cared deeply for her patients, fans felt that Karev deserved better, and were displeased when he chose her over Jo Wilson.

A Reddit user wrote, “It just seems like they trauma bonded and never had real romantic love or solid ground.” She later added, “Alex’s end pisses me off more on the rewatch now that I see how lacking their relationship was in partnership.”

This seemed to be the general consensus. Even though no one was a major fan of Karev being with Jo Wilson, they still didn’t want him to be with Stevens, and they definitely weren’t ready for him to leave.