‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Chris Carmack Wants Jo to ‘Stand on Her Own’ After Alex Leaves Seattle

[Spoiler alert: Grey’s Anatomy Season 16, Episode 16.] Say what you want about Alex Karev’s (Justin Chambers) final episode on Grey’s Anatomy, but Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) deserved better. The character has gone through the wringer in recent seasons. Now she must pick herself up after Alex left her for Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl). But if there’s anyone at Grey Sloan Memorial who is strong enough to handle the challenges ahead, it’s Jo. And Chris Carmack — the man who plays Jo’s best friend, Atticus “Link” Lincoln — believes the general surgeon is more than capable of standing on her own. 

What happened to Jo in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 16, Episode 16

Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson on 'Grey's Anatomy' - Season Sixteen
Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images

In Grey’s Anatomy Season 16, Episode 16 — titled “Leave a Light On” — Alex left Seattle for good. Alex explained the situation to Jo, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), and Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) in a series of letters. And basically, Alex abandoned everything for a life with Izzie and their two kids in Kansas.

In his letter to Jo, Alex apologized for his cowardice. But he also explained he couldn’t leave his children. But ultimately, Alex thanked his wife for their time together. 

“Maybe ‘I love you’ is wrong to say,” he wrote. “But thank you for making me better when I needed it, for taking care of yourself when you needed it, too.”

Alex then sent signed divorce papers. He left everything to Jo, including his shares at Grey Sloan. 

At the end of the episode, Jo was spotted crying in the lounge. Link stopped by to check-in on his friend. He offered to take her day-drinking, anything to keep her mind of Alex. But then Jo received a page. 

“Pierce [Kelly McCreary] is paging me for a cecal bascule for one of our cabbage patients,” she said. “OK. Whiskey tonight. Today I am working.” 

In the moment, Link acknowledged the strength of his friend. “You’re my hero,” he said. Jo put on her lab coat. “Mine too,” she replied. 

What will happen to Jo after Alex leaves ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

Now it’s clear Jo isn’t leaving Grey’s Anatomy anytime soon, even with Alex leaving Seattle. And the character’s final scene in “Leave the Light On” shows she will continue to move forward. She will be her own hero. 

Then on March 6, Carmack spoke with People and revealed he is rooting for Jo just as much as his on-screen persona. The actor also believes Jo will be able to get past the heartbreak.

“Jo is a tough character,” the actor said. “She has come so far and has grown so much. She’s a survivor she can stand on her own. I think she’s going to rise from the smoke of all this.”

Carmack continued: “I don’t think you can just crush this one-off, it’s tough. She’s a strong cookie. She has a lot to give to the world and the medical community and to the patients at Grey Sloan. I think, as a viewer, she’s going to rise and be OK.” 

Meanwhile, Luddington hinted Jo’s storyline in upcoming episodes of Grey’s Anatomy will be worth watching. On March 7, the actor responded to a fan’s comment on Instagram

“I love that we still have Jo,” the fan wrote, per Entertainment Tonight. “Can’t wait to see what’s next for her.”

Then Luddington replied, echoing the fan’s excitement. “The scripts for Jo this season are [shocked emoji faces]! JUST. WAIT,” she wrote. 

And this isn’t the first time Luddington hyped-up future episodes. “YOU GUYS! I’m currently on the floor reading these scripts right now,” she tweeted on Feb. 14. 

Despite all the sadness surrounding Alex’s exit on Grey’s Anatomy, there is one glimmer of light in the distance — and her name is Jo. So stay tuned. The Shondaland series continues Thursday nights on ABC.

Read more: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Alex Leaves Jo for Izzie and Fans Are Absolutely Gutted