‘Grey’s Anatomy’: The Show Just Addressed What Happened to Justin Chamber’s Character, Alex Karev

The number of OG Grey’s Anatomy characters has been dwindling for years. Though by now, fans know not to get too attached to any character on the show, Justin Chamber’s departure has been especially hard to get used to.

He played Alex Karev for 16 seasons of the show and now his character is just gone. He didn’t even get a formal goodbye. It wasn’t until after Chambers announced his exit from the show that people realized that we had already seen the last Grey’s episode with him in it.

Justin Chambers
Justin Chambers | Mike Rosenthal/ABC via Getty Images

But finally, on last night’s episode, the characters began to address what happened to Karev.

Justin Chambers announces his exit

“There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” he said in a statement to Deadline. “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,” he continued.

Since his exit, costars like Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith Grey, have expressed their sadness at seeing him go, which means that his departure wasn’t likely because of misconduct.

What happened to Alex Karev?

In the last episode that Chambers appeared in, Karev was headed off to go take care of his mother. Since then, we have only heard about Karev when his wife, Jo Wilson, mentions that he texted her or something. But last night, the show started shedding a little more light on what’s going on with Karev.

“Alex hasn’t been returning my calls,” Wilson said. “He says that he’s going through something and he needs time, and if I didn’t know better, I would think he was getting revenge for when I needed time. But I know he would never do that, so…”

This was the first time that Wilson had ever mentioned any issues between her and Karev. When Chambers first announced his exit, people wondered what would happen to Camilla Luddington, who plays Wilson. But given last night’s episode, people are starting to think maybe Wilson and Karev will split and Luddingon will continue being on the show.

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Director Chandra Wilson in the house…

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Karev has also been addressed in other areas of the show. After the Pacific Northwest General Hospital staff (Owen Hunt, Richard Webber, and Maggie Pierce) found out that Catherine Fox had decided to buy the hospital, Webber mentioned that he told Karev the news, but he was “dealing with family issues in Iowa.”

“He texted me a laugh until you cry emoji with a party hat on,” Webber said of Karev’s response.

This is clearly only the tip of the iceberg in Karev’s story. His exit will probably continue to be addressed as the season goes on.