‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Showrunner Talks Last Night’s Alex Karev Twist

what happens to alex karev greys anatomy

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy doubled as a farewell for the beloved Alex Karev (played by Justin Chambers). Although we still don’t know how to feel about the surprise ending, showrunner Krista Vernoff recently revealed that it was “impossible” to satisfy everyone.

Here’s what you need to know: Season 16, episode 16 of Grey’s Anatomy, titled “Leave a Light On,” showed fans how Karev’s storyline comes to an end, since he’s been MIA for the past few installments. In the beginning of the episode, Karev writes letters to his closest friends and co-workers…and drops a bombshell we never saw coming. He reveals that he’s leaving Seattle and his wife, Jo (Camilla Luddington), to be with Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), who is apparently raising his kids in Kansas. In a word, yikes.

So, when did Karev reconnect with Stevens, who left the show back in season six? And when did he impregnate her? We can think of a billion questions that remain unanswered, but according to Vernoff, their goal was to deliver an optimistic send-off.

“It is nearly impossible to say goodbye to Alex Karev,” she told Us Weekly. “That is as true for me and for all of the writers at Grey’s Anatomy as it is for the fans. We have loved writing Alex. And we have loved watching Justin Chambers’s nuanced portrayal of him.”

Vernoff went on to say that the show won’t be the same without the beloved character and, well, duh. “For 16 seasons, 16 years, we have grown up alongside Alex Karev,” she added. “We have been frustrated by his limitations and we have been inspired by his growth, and we have come to love him deeply and to think of him as one of our very best friends. We will miss him terribly. And we will always be grateful for his impact—on our show, on our hearts, on our fans, on the world.”

BRB, re-watching Grey’s Anatomy from season one.

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Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...