Grey's Anatomy Season 16 May Heal Alex's 'Wound That Keeps Repeating'

Grey's Anatomy Alex concerned for Jo ABC

Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) has had a lot of nicknames on Grey's Anatomy -- from Dr. Evil Spawn to Dr. Doucheface -- but despite his angry frat boy reputation, we know Alex has a big heart.

Alex's childhood included a mix of aggressive behavior in foster homes and the tender caring for his mother Helen Karev (Lindsay Wagner), who has schizophrenia. He had to admit his mother into psychiatric care at one point, and that pattern later continued with Rebecca Pope/Ava (Elizabeth Reaser) in Season 4, and with his wife Jo Wilson Karev (Camilla Luddington), who voluntarily entered the psychiatric ward for treatment in the Season 15 finale.

Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff gave hope to Jo and Alex fans for the 2019-2020 Season 16. In addition to Jo getting the help she needs, Vernoff told TVLine this may be the year Alex gets to heal his own wound of having to watch the women he cares about battle mental illness:

I hope therapy brings her back to herself and Alex. [I hope Alex] gets to heal that wound that keeps repeating, where he chooses women who go into mental-health crises. I’d like to see that story complete for him, with Jo returning to him in a way that’s beautiful.

Alex does seem to have a history of being drawn to women he can try to save, with many of those women suffering from psychological trauma. However, there are major differences in the stories of his mother Helen Karev, his wife Jo Karev, and exes like Rebecca Pope.

Alex's mom Helen Karev made a return in Grey's Anatomy Season 15, and seemed to show positive progress. She also kinda nudged Jo in the direction of having kids, which led to Jo finding her birth mother and that whole intense episode revealing Jo as the product of rape. Jo really took that personally and internalized it, but with Meredith Grey's help, Jo was ready to take the next step.

It's frustrating that Jo and Alex were sidelined so much right after their wedding in Season 14, but considering Jo's own incredibly tragic life, psychiatric treatment does make logical sense. Hopefully, as Krista Vernoff said, therapy brings Jo back to herself and Alex. Alex wants to help, but he can't just "fix" people, not like this. I wouldn't be shocked to see Jo emerge stronger from treatment, and ready for a Jolex baby -- or at least a pregnancy -- by the end of the season.

Krista Vernoff is now in charge of Grey's Anatomy storylines, but she did emphasize that the writers room for Season 16 hadn't even gathered to break the new season yet. That's why she previously wasn't sure what would happen with Jackson Avery's storyline after his disappearance in the Season 15 finale. There are plenty of places the stories can go in Season 16, but the writers are only just now getting ready to gather their thoughts to figure out what will happen across the year.

Grey's Anatomy was already renewed for at least two more seasons, including three newly promoted series regulars. Season 16 will premiere in September 2019 on ABC.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.