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Grey's Anatomy Alex Karev disheveled Season 16 premiere ABC

Can you blame Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) for looking like hell in ABC's photos for the Grey's Anatomy Season 16 premiere? The Season 15 finale left him in a very bad spot on two major fronts.

First of all, Alex's wife Jo Wilson Karev (Camilla Luddington) -- who had an even worse Season 15 -- took a leave of absence from Grey Sloan and committed herself to the psych ward to process the trauma of learning the truth about her birth. On top of that, Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) fired Alex -- and Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and, somehow, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) -- for Alex's role in Meredith's insurance fraud situation.

So Alex Karev has no job and his wife is in not around to help him as we enter Grey's Anatomy Season 16. It's a huge change from Season 15, which showed Alex newly married to Jo, and then the acting chief of the hospital while Bailey took some time away.

The Grey's Anatomy Season 16 premiere -- which airs next Thursday, September 26 -- is titled "Nothing Left to Cling To," and includes this note: "Meredith, Richard and Alex must deal with the consequences after Bailey fires them from Grey Sloan for insurance fraud." One promo already showed Meredith out on the streets collecting trash for community service. ABC's photos show Alex looking rough (see top photo), with Richard presumably trying to help him get his ish together in this shot:

Then again, Richard may need help getting his own ish together. Not only was he fired, he's an alcoholic in recovery whose wife Catherine has been battling cancer. It's not like his life is rosy.

But Grey's Anatomy has given OG character Alex a long pattern of watching the women he cares about battle mental illness. Showrunner Krista Vernoff previously said she hoped therapy would bring Jo back to herself and Alex, and also allow Alex to "heal the wound that keeps repeating." So here's hoping they close that loop for good in Season 16.

In some hopeful news, Grey's Anatomy Season 16, Episode 2 is called "Back in the Saddle," and ABC's synopsis says "Jo readies herself to return to work." On the flip side, "Richard and Alex start anew and it's not easy." Do they start new jobs? Together or separate? That episode also notes, "Outside the hospital, Meredith’s recent firing doesn’t stop her from diagnosing those around her." I can totally picture that!

That episode is meant to also show "Amelia has a new revelation in her relationship with Link." They are shown in one of ABC's photos for Episode 2:

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 2 Link and Amelia sit on bench ABC

What's the new revelation about Link? I hope it's a positive one, and not Amelia wanting to go back to Owen.

Jaicy Elliot's Dr. Taryn Helm -- the intern who had a crush on Meredith -- never gets enough screen time, but she's also showcased in a couple of photos for Episode 2, so that's a hopeful sign for her:

Jaicy Elliot as Dr. Taryn Helm Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 2 ABC

You may have heard that Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 are planning a lot of crossovers in 2019-2020. Showrunner Krista Vernoff recently told TV Guide they are even "building one romance between the two shows." That could be between anyone -- including new romances for Maggie or Jackson if they do break up -- but I'm kind of hoping Taryn gets to find love, or Sophia Ali's Dr. Dahlia Qadri. Glasses shouldn't be the only intern with a love story!

Grey's Anatomy Season "Sweet 16" starts September 26 at 8 p.m. on ABC, so get yourself caught up and ready to go.

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