Spoilers ahead for the February 13 episode of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, called “Save the Last Dance for Me.”
Grey’s Anatomy fans have been waiting throughout the second half of Season 16 to find out what happens that Alex Karev never returns from his trip to Iowa to help his mom. Normally, this would just be a case of Alex not being around and fans wanting to find out when to expect him back, but Justin Chambers’ bombshell announcement that he decided to leave Grey’s Anatomy combined with news that his final episode already aired raised the stakes. So, what’s the latest on Alex, and why does it mean bad news for Jo?
Jo wasn’t in the best mood at the beginning of “Save the Last Dance for Me,” and her explanation why will undoubtedly bum out Jolex fans everywhere. According to Jo, Alex has stopped returning her calls because “he’s going through something” and he needs time. She apparently considered that this was his revenge for when she needed time because she was going through something, but she told Amelia she really knew he would never do that.
Jo was clearly worried and upset that she’s being iced out by her husband who is currently going through something several states away, and fans may want to prepare for something sad (or at least unsatisfying) on the Jolex front if Grey’s Anatomy intends to keep Camilla Luddington as Jo despite losing Justin Chambers as Alex.
If Grey’s has no choice but to break them up, hopefully the show pulls it off without ruining all the development that turned Alex into the kind of wonderful husband who… well, who wouldn’t really run off from his wife and go radio silent on her.
At this point, the pessimistic part of me almost hopes that Grey’s Anatomy kills Alex off. When other major characters were written out without dying, like Cristina and Izzie, most of their ties to the other characters were more or less either cut or given closure. Alex left behind a stable relationship with a loving wife, as well as a growing career despite the major setback at the end of Season 15. Alex has a whole lot of strings attached; sad as it would be for Alex to die, at least there would be closure.
That said, Grey’s Anatomy has managed to write out characters like Cristina and Izzie without killing them off, and the show hasn’t been running for 16 seasons because the writers can’t tackle unexpected twists. Hopefully Alex is able to depart from the show without dying and without totally breaking the hearts of fans (and Jo).
For now, we can only wait and see. The latest update on the Alex front is that his friends took steps to guarantee that he’ll have a co-chief role after the hospital reorganization, but obviously he won’t be back to take it unless Alex is conveniently always off-screen. I’m just crossing my fingers that we’ll start to see at least Jo’s half of a conversation with Alex, since it could be the closest thing we get to an appearance from Alex any time soon.