Grey's Anatomy: If Alex Karev Died, How Will Goodbye Episode Explain Final Text To Meredith?

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Meredith texting Alex ABC

Spoilers ahead for Grey's Anatomy Season 16, Episode 15, "Snowblind," which premiered February 27, 2020 on ABC.

I never thought I'd hope for Grey's Anatomy to kill off Dr. Alex Karev, but here we are. I was hoping ABC would go with one of these options instead, if there's just no way to convince actor Justin Chambers to return to the role. But at this point, killing off Alex might be the only way to salvage his legacy. Grey's Anatomy Season 16 is going to reveal Alex's fate in a goodbye episode called "Leave A Light On," airing Thursday, March 5, 2020. That's when we'll get the clarity we were promised.

It seems like ABC has to kill him off now. Because, otherwise, he's a jerk who ghosted his wife Jo Wilson Karev, also ghosted his BFF Meredith Grey, and also ghosted his own mom? As we found out on February 27, Alex never made it to Iowa to see his mom Helen Karev. So something must've happened.

But what happened? Did Alex die on the way to Iowa? Would that timing work with Meredith's almost-reply-text from the February 20th episode? Remember, at the end of "A Diagnosis," she texted asking where he was because she needed him. Alex's phone appeared to start a reply but then it went dead.

So ... random speculation time ... was Alex driving and trying to text and he was hit by a car? That wouldn't explain why he didn't get back to Jo before that. She had been calling him, so if he had access to a phone, wouldn't he have called his wife first before starting a text reply to Meredith? And wouldn't Alex have already been in Iowa by the time Meredith got that "..." message forming from him? If not, where was he the whole time?

Did Alex's phone die right when he was trying to reply? Again, not clear why he wouldn't have called before that point. Maybe he really was going through something, but he was finally ready to communicate again and then something happened?

Why text and not call? And why not finish the text if the phone wasn't dead? I get that they can't have Justin Chambers' voice if he's not available for a voicemail, but we could at least see Jo Karev reacting to one last voicemail, if that happened. In this case, though, it sounds like he never called and we only have this started text that mysteriously stopped before he -- or whoever had the phone -- sent it.

Maybe something happened and he tried to make a heroic rescue -- I know that Grey's Anatomy storyline has been done before, but if they want to write out Alex as a hero, I'm fine with it. There's still the possibility that Alex Karev doesn't get killed off. Maybe he's been busy trying to help someone, or help himself, and he emerges alive and just stays off screen from this point -- occasionally giving Jo or Meredith texts, like Cristina, or mentioned off-screen like April, who is still co-parenting Harriet with Jackson.

Here's the simple synopsis ABC shared for Alex Karev's goodbye episode, Grey's Anatomy Season 16, Episode 16, "Leave A Light On":

Bailey and Ben face a huge, life-altering decision, while Meredith and several of the doctors reflect on the past.

Here's the promo:

Grey's Anatomy fans have been in shock since Justin Chambers announced his surprise departure -- months after his final episode. We found out later that his final episode on the show was Season 16, Episode 8, which aired on November 14, 2019. There was no warning, and there wasn't really any explanation beyond Chambers' own brief statement.

So now ABC is picking up the pieces and trying to write out Alex Karev in a way that makes a drop of sense. So far, the writers have angered fans by suggesting Alex would ever ghost Jo or Meredith, after Izzie did that to him. And that's why they kinda have to kill him off or find a way to explain what's been happening in a way that fits with 16 seasons of character development.

Do you have any theories on how Alex will be written out next week? Did he die? Was he going to text Meredith? Did someone else text? What happened with his phone? Will he still somehow live on, off-screen?

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 continues Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, even though I preferred it at 8 p.m. But clearly no one cares what I want.

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.