Ellen Pompeo is saying yet another goodbye, and this one stings a little bit more for Grey’s Anatomy fans.
In the Thursday, March 5 episode of Grey’s Anatomy, viewers officially said goodbye to Justin Chambers and his character Alex Karev. Warning, spoilers for how the show wrote of the character follow.
The character’s exit happened off screen and it was revealed he reunited with Izzie (Katherine Heigl) who had been raising children she had with him without his knowledge. He left his share of the hospital to his (now) ex-wife Jo (Camilla Luddington). Chambers was an original cast member on the series. Karev and Meredith Grey were the last of the intern class that started Grey’s Anatomy.
“Hi here I go again … Thank YOU! You are truly the best most passionate most loyal fans anyone could ever ask for,” Pompeo began her Instagram note. “Because of you we got to make great [TV]… because of you we got to make television history! I say often life is hard and thank God it is because like I tell my kids… it shows us what we are made …of how strong we really are and let’s face it… without the lows there would be no dancing it out or celebrating this incredible experience we call life.”
“Thanks to our national treasure @therealdebbieallen and the writers for giving Alex Karev the best send off. Thanks to @shondarhimes for creating the most amazing character. For me personally for Karev to go back to the beginning…. was the best possible storyline. It pays homage to those incredible first years and the incredible cast…that created a foundation so strong that the show is still standing. So let’s not be sad. As our fearless leader DA always says let’s PULL UP and celebrate the actors the writers and the fantastic crew who make this show come to life every week. No matter what the challenge or how tired we all are in the end… you keep us going…..That is worth dancing it out over! So much love and gratitude to you all. Xo E.”
See the tribute video she posted below and get the tissues.
“It is nearly impossible to say goodbye to Alex Karev,” showrunner Krista Vernoff said in a statement. “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’ nuanced portrayal of him. For 16 seasons, 16 years, we have grown up alongside Alex Karev. 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.”
Chambers announced his exit from the show in January 2020.
“There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” Chambers said in his statement to E! News. “For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time. As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays, 9 p.m. on ABC.