Dr. Alex Karev may be gone from Seattle but he’s not forgotten… and technically, he’s not totally gone, either. Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff explains how the absent doctor will still factor into current storylines on the popular ABC medical drama.
Justin Chambers Leaves Grey’s Anatomy
Vernoff told Variety what viewers learned in last week’s episode as Jo (Camilla Luddington) revealed to Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) the news that Alex (original cast member Justin Chambers) was not returning her telephone calls and is struggling during his visit home.
Jo notes that if she didn’t know better, she’d suspect that Alex would be doing this to get even with her because she had once gone through a depressed period after learning that she’d been the product of a rape. At the end of the day, however, Jo doesn’t think Alex would go that far.
As the show continues into the second half of the season, audiences will learn a bit more of exactly what’s going on with Alex. But don’t expect to learn too much too soon as the tale will slowly unfold.
What About Alex?
“It was a very careful threading of the needle,” Vernoff said, “where we are giving a little bit of information and pain to Jo. We’re, episode by episode, illuminating the story of where Alex is. And it takes us quite a few more episodes to get there and to give the audience clarity.”
Alex’s departure has come at a difficult time for Jo as she’s fought so hard to get to a more stable place in terms of her emotions. “Jo went through so much pain and so much grief just last season that I wanted to be careful,” Vernoff adds.
“And so it’s a bit of a mystery [what’s going on with Alex] so that we don’t watch Jo in the same place that we watched her in last season. We did it as carefully as we could. But it takes a while to get there.” Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.