When ABC used the somber A Great Big World (with Christina Aguilera) song, Say Something, in promos for the episode that would reveal Alex Karev’s fate, a happy ending didn’t seem likely. Very little information was being released about the episode, so we were just going to have to tune in to see what was going to happen to the original Grey’s Anatomy character, played by Justin Chambers.
Grey’s Anatomy Recap
The episode began with Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) getting a letter from Alex. Forget about modern texts and emails. Alex sat down and wrote a good old-fashioned hand-written letter. Other characters got similar notes from Alex, each letter revealing his fate. Don’t read any more until you’ve watched last night’s episode — unless you want to know what happens.
SPOILER ALERT: He’s Alive, Meredith
The good news, no, the great news is that Alex is not only alive, but he’s found happiness. In his letter to Meredith, Alex recapped the rocky start the two had and then, how he came to be “her person” after Meredith’s BFF Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) left Seattle.
Meredith – and viewers – were shocked to read Alex’s note which revealed that he was with Izzie (Katherine Heigl) and their kids. Yep, their kids. It turns out that when Alex reached out to his old flame for help with Meredith getting her license back, she confessed to him that she’d given birth to twins, a boy and a girl, and that he was the dad. In that moment, it was clear that Alex wasn’t going to come back to Grey Sloan Memorial because he’d found a new life.
All My Children
Alex shared in his note that his and Izzie’s kids are named Eli and Alexis! He didn’t seem too upset that she’d kept this secret from him. He was just happy that they wanted to get to know him and call him Dad. “It’s not home anymore,” Alex said about Grey Sloan Memorial. Home, now, for Alex is on a farm with Izzie and his kids.
Say It Ain’t So, Jo!
While Alex has found a happy new life, the news isn’t so good for Jo (Camilla Luddington). After Meredith got her letter, it was time for Jo to read hers. Flashbacks galore continued as we saw Jo and Alex’s first meeting and how their relationship evolved into a romance and marriage.
Alex broke Jo’s heart when he wrote to her and told her that he was in love with Izzie. If Izzie had never shared that she’d had Alex’s kids, then he might have come back to Jo. Alex left his shares in the hospital to Jo, which will likely become a future plot point. How Alex and Izzie’s kids will afford college will play off-camera.
Bullets Over Bailey
Next came Bailey’s (Chandra Wilson) letter. Alex praised the no-nonsense medical boss for whipping him into shape, helping him become the best doctor – and person – he could be. Also, there was that little matter of Bailey removing a bullet from Alex. If that didn’t bond them for life, nothing else was going to. While all three letters contained repetitive information – Izzie, the twins – Bailey’s reaction to reading that bit of news was comical and classic Bailey.
Paging Dr. Webber and Dr. Stevens
Richard (James Pickens, Jr.) shared in a support group what Alex’s departure meant to him. His absence is going to affect many people with Richard being chief among them. Next, viewers were treated to additional Alex/Izzie flashbacks including the emotional moment when he lifted her, dressed in a gown, off Denny’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) deathbed.
Along with seeing the adorable twins and the beautiful farm and land and the horses, we couldn’t help but wonder if we’d see Chambers and/or Heigl again in non-flashback scenes. Alas, that wasn’t meant to be. The episode concluded with Bailey recapping Alex’s life to her husband Ben (Jason George).
Bailey summing up Alex’s journey sounded like she was almost giving him a mini-eulogy, but it wasn’t one, fortunately. Meredith said in the last moment of the show there’s really no good way to say goodbye, but that may not be true. Grey’s Anatomy gave Alex (and Izzie) a happy ending.
As much as we’ll miss him (and her), it’s nice knowing that they’re out there happy together on, as Alex himself put it, “a farm in ‘Nowhere,’ Kansas.” To read a commentary on this episode, click here. Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.