Grey’s Anatomy promised to answer fans’ burning questions about what was keeping Dr. Alex Karev from returning home to his wife Jo after saying he’d left on a trip to visit and take care of his mother proved to not be true. What was revealed made perfect sense to some and felt like a huge betrayal to others. Don’t read further if you haven’t watched the March 5, 2020, episode yet.
Grey’s Anatomy — Farewell Alex
Despite the heartbreaking song used in the promo, leading many to believe that Alex had died, the former “evil spawn” doc got his happy ending — reuniting with Izzie and the twins she had (with their embryos). Instant family, instant new life, despite the fact in order for it to happen, he had to destroy the life he’d spent the last seven or so seasons building.
And that is where the feelings of betrayal stem from. Not since Game of Thrones spent a similar eight seasons building a heroic character arc for Jaime Lannister only for him to ditch it at the end and return to his abusive and homicidal twin sister have fans felt this kind of anger.
This writer fully admits to having an on-again/off-again relationship with Grey’s Anatomy but having watched the show from almost the first episode, and frankly never being a “shipper” for Alex and Izzie (nor Alex and Jo), but always intrigued by Alex, this episode did feel like a beautiful tribute to the character and actor — but it also seemed to cast him as a coward to not face Jo in person to end their marriage.
Yeah, yeah, we get it that actor Justin Chambers was done (though it’s awesome that he did the voice over for the episode) but there’s no reason we couldn’t have realized what it was he’d say to Jo and have the news delivered to her just offscreen. He knew how delicate her emotional state has been since learning she was a child born of rape.
To abandon her as she was still fighting her way back to having feelings of self-worth makes him the lowest of the low. We expect that from maybe Season 5 Alex — but not Season 16 Alex and it leaves a bitter taste. Though it did something that seemed impossible — it made this writer finally sort of like and root for Jo. Perhaps that’s his final gift to a grateful audience. Read a recap of this episode here.