Justin Chambers' final episode of Grey's Anatomy aired on Nov. 14, though no one knew it at the time. It wasn't announced until Jan 10. that Chambers' Alex Karev had officially put down his scalpel. Fans have been desperate to find out how and, more importantly, why Karev left Seattle for good. At long last, the Feb. 13 episode of Grey's Anatomy revealed some new details about Karev's absence – and nothing about it is going to make fans happy.
The last audiences saw Karev, he was leaving to go to Iowa to take care of his sick mother. In the weeks since he left, he's texted other doctors and has been mentioned in passing, but hasn't physically been on screen. In the Season 16 Episode 13 episode "Save The Last Dance For Me," his wife Jo (Camilla Luddington) gave a bit more context that definitely alludes to the reason fans won't be seeing him again.
While speaking to fellow doctor Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), Jo admits she and Karev are going through a rough patch and he hasn't been returning her calls because "he says that he's going through something and he needs time, and if I didn't know better, I would think he was getting revenge for when I needed time."
Whatever this "something" is he's going through, it's likely going to keep him far away from Seattle. In his departing statement, Chambers made it clear he was done for good:
"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. 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.”
Hopefully, fans get a bit more insight in the coming weeks. There are still at least 12 episodes left os Season 16.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC.