Grey's Anatomy reunites Alex Karev and Izzie Stevens in shock farewell episode
8 March 2020, 11:17 | Updated: 8 March 2020, 11:21
Grey's Anatomy brought back Izzie Stevens as the show said farewell to Justin Chambers' Alex Karev - and fans are NOT happy about it.
And just like that, Dr. Alex Karev has left Grey's Anatomy – but the way in which he was written out of the show has nooooot gone down well with fans. (They hate it. They literally hate it.)
For 15 years, Karev has been at the heart and soul of Grey’s. From Evil Spawn OG intern to MVP attending and one-time Chief, Karev was a fan fave and had one of the best character arcs throughout the series. Period.
Chambers announced he was leaving Grey’s back in January. However, it was soon revealed that he had already left the show, and would not be returning to film a 'final' episode. Karev? No send off? After all these years? After everything we’ve been through?
Last night, Grey’s aired Karev’s farewell episode. Chambers was actually nowhere to be seen – except in flashbacks. So, what happened? Why did he leave? In a shocking turn of events, he wasn’t killed off (although, after reading this, some of you might wish he had been...)
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Grey's Anatomy season 16, episode 16, 'Leave A Light On'.
Why did Alex Karev leave Grey's Anatomy?
Alex left Seattle. He left his wife Jo Karev. He left his job. He left Meredith and her kids, who saw him as their uncle. And he reunited with his ex-wife Izzie Stevens... AND THEIR CHILDREN.
IZZIE STEVENS? IZZIE STEVENS?? Yes, that Izzie Stevens! And not only did they bring back Izzie, they also revealed that she gave birth to twins – Alex's twins. Reader, when I tell you I screamed...
(Also, editor's note: I say "bring back Izzie" but what I actually mean is: they hired an actress with blonde hair and only filmed the back of her head. If you thought Katherine Heigl was finally returning... lmao, sorry.)
But anyway, back to the issue at hand. Alex was last seen returning home to care for his sick mother in episode 8. Later, Jo found out that he was never in Iowa to begin with. Alex also started ignoring Jo's (and Meredith's!) calls, sparking fears that he was cheating on her. Well, it turns out he was. Kind of.
In episode 16, 'Leave A Light On', Alex sent letters to Meredith, Miranda Bailey, Richard Webber and Jo, writing how he now lives with Izzie and their kids. (Literally, what?!)
He explained that after contacting all their old colleagues to provide statements for Meredith during her trial, he reached out to Izzie. They reconnected and he soon found out that she had used the frozen embryos they created togethr (with his prior permission). Alex is now father to 5-year-old twins, Eli and Alexis.
He went to meet them, realised he could never leave them and uhhh, yeah, decided to never come back, leaving his whole wife, Jo Karev, with nothing but a handwritten letter saying "love you and all that but like, sorry about it!"
What happened to Izzie Stevens on Grey's Anatomy?
For those of you who aren't hardcore fans of the series, you're probably wondering – seeing as it was almost TEN WHOLE SEASONS AGO – what actually happened to Izzie? How did she leave? And why did she leave?
Izzie was written out of the show after Katherine Heigl requested to end her contract 18 months early so she could spend more time with her family. (There was also a lot of other well documented drama behind the scenes that contributed to her exit.)
Back in season 5, Izzie was diagnosed with a metastatic melanoma. She married Alex and had some embryos frozen before she had surgery to remove the tumour. She survived (barely) and returned to work.
During season 6's merger, Izzie accidentally gave the wrong dosage to a patient. Due to budget cuts, she was then fired by Webber. Assuming Alex was partly to blame, she wrote him a letter, explaining that she was leaving her job, Seattle and him.
She returned briefly for a scan, a recommendation letter and to attempt to get back with Alex. He then rejected her, saying he deserved better, and deserved someone who would stay. He told Izzie to go, never come back and be happy. Later in the season, she sent Alex divorce papers in the post.
Despite various name drops throughout the series, this was truly the first time we'd ever been told exactly what happened to Izzie Stevens.
Fans have not! reacted! well! to the episode. Given how Alex ended things with Izzie back in season 6, and how far he grew as a character, AND the fact that he's married to Jo??!?!, fans can't wrap their heads around the decision to end Alex's story like that.
Once again – and I cannot stress this enough – IZZIE? FREAKIN'? STEVENS?
alex karev leaving his wife, all of his colleagues and his best friend for izzie stevens literally sounds like a whole ass fanfiction you could find one wattpad when you were 12 but ok— izabelle (@meredithsgrwy) March 6, 2020
Thoughts are with the Jolex shippers at this difficult time. And, uh, to all the Izzex shippers who have been keeping the faith for 10 years, congrats on your endgame, we guess!