Fans of Grey's Anatomy can breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Showrunner, Krista Vernoff has proised that fans will get "clarity" following the sudden exit of Justin Chambers as Alex Karev.
Chambers exited the show after 15 seasons earlier this season, and fans learned the news AFTER his final episode had aired.
Vernoff tells Variety that finding out when to explain Alex's disappearing act “was a very careful threading of a needle, where we are giving a little bit of information and pain to Jo,” adding, “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 apparently exited the city to look after his sick mother, so this development was a difficult one for Jo.
“Jo went through so much pain and so much grief just last season that I wanted to be careful,” Vernoff says.
“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 last season. We did it as carefully as we could. But it takes a while to get there.”
With Chambers exiting before a storyline to say goodbye to the character was crafted, he will not be reprising his role, but at least we know resolution is on the horizon.
“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,” Chambers said in a statementlast month.
“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."
"As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.”
The exit means that Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens Jr. are now the only original stars remaining on the series.
Even though Chambers is out of the series, we do know that Grey's will continue to live for at least one more season.
ABC has already picked up Season 17, locking Pompeo in for one more season. Whether that will be the endgame, we don't know, but time will tell.
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Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.