'Grey’s Anatomy' Hints at Alex Karev’s Exit Amid Justin Chambers' Departure, and Fans are Furious

Following Justin Chambers' announcement that he would be leaving Grey's Anatomy after 15 years, the ABC medical drama is setting up his exit, giving fans their biggest clue yet on how Dr. Alex Karev will be written off during Thursday night's new episode. The current set up, however, is sparking outcry among fans, many of whom took to social media as the episode aired to air their grievances.

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Grey's Anatomy Season 16, Episode 13, "Save the Last Dance for Me."

During Thursday night's episode, a tense conversation between Amelia Shephard (Caterina Scorsone) asked Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) led to the revelation that Alex's trip to Iowa to visit his ailing mother may be more of a permanent stay.

"Alex hasn't been returning my calls," Jo said. "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. But I know he would never do that, so..."

The current set up, however, is not going over well with many fans, who feel that Alex's ghosting behavior is uncharacteristic and that the character deserves better than what is currently being prepared.

"Justin chambers did an AMAZING job as alex karev for 15 years and i'm really proud of him," wrote one fan. "i feel terrified about what they're doing with the character after that huge development since the first season. justin didn't deserve this after so much dedication."

"Why THE F– did they have to do alex so dirty with his ending, i hate it here," commented another.

"alex was meredith's rock when derek died, he was the only one amelia could open up to about her baby dying, loves jo with everything he has and has grown more than any other character," tweeted a third. "there is no universe is which he would leave his wife and family."

"Of all the ways to write off my favourite ever character they chose to undo 15 seasons of development and have Alex abandoning his wife," reacted another fan. "okay consider me DONE."

"After what Izzy did to Alex there is no way Alex would do this to Jo as he knows how it would feel," added another. "Us fans remember character development. These writers think we forget these things. I'm just so angry Alex has been done so dirty. We can't stand for this anymore."

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Although Grey's is currently in the process of writing of Chambers' character, Alex hasn't actually appeared on the series since before the midseason premiere, and it was later revealed that he had abruptly left to go visit his mother in Iowa.

New episodes of Grey's Anatomy air Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.