'Grey's Anatomy' Revealed Fate of Another Departed, Controversial Character in Latest Episode

This week's episode of Grey's Anatomy helped wrap up Dr. Alex Karev's storyline after Justin Chambers announced his sudden departure from the show. However, it surprisingly included a reference to a character who has not appeared on the show in a decade. The series revealed several off-screen incidents through a letter Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey received.

At the start of "Leave a Light On," everyone received letters from Alex, who was actually living in Kansas. In the letters, he revealed he called up Izzie Stevens, the character played by Katherine Heigl, after Meredith's trial. During the call, he learned Izzie had twins and Alex is their father.

"I love Jo deeply, still," Alex wrote, referring to Camilla Luddington's character. "I think I always will and if it was just about two women I love, I'd choose my wife. You know I would, but it’s not just her. Izzie made our kids. She had our embryos."

After the trial, Alex met the children, who live on a farm with Izzie, who is an oncologist. Alex said he applied to work at a nearby hospital.

"You always said Christina as was your person, then I was your person, but you've always been your own damn person," Alex wrote to Meredith. "You are my best friend and I will miss the hell out of you but I'm finally exactly where I should be. I never had that before."

In his letter to Jo, he apologized and listed reasons why he loved her. However, he also loves Izzie and believed Jo would understand why he needed to be with his children. Alex said he signed divorce papers and gave her his shares in Grey Sloan.

Chambers shocked Grey's Anatomy viewers by announcing his departure in January and revealing he already filmed his last episode. However, it appeared he agreed to come back to record voiceovers for Thursday's episode.

"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 wrote in a statement. "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."

Izzie last appeared on the show in January 2010, during Season 6, due to Katherine Heigl's sometimes rocky relationship with the show itself. She was scheduled to appear in all of Season 6, but left with five episodes left and asked to be released from her contract early. Izzie's story was never fully finished, and Heigl said she was open to returning in 2012. At one point, Heigl even expressed regret about leaving.

By 2015, series creator Shonda Rhimes shut the door on Izzie ever returning.

"I'm done with that story," Rhimes told TVLine in 2015. "I've turned that idea over in my mind a thousand times and thought about how it would go. And I don't think so."

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Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo credit: Bob D'Amico/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images