When it was announced that Justin Chambers had already filmed his last episode of Grey's Anatomy after 15 years with the show, it was reported that his character would not received a farewell episode, news many fans were disappointed to hear. This week's episode reversed that decision and revealed the fate of Chambers' Alex Karev, who turned out to be leaving Seattle to — spoiler alert — be with his ex-wife, Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), and their 5-year-old twins. The episode ended with a montage dedicated to Alex and his 16 seasons on the show.
Alex's decision to be with Izzie meant leaving everything he knew behind including his wife Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) and Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, a move he explained in letters to Jo, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.).
Alex and Izzie last crossed paths on Grey's in Season 6 before Izzie left Seattle after Alex refused to resume their marriage. In his letters, Alex explained that he reconnected with Izzie when he reached out to her while trying to help Meredith when she was in danger of losing her medical license. He found out that Izzie had given birth to twins and that he was the father and ultimately decided to move to Kansas to raise the kids on a farm with her. In his letter to Jo, he told her he had signed divorce papers and left her his shares in Grey Sloan Memorial.
Alex was last seen in the series' 350th episode on Nov. 14, but was absent from the midseason finale later that month. During the Nov. 14 episode, he returned home to care for his mother after stepping in to help save Meredith's career.
Chambers, who had starred on the show since its premiere, initially announced in January that he would be leaving the long-running ABC drama.
"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," he said in a statement to Deadline. "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."
He continued, "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."
Photo Credit: Getty / Kelsey McNeal