Karev’s Ending Worked For Him (But Insulted Jo’s Story)

Karev's Ending Worked For Him (But Insulted Jo's Story)

Grey’s Anatomy’s Alex Karev’s ending was controversial, and while it fitted his story quite well, it massively insulted Jo’s.

Grey’s Anatomy has seen most of its most popular characters go, and while the show has become infamous for killing its characters, there are some who were given less tragic endings. Such is the case of Alex Karev, whose ending worked great for him, but massively insulted Jo’s story. Grey’s Anatomy has been unstoppable since its debut on ABC in 2005, becoming one of the most successful medical dramas in recent years, and even though its quality has decreased over the years, it still has a solid fanbase that continues to follow Meredith Grey’s story.

Grey’s Anatomy follows the basic premise of medical dramas, focusing on the lives of surgical interns, residents, and attendings as they do their best to balance their personal and professional lives. Grey’s Anatomy is led by Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who started her journey as an intern alongside fan-favorite characters like Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), and Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl). Many of them became very close to Meredith, and their departures were, in most cases, heartbreaking, and in others, like Karev’s, were controversial.


Related: Why Grey’s Anatomy Fans Wanted Alex Karev To Be Killed Off

Alex Karev went through a lot during his time in Grey’s Anatomy, but he learned a lot from his trauma and mistakes and became one of the characters in the show who went through the most character development. Alex Karev is one of the characters in Grey’s Anatomy who left the show without being killed, but that doesn’t mean his departure was safe from controversy, as even though it fitted his story, it failed that of his wife, Jo (Camilla Luddington).

What Happened To Alex Karev In Grey’s Anatomy

Alex in a suit and tie on grey's anatomy

Alex Karev left Grey’s Anatomy in season 16, and by then, he was married to Jo. Alex seemed to have found happiness with Jo after all the pain he had gone through in the past not only with his family (as he had a troubled childhood) but also in his relationship with Izzie. However, midway through Grey’s Anatomy season 16, Alex went to Iowa to visit his mother, and a couple of episodes later, it was revealed that Alex had reconnected with Izzie and learned that she took the embryos they had frozen during her cancer treatment and had twins through IVF, meaning these were Alex’s kids too. Alex went to meet his children and decided to move in with Izzie and the kids to make sure they wouldn’t grow up as he did: in a broken home, without a father. Alex overcame his fears while also putting an end to a potential cycle of abandonment and abuse, which fits with all the character development he went through – however, the way he treated Jo completely undoes this.

How Alex’s Ending Failed Jo’s Story

Jo’s story isn’t an easy one either. Jo has struggled with abandonment issues, is a domestic abuse survivor, and struggles with her mental health, but Alex was by her side during her darkest moments. In Grey’s Anatomy season 15, Jo spiraled into a deep depression as she learned she was the product of date rape and checked into the psych ward. As she and Alex weren’t legally married, she gave him the chance to back off from the relationship, but he chose to stay. Alex and Jo get married (for real) in season 16, but their happiness didn’t last long. When it was revealed that Alex’s mother wasn’t in Iowa, he told Jo he was “going through something” and stopped answering her calls, after which she had a full breakdown. Alex didn’t return, and instead, he explained what happened and where he was now through letters he sent to Jo, Meredith, Miranda Bailey, and Richard Webber. After everything she had gone through, it was disrespectful for Alex to abandon Jo (who had given him the chance to leave a couple of episodes before) for someone who hurt him so much in the past, and even worse is that Grey’s Anatomy presented this as ok or even romantic (from the Alex/Izzie perspective). Following Alex’s departure, and after a couple of obstacles in the adoption process, Jo became the mother of Luna, a baby whose mother died in childbirth, and started a new life with her.

Next: Grey’s Anatomy’s Original Plan: Every Way The Show Was Almost Different

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About The Author

Adrienne Tyler
(3526 Articles Published)

Adrienne Tyler is a features writer for Screen Rant. She is an Audiovisual Communication graduate who wanted to be a filmmaker, but life had other plans (and it turned out great). Prior to Screen Rant, she wrote for Pop Wrapped, 4 Your Excitement (4YE), and D20Crit, where she was also a regular guest at Netfreaks podcast. She was also a contributor for FanSided’s BamSmackPow and 1428 Elm. Adrienne is very into films and she enjoys a bit of everything: from superhero films to heartbreaking dramas, to low-budget horror films. Every time she manages to commit to a TV show without getting bored, an angel gets its wings.

When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to learn a new language, watching hockey (go Avs!), or wondering what life would have been like had Pushing Daisies, Firefly, and Limitless not been cancelled. Breakfast food is life and coffee is what makes the world go round.

Guillermo del Toro said “hi” to her once. It was great.

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