Shonda Rhimes ruined Dr. Alex Karev
Saying goodbye to Alex Karev was frustrating to say the least
March 23, 2020
If you log onto Twitter right now, almost every single Grey’s Anatomy fan called a ‘Code Blue’ over how fast Shonda Rhimes, writer and producer, just threw one of the show’s most beloved characters, Dr. Alex Karev, down the drain.
If you’re one of the people still watching Grey’s, you’ve probably seen that Rhimes has been delusional the last couple of seasons with all of the ridiculous love triangles and how the show gravitates around drama more than medicine, but this episode was probably the worst thought-out way I’ve seen a character leave.
Alex Karev has been absent the past few episodes, with no explanation at all until just last Thursday when Rhimes threw me for a curveball that is safe-to-say completely unexpected. In Karev’s goodbye episode, he wrote letters to Meredith, Dr. Bailey, Dr. Webber, and his wife Jo, explaining that he left Grey-Sloan Memorial to move to Kansas to be with his now off-screen ex-wife Izzie Stevens and their two children.
I just wish we said goodbye another way. Alex Karev has by far the biggest and best character development out of every person in the show’s history. He went from being a completely heartless jerk who treated women like they were objects into being this amazingly successful pediatric surgeon with a wife, whom he respected and cherished deeply. I would have rather gone through the pain of watching him be killed off rather than see him throw everything he had away in an impulsive decision to leave Jo for Izzie.
Karev used to be my favorite character but now I kind of hate him. He left Jo by picking up and leaving without saying a word, and finally sending a letter… a letter with a crappy explanation, signed divorce papers, and his money grants from the hospital. Jo most definitely did not deserve that after everything she’s been through, living in her car, being abandoned by her birth mother in recent seasons, and being beaten and bruised by her abusive ex-husband. Seeing her read his letter with tears rolling down her cheeks and silent deep cries broke my heart.
The biggest shocker for me was that Alex had kids with Izzie. When Izzie was diagnosed with cancer in season five, Alex and Izzie froze embryos in case they weren’t able to have children because of the illness. When Izzie had left Seattle, she had twins and kept it a secret. Alex was unaware that he had kids until they reconnected after 5 years of the twins lives had already gone by.
It was actually really smart for Rhimes to add kids to Alex’s story, to tie something in from seasons ago was clever, plus, without that aspect, I would completely hate Alex. If the kids weren’t involved, he would only be leaving his perfect life in Seattle for Izzie and Izzie only. Not to say Izzie wasn’t a great character, but Jo and Alex had something special about their relationship that would just be impossible to understand why he’d want to leave.
Although I can respect Alex for not wanting to be like his late father, who was extremely abusive and pretty much absent throughout Alex’s childhood, Jo definitely deserved to have at least an explanation and a proper goodbye.
I can see both sides, if Alex would have told anyone he was leaving, Meredith would have grilled him to no end about leaving Jo and Grey-Sloan, and he’s such a good friend to Meredith that he would have stayed for her, but all in all, it comes down to his children, and he did not want to miss any more time watching his twins grow up.
Even though Rhimes should’ve written off Karev in a better, more positive light, I can at least find comfort in knowing Alex is being the father he always wanted but never had. Knowing he is happy living on a tiny farm in Kansas with his beautiful kids and ex-wife, working as Chief of Pediatrics in a hospital is enough for me to sleep at night.
Kenzie Krcelic is a Junior Staff Writer for the Knight Writers and RHSToday. She enjoys watching Disney movies and taking naps. Her favorite subject is...