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Can Grey's Anatomy Survive Now That [SPOILER] Is Gone?

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Grey's Anatomy's tense mid-season premiere answered a very important question

We're all fans of Grey's Anatomy here, right? Therefore, we make no pretenses about what kind of show we've gotten ourselves hooked on. 'Tis not the cheery, hopeful kind of show where everyone gets a happy ending. Like Meredith, it's dark and twisty. So it was only a matter of time before Shonda Rhimes axed another one of our favorite characters.

More: How well do you know Grey's Anatomy? Test your knowledge with this quiz

Think back to the Season 13 mid-season winter finale, which left the fate of two beloved Grey Sloan Memorial doctors hanging in the balance: both Amelia and Alex.

Amelia just kind of disappeared. She became the proverbial runaway bride by bailing and leaving only a sad-sack note for Owen. Where did she go? Is she coming back? Why must Rhimes take people away from us? Are we being punished?

As for Alex, well, he Alex-ed himself right into some pretty serious hot water after beating DeLuca to a pulp. In his defense (if there is such a thing in this case), he walked in on what he thought was DeLuca sexually assaulting Jo.

Long story short, he's been dealing with the legalities and court stuff for awhile now. There's definitely been talk of Alex going to jail — and of Justin Chambers moving on after a long and successful run on the medi-drama series. Naturally, we would all much prefer to ignore such pesky rumors, but it became increasingly difficult to be optimistic that Alex would avoid jail time.

And damn it, if we're being real, we're still not over Alex's whole "let's have waffles" speech. Someone somewhere pour a shot of maple syrup out for our boy, will you?

This brings us to our current (read: perpetual) state of anxiously waiting and wondering whose head was on Rhimes' chopping block this time. It looks like we got our answer tonight too.

During a super-tense episode — prepare the Epsom salts, because you're going to need a nice, long soak in a hot tub after this one — Bailey, Arizona and Jo travel to a high-security women's prison. Of course, we don't know that at first; we only know that Bailey is being a big chicken about wherever they're headed.

When they arrive, we find out they are there to perform a procedure on a pregnant inmate. A kicking, punching, biting, completely volatile and often irrational inmate, no less. This thrills no one, the least of all Bailey. However, Jo and Arizona convince her that this girl needs and deserves their help.

Following some serious, albeit somewhat predictable, complications, they wind up delivering the baby preterm to save its life. Since the mother is still handcuffed to the bed, this is both brutal to watch and clearly inhumane.

More: A collection of the best Grey's Anatomy memes out there

When all is said and done, the girl and the baby both end up OK. But the whole ordeal raises important questions about women's rights while incarcerated. You know how Shonda Rhimes does — she likes a side of social commentary with her medical emergencies.

But what happened after the doctors left the hospital raises another very important question.

At first, as Bailey, Arizona and Jo drive back toward Grey Sloan, you think, "Hmm, how interesting that this entire episode was about just these three women and a medical case wholly unrelated to any of the regular roster of characters."

Except, it wasn't unrelated. In a gutting moment — the one we've all been dreading — Bailey reveals that Alex took a plea deal with the D.A. He is officially going to jail, y'all. You could practically hear the fandom's collective heartbreak.

Raise your hand if you feel like there should be a support group for those of us who feel personally victimized by Rhimes? *Raises hand*

So, the question at hand is: Can Grey's go on without Alex Karev? One of the few remaining OG characters and one of the last OG guys on the show, Alex isn't just Meredith's person now... he's all of our person. We already lost McDreamy; can we say goodbye to Alex too?

While I certainly fall into the camp of people grieving over the very thought of not seeing Alex on our screens each week, with cautious optimism, I say, "Yes."

Grey's will go on. Just like it did after McDreamy died. And the strength of the show that will continue to shine is the women. At this point, the series is truly about women empowering each other and being each other's soul mates. They're the heroes of their own stories.

More: Did Grey's Anatomy's Alex Karev just confirm he's leaving the show?

If you need proof, simply look to this week's episode. We went an entire hour with nary a man in sight. Sure, the mention of Alex was kind of our undoing, but let's be real: Bailey, Arizona and Jo easily carried the hour.

I, for one, am looking forward to how the women will rise to the challenge of navigating Grey Sloan without the inimitable Alex Karev.

What do you think? Will you keep watching now that Alex appears to be gone?

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Grey's Anatomy's tense mid-season premiere answered a very important question
Image: ABC
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