Brace yourselves, we have some upsetting news to share. Justin Chambers is leaving Grey’s Anatomy after 16 years as Dr. Alex Karev, marking the end of an era and yet another devastating cast departure for dedicated Grey’s fans. The kicker? If you were hoping for a grand, dramatic goodbye, you can forget it: Chambers’s final episode as Alex Karev has already aired.
Chambers has been a part of the series since the very beginning and was last seen in the Season 16 episode that aired on November 14, 2019. The actor gave a statement to Deadline expressing how grateful he was for all the show had done for him and that it was time for him to move on.
“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 said. “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.”
“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,” Chambers continued.
In the November 21 episode of Grey’s, the series had Alex Karev going home to care for his sick mother — and that’s apparently as much of a send-off as we’re getting. ABC representatives have not commented at this time, but TVLine suggests that Chambers must have given the show short notice since they didn’t have a special final episode planned.
Farewell, Dr. Alex Karev! You’ll be sorely missed.