Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) will get his pancake breakfasts with Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) before the end of time, many Grey’s Anatomy fans thought.
But when Alex left Seattle for life in season 16 with Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), the dream was thwarted.
Naturally, viewers of Grey’s Anatomy had mixed views about Alex’s exit. There were several fan base members who were pleased that the beloved surgeon was still alive. In the meantime, some thought the death of Alex would have been more apt. Then why did the authors on Grey’s Anatomy vote against the death of Alex? Here’s what we already know.
How did Alex Karev quit ‘Anatomy of the Greys’?
‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why doesn’t Jo Wilson think Camilla Luddington wants Alex Karev to come back?
Alex vanished after Meredith’s medical clearance hearing on “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 16. He ghost-walked Jo, rendering her worst of all terror.
“Leave a Light On,”Leave a Light On (Chandra Wilson).
Alex disclosed in the letters that while he was campaigning for Meredith’s trial, he contacted Izzie.
Then he found out that when she had stage IV metastatic cancer, Izzie was using the embryos they had made. She had twins of her own, and she called them Alexis and Eli. So Alex and Izzie wanted to get back together. Meanwhile, with the signed divorce documents, Alex split from Jo and left her.
Krista Vernoff discusses why Alex Karev didn’t die in season 16 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’
‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why is Ellen Pompeo pleased with the ending of Alex and Izzie?
Although Alex’s departure saddened some ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fans, the writers didn’t want to give the iconic character an off-camera death.
In April 2020, showrunner Krista Vernoff told Deadline, “I think there would have been at least as big an outcry if we had killed the character off-camera, and that was our decision,” “We had a choice: Either kill the character off on camera or find a believable way for him to get his happy ending.”
Then, in November 2020, speaking to Variety, Vernoff revealed why the writers of Grey’s Anatomy were so against killing Alex off.
Ultimately, it came down to the effect on Meredith and Jo his death would have.
Vernoff said, “We didn’t want to kill [Alex],” After “Jo had just gone through a massive depression after ‘Silent All These Years.’ She had just come out of it. … She had just gotten through it!” Jo had just gone through a massive depression. She had just come out of it. She had just gotten through it!
“I didn’t want to put the characters through yet another prolonged grief,” Vernoff later added.
And that was probably the most important thing. I don’t want to lose Alex Karev to death to Meredith Grey. I don’t want to see it! I can’t bear it!’
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The showrunner also pointed out that “so much grief” was played on ‘Grey’s Anatomy by both Luddington and Pompeo. So it seems like the authors have tried to shield their performers.
“Grief is really, really, really hard on actors,” said Vernoff. “I understand that this is their work.
But I’ve never met an actor who hasn’t gone through their own personal depression because they have to run those chemicals through their system when you have to play ongoing sadness episode after episode after episode.
There was no good time to say goodbye to Alex on Grey’s Anatomy, as Vernoff said before.
But considering the circumstances, it’s evident the team were happy with how the final story arc of the character finished.
“It felt good to our writers, who also grew up with these characters,” Vernoff said. “These people are also true to us.
And this felt like the way we should say farewell to Alex.