Grey’s Anatomy fans were shocked last week when it was announced that Justin Chambers, who has played Alex Karev since the show debuted in 2005, would be leaving the show—and that his final episode has actually already aired.
“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,” the actor told Deadline. “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.”
Since Karev’s departure happened offscreen, fans are now afraid that he’s going to be killed off, à la Patrick Dempsey‘s Derek Shepherd. Though I don’t think that’s actually what will happen, you never know with this show. “I swear if Shonda makes Alex Karev die tragically with a version of Chasing Cars or some other depressing song playing in the background… I’m going to lose it,” one person tweeted.
“Bro if this bar car crash episode is Justin Chambers last episode and it’s just gonna be Meredith, did Alex die is the car crash? bro ima fight every writer in the room if this is how y’all end Alex Karev storyyyyy 😔,” another wrote.
Seriously, the car crash cliffhanger from the midseason finale has people concerned. A third fan wrote, “SHONDA YOU BETTER NOT MAKE THAT ALEX KAREV CAR THAT CRASHED INTO THE SIDE OF THAT DAMN BAR WHILE GOING TO VISIT HIS MOM AND HAVE HIM DIE ON IMPACT I WILL FIGHT YOUUUUU WHO WILL MEREDITH HAVE NOW???!!!!”
Karev is, of course, not the first character to leave on Grey’s Anatomy. Along with Derek, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) has said goodbye to George, her sister Lexie, Mark Sloane, her mom, and her dad—just to name a few characters who’ve literally died. Meanwhile, Christina Yang moved to Europe and who the heck knows where Izzie (Katherine Heigl) is these days.
Ugh, the heart can only take so much. Let’s hope Karev is left alive so he can hopefully return some day.