Fans of ABC’s popular show, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ were hit with another blow earlier last month when Justin Chambers announced his sudden departure from the show. The departure came as a shock to many who have watched his character “Alex Karev” grow from dysfunctional medical student to the chief of two different hospitals. Sadly, Chambers is not the first main character of the show to exit.
After sixteen seasons, several of the medical drama’s lineup has either been killed off or moved away. Isaiah Washington and T.R. Knight were the first of the original characters to exit. Afterwards Katherine Heigl, Kate Walsh, Sandra Oh, Patrick Dempsey, Eric Dane, Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw soon followed.
Chambers, along with Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens Jr. are all that remain of the original Emmy-nominated cast. Executive Producer, Shondra Rhimes first introduced the medical drama in March 2005. Originally airing after ‘Desperate Housewives’ on Sundays, the show became an instant hit. Soon after, it was eventually headlining the Thursday night lineup with ‘Scandal’ and ‘How to Get Away with Murder’.
Though Chambers stated why he was leaving, it was still left unclear to fans if there was more behind his exiting. However, after last week’s episode, fans can rest assure Chambers will not be returning.
When asked about Chambers’ exit and how it will play out on the show, showrunner Krista Vernoff assured fans of their plans for how his story line will conclude in the upcoming episodes.
“It was a very careful threading of a needle, where we are giving a little bit of information and pain to Jo,” Vernoff explained to Variety. “We’re, episode by episode, illuminating the story of where Alex is. And it takes us quite a few more episodes to get there and to give the audience clarity.”
Still, even after Vernoff’s assurance, fans are still trying to grasp Chambers’s sudden departure. At the time of the announcement, Chambers stated his reason for leaving was to diversify his acting roles. Chambers’ last appearance on the show was in November 2019 when the show aired its 350th episode.
“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,” the actor told ET.
Now that Chambers has left, many are left wondering if the show will be concluding soon. Renewed for a seventeenth season, the question arose when Ellen Pompeo made an appearance on the The Late Show with James Corden last September. Pompeo allegedly avoided questions regarding the shows ending but did respond with saying she has ideas on how to end it if it were.
“The ending, the final episode, matters so much,” she said. “Are you kidding me? And the fans are never going to be happy no matter what…So, there’s a lot of pressure on that final episode.”
Pompeo is under contract with the show until 2021. The next season is slated to air in Fall 2020. As for Alex, fans can buckle up and get ready for his story’s ending.