Perhaps no other character on “Grey’s Anatomy” went through more character growth during their run on the show than Alex Karev, who began his residency so brash and unpleasant that he quickly earned himself the nickname “Evil Spawn.” But over 16 seasons, Alex grew into one of the most beloved characters on the show, rising to eventually become head of pediatric surgery at Grey Sloan and later chief of surgery at Pacific Northwest General Hospital, establishing himself as Meredith’s “person,” and — after marrying Izzie in Season 5, only for her to walk out on him in Season 6 — marrying Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) at the end of Season 14.
Alex and Jo’s relationship had a lot more time to establish itself than Alex and Izzie’s, and knowing Jo’s abandonment issues, Alex reiterated over and over that he was committed to her for the long haul. So imagine everyone’s surprise when Alex abruptly decided to leave Jo, his friends, and his job in the middle of Season 16, ditching Seattle entirely to go be with Izzie again after learning she had secretly used two of the embryos they’d had frozen while they were together and was raising his children on a farm in Kansas. He served Jo with divorce papers, accompanied by a letter explaining his sudden departure, and also delivered letters to Meredith, Richard, and Miranda. It felt like a bizarrely out-of-character move for one of “Grey’s Anatomy’s” last remaining original interns, leaving both fans and the remainder of the characters reeling in shock.