Friday, June 21, 2024

“Grey’s Anatomy” Gives the Heave-Ho to Justin Chambers’ Character, Alex, After 15 Years–And Twists the Katherine Heigl Knife Again


That Sloan Grey Hospital is a vicious place. Or rather, make that Shondaland, where no almost no original male characters still live.

McDreamy got pulverized by a truck that him sideways. McSteamy died in a plane crash. Remember George? He jumped in front of a bus.  Isaiah Washington’s Dr. Burke just left, no explanation, even though it was because he was a terrible person in real life.

Now Justin Chambers’ Alex Karev got a ridiculous ending after 15 years. Karev disappeared from the show in November, presumably because Chambers’ contract ran out and he wouldn’t take a pay cut. So the writers had to come up with a reason Alex left his friends and his wife, Jo.

In last night’s episode, Chambers did some narration but did not appear on screen. That alone must have been some negotiation. In the story cooked up by Shonda Rhimes’s writers’ room, Alex has gone to Kansas to be with the twin 5 year old sons no one knew about. And he had them with Izzie, once played by Katherine Heigl, who was written off the show 10 years ago because she was too popular and too demanding. Heigl was also not seen on last night’s show.

So that leaves just three of the original characters from the spring of 2005 when I watched “Grey’s Anatomy” in my hotel room in Santa Maria, California on Sunday nights before Michael Jackson’s trial resumed. Ellen Pompeo had to stay, she plays Meredith Grey in the title. The other two who remained were Dr. Richard, the head of the hospital, and Bailey, the practical know it all, played by James Pickens, Jr. and Chandra Wilson, respectively. These two must open every script wondering if they’re going to survive the season.

In the final episode, Pompeo will stand before the burning rubble of the fictional hospital, accounting for most of the salary allotment in the budget, waiting for her spin off– “Grey’s Assisted Living” — to begin.

And yes, say it now if you get it, “It’s a Shonda.”


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News