TVLine on Jan. 10 confirmed that the final episode featuring Chambers, an original cast member, has already aired, back on Nov. 14. (In the following episode, viewers learned that Alex Karev had returned home to care for his ailing mother.) The fact that Chambers will not be given a proper onscreen sendoff suggests his departure came abruptly and without much notice.
On Saturday, nearly 24 hours after the news broke, Grey’s lead Pompeo commented on a Vanity Fair tweet which posited that ABC’s top-rated (and broadcast-TV’s No. 2 overall) drama “is about to feel one of its biggest losses yet,” saying: “Truer words have never been spoken” — her first comments on the matter.
In a Friday statement, Chambers himself said, “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. “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. As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda [Rhimes], original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.”