Grey's Boss Speaks Out in Wake of Shocking Alex Farewell Episode

Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff, the architect of Thursday’s very surprising “Farewell to Alex Karev”-themed episode (read recap here), is sharing her thoughts on the character — and his portrayer, Justin Chambers — in a new statement provided to TVLine.

“It is nearly impossible to say goodbye to Alex Karev,” Vernoff acknowledges. “That is as true for me and for all of the writers at Grey’s Anatomy as it is for the fans. We have loved writing Alex. And we have loved watching Justin Chambers’ nuanced portrayal of him.

“For 16 seasons, 16 years, we have grown up alongside Alex Karev,” she continues. “We have been frustrated by his limitations and we have been inspired by his growth and we have come to love him deeply and to think of him as one of our very best friends. We will miss him terribly. And we will always be grateful for his impact, on our show, on our hearts, on our fans, on the world.”

Vernoff’s only previous comments regarding Chambers’ abrupt departure came late last month when she intimated to Variety that finding a way to organically write Alex out has been a bit of challenge. “It was a very careful threading of a needle, where we are giving a little bit of information and pain to Jo,” she said, adding, “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.”

As viewers learned in Thursday’s episode, Alex left town to reunite with ex-wife Izzie — and settle down with their two children (who he only recently learned existed).

In confirming his Grey’s exit in early January, Chambers said that he was looking to to “diversify” his “acting roles and career choices,” adding, “As I turn 50 — and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children — now is that time.”