Justin Chambers, who dutifully played Alex Karev for 16 seasons on Grey’s Anatomy, is finally leaving the show. Chambers is one of the last original cast members on the show, [she types in between sobs] except for Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens Jr. “There’s no good time to say good-bye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” Chambers said in a statement to Deadline. “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.” Aside from Pompeo, Chambers is the only remaining cast member from the show’s initial intern class. Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, and T. R. Knight have all departed. “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,” he said. His character made the transition from douchebag to bighearted pediatric surgeon. Karev recently got married and became chief of surgery at a nearby competing hospital. Since Oh and Patrick Dempsey left the show in 2013 and 2015, respectively, Karev has played a pivotal role in Meredith Grey’s life.
TVLine confirmed that Chambers’s final episode of Grey’s Anatomy already aired on November 14. In the season 16 finale, Karev was off-screen, caring for his mother. This means Alex Karev won’t get a proper Grey’s Anatomy good-bye.