Ellen Pompeo is dealing with Justin Chambers‘ exit from Grey’s Anatomy the same way Meredith Grey would: by dancing it out. The Grey’s star, 50, posted an important message to fans on Instagram after the March 5 episode that created shockwaves across the internet, in which we finally find out what happened to Alex Karev after Justin’s abrupt departure from the show in January. SPOILERS AHEAD: after weeks of radio silence from Alex, who told his wife, Jo Karev (Camilla Luddington) that he was visiting his sick mother and stopped answering his calls, the surgeon sent letters to Jo, Meredith, and Bailey (Chandra Wilson) explaining it all.
He left his life in Seattle behind after finding out that his ex-wife, Izzie (Katherine Heigl), had given birth to twins using the embryos they froze in season 6. He’s been living with the Izzie and the kids on her farm in Kansas. Why he didn’t tell anyone about this — who knows. Grey’s doesn’t explain why Alex wouldn’t tell his best friend, let alone his WIFE what was going on, ignoring their calls, simply sending them lengthy letters with weak apologies. While Meredith is shocked, but happy, Jo is obviously upset. He sent her already signed divorce papers with the letter. Needless to say, the fan reaction to Alex’s sendoff was harsh. While some fans loved that Grey’s went back to its roots, others thought it was a bizarre way to say goodbye to a character they’ve known for 16 seasons.
Ellen is firmly in the first camp. She posted a heartbreaking video to Instagram showing Meredith and Alex’s best moments on the show together, and told her fans to see the good in what happened. “Hi here I go again… Thank YOU! You are truly the best, most passionate, most loyal fans anyone could ever ask for,” Ellen wrote. “Because of you, we got to make great TV… because of you we got to make television history! I say often life is hard and thank God it is because like I tell my kids… it shows us what we are made of, how strong we really are, and let’s face it… without the lows there would be no dancing it out or celebrating this incredible experience we call life. Thanks to our national treasure @therealdebbieallen and the writers for giving Alex Karev the best send off. Thanks to @shondarhimes for creating the most amazing character. For me personally for Karev to go back to the beginning was the best possible storyline.
“It pays homage to those incredible first years and the incredible cast that created a foundation so strong that the show is still standing,” Ellen explained. “So let’s not be sad. As our fearless leader DA always says let’s PULL UP and celebrate the actors, the writers, and the fantastic crew who make this show come to life every week. No matter what the challenge or how tired we all are in the end, you keep us going… That is worth dancing it out over! So much love and gratitude to you all. Xo E”
When Justin announced the sad news that he would be leaving the show after sixteen seasons to “diversify my acting roles and career choices,” Ellen responded to a tweet lamenting the Grey’s loss by tweeting, “Truer words have never been spoken.”