Following the news that original cast member Justin Chambers is leaving Grey’s Anatomy and furthermore, that his last episode aired on November 14, EW is revisiting what will serve as Alex Karev’s farewell.
In the eighth episode of season 16, Meredith Grey experienced one of the most important moments of her career: The hearing that would determine if she’d lose her medical license. In typical Grey’s fashion, the hearing was very eventful — Meredith confronted the doctor who killed Derek, which was immediately followed by said doctor collapsing (and then dying). But it was Alex who stopped the board from postponing the hearing in the wake of all the drama.
“You can’t postpone because these people have come from all over to speak for Meredith,” Alex said as he opened the doors and welcomed in a large group of Meredith’s former patients, all there to testify on her behalf. After the patients spoke, Alex then read letters that Meredith’s former colleagues had written, including one from Cristina Yang. Ultimately, it was Karev’s act of bringing in those patients and letters — followed by a moving speech from Dr. Bailey — that led the board to decide that Meredith could keep her license.
Karev can last be seen standing in the lobby among his colleagues as Meredith’s lawyer delivers the good news.
In the following episode, Karev is not seen, but it is mentioned that he’s gone home to care for his mother.
So if Karev isn’t going to get a proper goodbye, at least he got to go out as a hero?