Is GREY’S ANATOMY Saying Goodbye to Alex Karev?
By Lisa Casas
Alex Karev, former demon spawn, unlucky in love, and the official “person” of Meredith Grey (since Yang skedaddled off to Switzerland) has been in a bit of a rut this 13th season of Grey’s Anatomy. Okay, maybe more than a rut.
At the end of season 12, Alex beat intern Andrew DeLuca’s face into mince meat in a jealous, albeit misguided, rage and has since been charged with a felony. He’s lost his leading lady Jo who is really disappointed in his violent behavior. She refuses to talk to him, apparently forgetting she was on top of DeLuca wearing only bra, panties, and the strong smell of liquor on her breath. She also seems to forget that they were just in love half a second ago. Oh, and to make matters more depressing, Alex has been pushed out of the big house to live in the basement. Well, not really the basement, but he’s been kicked out of Peds and forced to do (cue gasp) scrub work at the Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic. No surgical privileges, just wiping butts and removing warts, and the occasional miracle diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, rumors have been flying that soon Grey’s Anatomy may be down another hunk. That Alex Karev, our Alex Karev, will no longer be around to make us laugh, cry, or satisfy our screaming ovaries. At first I thought these whisperings were crazy talk; Shonda wouldn’t do that to us. Then the ghosts of McSteamy and McDreamy past slapped me into reality, and I realized that there may be some merit in those rumors. Let’s take a look at the top three Alex exit theories.
#1 Alex Karev Commits Suicide
“Whaaat?” you say, “Are you freaking kidding me?” Karev asks. Well, no. Alex has been getting slightly doom and gloom in the dialogue department lately, making little remarks about him “going away.” He’s mentioned jail several times and in “Out of Bounds” he referenced not always being there in a heartbreaking scene with Meredith. The best friends were lying on her bed in one of those perfect Merlex conversations. Karev says he wants “Waffle Sundays” to be a thing. He wants his waffles and he wants them with her, the kiddos, Maggie, even Amelia, basically his family. He says, “I won’t always be here, and you need your sisters.” Meredith assumes he’s referring to jail, but what if…
…Nah, I’m calling B.S. on this rumor. Alex Karev offing himself? This is the fighter who clawed his way from homelessness to baby doctor extraordinaire; this is the fighter who clawed his way to the elevator with a gunshot wound to the chest; and this is the fighter who clawed his way out of the crazy love of Izzie Stevens to find love again. Alex is the one character who we have seen transform from a smart mouthed, immature bad boy to a mature, caring man, a gentle man who holds babies and puts his friends’ needs above his own. Suicide? Not in Karev’s nature.
So, off to the next rumor…
#2 He Skips Town to Escape Jail
The official press winter finale loglines read, “Believing he is going to jail tomorrow, Alex makes a big decision about his future.” Could this big decision mean he’s skipping town to skip out on a jail sentence? This seems slightly more likely than an Alex offing himself scenario. The fighter Alex may convince himself that he can’t do jail time, that he has nothing left in Seattle, and that he’s done with those damn waffles. He could fly off into the sunset to a new beginning somewhere far away from his troubles and far away from a burgeoning Jo/DeLuca romance. Can we come with you Karev because no one wants to see that?
This is a better option for an exit strategy for all of us who have grown to love the show’s original bad boy. It allows for a return. If we set him free, maybe he will come back to us one day. Right? I can hear another cover of “How to Save a Life” fade in as Merlex cry in each other’s arms. Alex tells her to take care of the kids as he rips out of her hold to board a plane. In the rain, of course.
Wait… not so fast. Alex isn’t a runner. He’s a fight not flight kind of guy.
So, that leaves us with option #3…
#3 He Changes His Plea to Guilty
Season Two man-child Alex would run; he would blame DeLuca’s face for getting in the way of his fists. He would never accept responsibility. But we are dealing with Season Thirteen Alex, a grown up man who seems resigned to the fact that he’s going to jail. Yes, he did plead not guilty but he is acting and talking like a very guilty man. Perhaps the most likely “big decision” Alex makes is to change his plea to guilty and take some sort of deal for reduced jail time. This may be the most desirable course for those of us not willing to give up a weekly dose of Karev. Maybe Shonda will give us glimpses of Alex in jail a la Mike on USA Network’s Suits. Or better yet, maybe she’ll time jump his jail stint like Mer’s Derek-death grieving period lasting a year but fast-forwarded in one episode.
He’ll come back better than ever, more wounded and don’t we love emotionally wounded Alex? He’ll find true love (Meredith perhaps?) and have his own kids and live happily ever after. Wait, not so fast on that one either. Shondaland likes tragedy and has proven time and time again that Alex may not have nice things. He is the archetypical tragic hero with the heart of gold meaning an uber tragic ending in the land of Grey’s.
Basically, we’re back to square one, and I have no idea what Alex’s “big decision” will be. I do know that I love this character with all my heart. He’s changed the most out of all the Grey’s characters going from a self-serving, ladies man to a true man who cherishes those he loves. I also know I will be watching with you, hoping Karev stays, praying for some light in his life and vowing to never watch Grey’s again if they kill him off. Please don’t remind me that I’ve said those words before… rewind to Derek and a car, rewind farther back to Mark and a plane, rewind it way back to George and a bus, and we all know how my threats of a Grey’s boycott end in me tuning in, getting sucked in, and watching every week.
So, what do you all think? Is this the end of road for Alex Karev? How will he go out? Let us know. I’ll see you on Twitter Thursday night. We may all need a big virtual hug on Friday.