'Grey's Anatomy' Fans Disappointed By Alex Karev's Farewell Episode As Justin Chambers Leaves Drama

Grey's Anatomy has officially said goodbye to another original star as Justin Chambers' Alex Karev was written out in Thursday's episode on ABC. But the reaction to his farewell has been bittersweet.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Chambers' final episode was a muted affair with Karev only providing a voiceover to events, but not physically present. Chambers was last seen in an episode in November, two months before the actor announced his surprise departure from the show.

In the episode, Karev explained in a series of letters to his wife Jo Wilson (Camila Luddington), best friend Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and longtime colleagues Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) that he has left Seattle and will not be returning to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

In a further twist, Karev reveals he has reunited with his ex-wife Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) and they are living together in Kansas—with their twin children. It turns out Izzie used the embryos she had frozen years ago amid cancer treatment to have their children, and Karev wants to be there for his kids.

Greys Anatomy Alex Karev
Justin Chambers as Alex Karev on 'Grey's Anatomy.' ABC

In a statement on Thursday night, Grey's showrunner Krista Vernoff said: "It is nearly impossible to say goodbye to Alex Karev. 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," continued Vernoff. "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."

However, the show's explanation for Karev's abrupt departure did not go over well with many viewers, who have become accustomed to less than auspicious farewells for beloved characters in the past—Patrick Dempsey's Derek Shepherd among them.

"I did not watch 16 seasons of #GreysAnatomy just to have this bulls**t happen to Karev," said one fan.

"izzie stevens is still managing to somehow ruin #GreysAnatomy 10 years after she left the show smh," said another.

"I'm going to forget I ever saw this episode and just tell myself that Alex died," said another fan.

Another viewer surmised: "All I'm saying is if they could get Justin Chambers to come back and do an Alex Karev voice over for this, they sure as hell could've convinced him to film ONE MORE EPISODE with a better ending than this absurdity."

See more tweets below:

'Grey's Anatomy' Fans Disappointed By Alex Karev's Farewell Episode As Justin Chambers Leaves Drama | Culture