How to Say Goodbye
We finally find out what happened to Karev and I am not sure this is the right ending for one of the show’s original surgeons. While it’s understandable the show had to do their best after the actor’s prompt departure, I can’t help but feels that this felt out of place and character, bringing back one of its much older stories connected to him. With mainly flashbacks, the episode felt more like a filler and will probably leave people quite shocked – and not in a good way either.
We begin episode 16 of Grey’s Anatomy with a flashback of the first day Meredith and Karev were residents before cutting to Meredith, Bailey, Webber and Jo, each receiving a letter from Karev. They all start reading it as they realise he is leaving them and the hospital.
As we see flashbacks of his time with Meredith, he tells her that no matter what happened she was always there for him but he can’t come back and face her as he knows she will say the right thing. He tells her it’s not about her or Jo but about him as he reveals that he is with Izzy.
We then see more flashbacks of him with Izzy as he explains he got in touch with her when he was looking for testimonies for her court case. He wanted to know how she was and explains that he found out Izzy had his children – twins infact. He tells her he loves Jo but because Izzy used her frozen embryos to have their kids, he went to visit them and fell in love with straight away.
He now lives on a farm and is planning to apply to the nearest hospital. He also admits how much he admires her for becoming the mother and surgeon she is now but most of all how she’s “her own person”. He ends the letter saying he hopes she’ll come and see him one day, but not to ask him to come back.
As Jo reads her letter next, Alex tells her she deserves more than a letter as we see flashbacks of their story together. He tells her he loves her and how she made him stronger. He then reveals that he is in love with Izzy and how there was always a part of him that wondered how she was.
After explaining how they reconnected, he reveals that she had his kids and felt that he couldn’t walk away as he wants to give them the family life he and Jo never had. He wishes he didn’t have to hurt her but can’t lie as he isn’t coming home and will not be able to walk away. He delivers another blow with signed divorce papers but also leaves her everything. He ends the letter by saying thank you and sorry as he doesn’t know how to finish it.
In Bailey’s letter, he first mentions his nickname, evil spawn, as we see flashbacks of his beginnings in the hospital where we see how difficult he used to be. He tells her that unlike everyone else, she let him grow up and pushed his buttons when needed. She helped him and thanks to her, he is now a good paediatrician surgeon. He ends the letter saying goodbye, thank you and “I love you Doctor Bailey”.
Richard is attending a AA meeting where he talks about teaching and being a surgeon, along with how much he loves it. He tells the group about the letter he received from one of his students as we see flashbacks of his time teaching Karev and the lessons he gave him. He explains that he eventually became an excellent surgeon even though he was the underdog. Unfortunately, he tells them that he chose to give up everything for the woman he thinks he loves.
We then see another flashback of Karev talking to Jo about Izzy, where he told her that he doesn’t need to call her as he imagines that she must have a happy family life now. We then see the beginning of their story together with their happy and sad times.
We then cut back to Bailey who tells Ben about what she just found out. She explains that Karev survived what he went through in his life by luck so she tells her husband that Joey’s future shouldn’t be dependent on luck. Ben tells her that she keeps shutting him off whenever something big happens so they need to learn to talk to each other, while Link checks in on Jo. She decides to stay strong and heads in to work. The episode ends with Meredith speaking to Zola about Alex as she narrates that there is never an easy way to say goodbye.
As Grey’s Anatomy says goodbye to one of its original doctors, it shows us just how far the drama has fallen and how disappointed it has become to its fans who expected more for this exit. Each characters exit up until now has been really well written, which proves again that maybe Grey’s Anatomy should finally hang up its stethoscope after its long run.
While most of the episode spent its time in flashbacks, there were still a few emotional moments seeing some old faces from the past. Meredith probably had the best letter as Karev tells her she is “her own person”, while Jo’s felt more like a kick in the teeth. After everything they went through recently, this really felt very out of character for Karev and quite a shame to see this ending.
Webber, on the other hand, has trouble dealing with the news and what will happen next for him is quite worrying. With the next few episodes presumably concentrating on him, in the mean time Grey’s Anatomy delivers another disappointing chapter in what’s fast becoming its weakest season so far.