TV & Movies

Arizona’s Grey’s Anatomy Return Could Address Alex’s Exit

Fans may have questions about Calzona, but what about Alex?

Alex and Arizona on 'Grey's Anatomy.' Photo via Getty Images
Richard Foreman/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 is all about blending new doctors’ stories with nostalgic nods to the show’s decades-long history — and Dr. Arizona Robbins’ return during the April 4 episode might be the most highly anticipated throwback yet.

Jessica Capshaw’s beloved pediatric and fetal surgeon departed the show six years ago, moving to New York after Jo and Alex’s Season 14 wedding. But now, she’s paying a visit to Grey Sloan Memorial to perform innovative fetal brain surgery, giving the show a unique opportunity to check in on her personal life. Specifically, is she back with Callie? Does she miss Seattle enough to move back? And how did she react when her friend and former mentee, Alex, abandoned his wife to raise twins with Izzie in Kansas?

Grey’s showrunner Meg Marinis told Deadline that Arizona’s return will touch on things people loved about the character, including “her humor, her hard work as a doctor, her teaching, [and] her friendships with the people that she loved at Grey Sloan.” Hopefully, that means Grey’s Anatomy will provide some closure by bringing up Arizona and Alex’s friendship — which was always one of the strongest on the show.

Arizona Helped Alex Grow Up

Kelsey McNeal/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

Yes, Alex might have been Meredith’s “person.” They were the last members of MAGIC standing, friends who bonded simply by going through the throes of intern life together.

But Arizona was his mentor. She was someone who saw the potential in him when not many others did, and worked tirelessly to help him be the best version of himself. She took pride in his growth. “Alex Karev is trying to be more human,” she said in Season 8. “And I think that we can thank me for that.”

Later, on Jo and Alex’s wedding day, she said she could leave Seattle in peace knowing that her protégé had reached such a meaningful milestone. “Alex Karev, married? That’s, like, my work here is done,” she said, triumphantly.

Ron Tom/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

Since she was such a #Jolex shipper, you can be sure Arizona would have *thoughts* about Alex ghosting his wife (and all of his friends) to reunite with Izzie. As a long-distance co-parent herself, she would have been shocked by Alex’s decision to uproot his life, instead of simply working out an arrangement with Izzie.

The Dust Never Settled On Alex’s Departure

Arizona referencing Alex during her upcoming Grey’s visit doesn’t have to be too involved. Even if it was a quip about his ridiculous decision, or a message update from Alex (as the show has done several times with Cristina Yang, for example), any nod would help provide some much-needed closure about the character’s sudden departure.

After all, Alex’s goodbye episode aired in March 2020 — and the world, both real and on Grey’s, quickly moved on to other pressing matters. But now, a few years removed from the shock of Alex’s disappearing act, the show has a real opportunity to heal the wound once and for all. And who better than Arizona to do exactly that?