Faithful viewers of Grey’s Anatomy have seen a few things over the years — plane crashes, cut LVAD wires, horrendously bad couplings, lone gunmen, and more weird accidents than you can shake a stick at. But, it’s always hard to lose cast members, especially if they’re members of the shrinking list of original characters on the show. Are Alex and Jo leaving Grey’s Anatomy? This coupling could be running far from Grey Sloan.
There’s good news, and there’s bad news for Alex and Jo. They’re finally for real engaged, because Jo is no longer running from her abusive estranged husband, Paul. He’s dead. Hooray! She’s been running and hiding from him for years, and now, Jo can finally breathe. We don’t normally celebrate deaths, but here, it’s appropriate. In any case, that freedom that Alex and Jo now have to marry also grants her the freedom to go out and do anything she wants. In this case, that involves applying for her fifth-year fellowships all around the country. Jo wants a great big career, but Alex is unhappy that she has one foot out the door. Alex has been hurt before, you see, and he can’t take another heartbreak.
Luckily, Jo tells Alex that she “wants a great big giant career,” but she doesn’t “want to go anywhere without” him. It was sweet! Really. Alex was going to propose, but Jo beat him to it. What a day! They’re finally engaged, they’re finally going to get married, and they can finally make their undying commitment a legal one for the tax breaks. It’s a nice feeling. What’s not so nice is that now that Alex and Jo will officially be a packaged deal, Jo could get a job somewhere that’s not Grey Sloan, and Alex could opt to move with her. Say it ain’t so, Grey’s Anatomy!
Just because Jo said she didn’t want to leave Alex doesn’t mean that they can’t move somewhere together. If Jo gets into a great fellowship on the other side of the country, Alex can easily move with her. He’s a world-class pediatrics surgeon, trained by Dr. Arizona Robbins, and any hospital would be happy to have him on staff. Heck, he could even join a private practice like he almost did a few years back. It’s a more stable job with better hours, which is great if these two want to start a family.
Jo and Alex couldn’t leave Grey’s Anatomy because we can’t handle losing two more great characters from the show. It was recently announced that Sarah Drew (who plays April) and Jessica Capshaw (who plays Arizona) would not be coming back next season, which means that Shonda Rhimes and company have two very big storylines to wrap up before Season 14 ends. When the news was announced, Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff wished the two actresses well, basically saying that parting is sorrow:
“The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew. As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses.”
Saying goodbye is hard, but saying goodbye to more people? That’s too hard. To make it four is to change nearly half the cast, and to let Alex and Jo leave means that Meredith will lose her person, Alex. Meredith has already lost her husband (car crash) and her best friend (Switzerland), and Meredith can’t handle this. Can’t somebody think of Meredith?
Ellen Pompeo has extended her Grey’s Anatomy contract for two more seasons (she’ll earn $575,000 an episode, making her the highest-paid actress on television right now), and even though the show has yet to be renewed, according to Variety, Pompeo’s presence makes it a safe bet. But what about Alex and Jo? There’s no news on Justin Chambers’ and Camilla Luddington’s contracts just yet, but let’s keep our fingers crossed that they don’t get up and go — Grey’s Anatomy can’t afford to lose its most stable couple.