The lastest Grey's Anatomy cliffhanger was a lot to take in, even for fans of a show that has basically been continuous cliffhangers for over a decade. It was revealed in the final moments of the Jan. 18 episode that Paul, Jo's abusive, estranged husband, had been the victim of a hit-and-run, and his life was now in the hands of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital staff. Viewers learned this new information just as Meredith did. She approached Jo and Alex, who were standing outside the room where Paul was being treated, staring through the window, and asked them, "what did you do?" So, did Alex really hit Paul on Grey's Anatomy?
While we can't know for sure, it's apparent that fans are really, really, really hoping this isn't the case. So much of the show in recent years has been focused on Alex's anger and his struggle to overcome it. It came to a head in the last season or so when he beat the daylights out of DeLuca due to a snap decision in the midst of what was just a terrible misunderstanding. It's always been a problem, at least lurking in the background, but Alex has been making strides to improve himself and get a better hold on his emotions, so if he is found to be guilty of the hit-and-run, it'll be extremely disappointing.
Alex has already faced Jo's ex earlier in the season. He managed not to go bananas on him like an earlier version of himself would have done, and that meant something. As some people have pointed out, it would negate the purpose of that earlier scene with Paul if Alex ended up still exacting some kind of vengeful violence. "Of all the people [that could] have hit him I would be most shocked if it were Alex, they’ve really exhausted the ‘Alex has anger problems he’s trying to control’ plot," wrote Reddit user sealthedeal666. "And on top of that really have been developing him to not react this way. I mean what was the point of the episode where he has the scenarios of talking to Paul earlier if not to prove he wasn’t gonna kill the guy?"
Aside from the disappointment some would feel for Alex's backtracking in his life, some people have pointed out that the whole "will Alex go to jail" situation has kind of run its course on Grey's Anatomy (creator: Shonda Rhimes). I don't know if I or anyone else can emotionally handle another courtroom-fraught story arc in which we need to agonize for weeks over whether or not Alex is going to go to jail.
Despite the horror it would cause all Alex fans to endure, it's certainly possible that Alex did hatch a plan to take Paul out without drawing attention to himself. It'd be a backtrack in his progress, but certainly isn't out of the realm of potential reality. Alex would stop at nothing to protect Jo, and especially after Jenny, Paul's new fiancee, gave him Jo's phone number, he would know exactly where to find her if he ever wanted to. Not good.
In the end, though, Jo probably needs Alex more now as a steady support system, not a loose cannon who could hit a guy with a car at a moment's notice. It was clear that Jo trusts Alex to have her back. "That smile she did when the intern told her that Alex was looking for her," wrote Khajiit-ify. "That was the first time I really believed in their relationship, because she finally felt safe knowing that Alex knew." This is a good point — when Jo found out that Alex knew Paul was in the hospital, she was relieved, not scared that he would freak out and get himself into even more trouble. Ultimately, Alex wouldn't be able to provide Jo a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen if he was locked up in jail. Hopefully, someone else was behind the wheel that day.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.