Jo's Voicemail To Alex On 'Grey's Anatomy' Could Signal Heartbreak Ahead

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Spoilers ahead for Grey's Anatomy Season 16. Sorry, Alex Karev still can't come to the phone. As perhaps a consolation prize of sorts, fans got to hear the MIA doc's voice for the first time this year, even if just as a recording: "You've reached Alex Karev. Leave a message." But the voicemail Jo left Alex on Grey's Anatomy's Feb. 20 episode afterward didn't provide a whole lot of comfort. With a couple of emotional breaks, Jo's poignant message for her husband went as follows:

"Hey, Alex, I need you to call me. I need to hear your voice. I need to know what's going on, whatever it is... Whatever it is, I need to know. I want to know because I would jump in front of a bear for you, Alex. Please call me."

She literally said she would jump in front of a bear for him, and he can't even call her back? She's not the only one who wants answers. Yes, viewers know Alex is in Iowa, or at least that's the ongoing excuse around Grey Sloan anyway. Beyond that, however, this week's installment of the "Where in the World Is Alex Karev?" mystery offered few new clues. It did pose a huge question, though: Why is Grey's doing this to Alex?

Oh, and as if not answering his wife's phone calls wasn't appallingly out of character enough, now Alex apparently is ghosting Meredith, too. After DeLuca officially broke up with her in the midst of a possible manic episode, Meredith texted Alex, "Where are you? I need you." There was a glimmer of hope when those three typing dots appeared, but then he left his day one, Meredith Grey, on read...in her hour of need. What?

ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Because poor Jo is as confused about what's going on as everyone else, she's coming up with her own theories now, too. "Alex went home to Iowa and I've barely heard from him and my worst case scenario meter is off the charts right now," she confessed in one scene. And what she'd been imagining, she explained, is that maybe Alex "just ran into some old girlfriend from high school and one thing led to another." Cheating on her, too? Hasn't Jo been through enough already?

Well, Grey's showrunner Krista Vernoff did at least reassure fans that she's taken that into consideration. "Jo went through so much pain and so much grief just last season that I wanted to be careful," Vernoff acknowledged in a recent Variety interview. "And so it's a bit of a mystery [what’s going on with Alex], so that we don't watch Jo in the same place that we watched her in last season. We did it as carefully as we could. But it takes a while to get there."

Taking "a while" seems to be a bit of an understatement. If you're keeping count, ABC has now officially aired five episodes since Justin Chambers announced his Grey's exit on Jan. 10. Up to this point, however, all viewers know about how the 16-season vet's story will wrap is that Alex is going through "something" in Iowa, and on top of that, now he's also being super shady to his friends and family back in Seattle. Is Grey's just trying to soften the blow of losing Alex? Maybe. But fans seems to be in agreement that he really does deserve better.