A day after fans of the ABC medical drama said goodbye to Chambers, Carmack said he was “drenched in tears” while watching Thursday’s episode, which saw Alex abruptly leave his wife, Jo Karev, and his life in Seattle to reunite with first wife Izzie Stevens and her 5-year-old twins.
“It was really kind of beautiful to look back on Alex Karev and his 16 years of life on the show,” Carmack told People magazine. “Watching him and Meredith and their first go around, and him and Izzie. How incredible to see a flashback of 16 years ago that was actually shot as part of the television show. It was very tangible and emotional. It wasn’t just a flashback from that episode. Those were scenes that fans had invested in so long ago. To see them all back to back was very powerful.”
Still, some viewers didn’t approve of Alex abandoning his wife to be with his ex and his newly-discovered children. Their complaints prompted series star Ellen Pompeo to address fan concerns on Instagram, saying this was the “best possible storyline.”
“It pays homage to those incredible first years and the incredible cast …that created a foundation so strong that the show is still standing. So let’s not be sad,” she said.