Everything We Know About Alex's Absence on 'Grey's Anatomy' (PHOTOS)

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Grey's Anatomy Where Is Alex
ABC/Kelsey McNeal
Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Alex Iowa Mother

Alex Is in Iowa Helping His Mom

In the episode immediately following Chambers’ last on-screen appearance, Jo told Lincoln that her husband was off taking care of his mother, and that remains the official story through “A Diagnosis.”

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Alex Replacement Cormac
ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Alex Has Been Replaced at Grey Sloan

Cormac Hayes is the new chief of pediatric surgery at the hospital. Sure, he was given that position while Pac-North (and therefore Alex’s job there) still existed, but we all know Cormac and Alex will never co-chair the department.

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Alex Maggie Job Offer
ABC/Lisa Rose

Alex Offered Maggie a Job Through Richard

While at one of the most awkward dinners ever, Catherine called Richard out on texting at the table (assuming it was with his “friend”). Instead, he revealed that he was talking to Alex about making Maggie an offer to run Pac-North’s cardio department. Alex approved it.

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Alex Pac-North Closed

Alex Gave up on Pac-North

After Catherine bought and closed Pac-North, everyone had to report to Grey Sloan to interview to keep their jobs. As for Alex’s reaction to what had come of the hospital he was trying to turn around, Richard relayed to Owen that he’d texted him “a laugh until you cry emoji with a party hat.”

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Alex Avoiding Jo Calls

Alex Isn’t Talking to Jo

In Episode 13, Jo told Amelia that Alex wasn’t returning her calls. “He says that he’s going through something and he needs time,” she said.

She still hadn’t heard from him in Episode 14. And after her patient cheated on her husband, who died injuries he sustained protecting her, she left him a voicemail. “I need you to call me. I need to hear your voice. I need to know what’s going on,” Jo insisted. “Whatever it is, I need to know. I want to know because I would jump in front of a bear for you.”

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Alex Jo Cheating

Jo Worried About What Alex Could Be up to in Iowa

She admitted to Owen that she was thinking about worst-case scenarios after learning their patient was cheating on her husband. “She reconnected with an ex from high school, and then one thing led to another,” Jo said. “What if he just ran into some old girlfriend from high school and one thing led to another?”

Greys Anatomy Alex Meredith Text

Alex Isn’t Talking to Meredith Either

After DeLuca (very) publicly broke up with her, Meredith texted Alex, “Where are you? I need you.” Her phone showed the three dots indicating he was typing something, but then they disappeared.

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[Warning: The below and gallery above contain MAJOR spoilers for Season 16, Episode 14 of Grey's Anatomy, "A Diagnosis."]

Right now, one of the biggest questions on Grey's Anatomy is what's going on with Alex Karev?

Fans learned in January that Justin Chambers was leaving the ABC medical drama after 15 years and his final episode had already aired. Since Episode 8, "My Shot," there have been a few mentions of him — he's visiting his mother in Iowa, which explains his current absence — but the mystery around what's happening with him deepens each week and with every call from Jo that goes unanswered.

'Grey's Anatomy' EP Says Season 16 Will Provide 'Clarity' on Alex's FateSee Also

'Grey's Anatomy' EP Says Season 16 Will Provide 'Clarity' on Alex's Fate

'We're, episode by episode, illuminating the story of where Alex is,' showrunner Krista Vernoff said.

In the gallery above, we're rounding up everything we know about the MIA doctor.

Grey's Anatomy, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC