'Grey's Anatomy': Alex Karev Grew TF Up & We Really Need to Talk About It

Season 15 of Grey’s Anatomy premiered last Thursday, and I have so. many. feels.

Think back to those little intern babies—who would have ever guessed we’d come this far? Who could have possibly imagined, when we were all innocent and fresh-faced with no possible comprehension of the horrors that were to come, that we’d still be here 13 years down the road? Unbelievable devastation has rained down at the hands of these writers, but we’ve also borne witness to incredible character growth. And that, my friends, is what I really want to talk about.

My precious bb Alex Karev was named the interim Chief of Surgery while Bailey steps back to focus on her (stolen) project with Jo and, I must reiterate, who would have ever predicted that? Remember all the way back to day one, when Chief Webber said, “Eight of you will switch to an easier specialty. Five will crack under the pressure. Two of you will be asked to leave.” Was there anyone out there that didn't expect, and maybe even hope, for Alex to be asked to leave?

Once upon a time, Alex was the literal worst: he bullied George relentlessly, he sexually harassed Izzy, he started a syphilis outbreak and his distraction with Olivia afterward lead him to relay an incorrect dosage, leading to the death of Robert Martin. He was put on the gynie squad as punishment after his mistreatment of Addison Montgomery, he was frequently kicked off of others’ services for treating patients like crap, and he dated Ava despite her clear need for psychiatric treatment.

Throughout all of that, there were glimpses of a good person, though, like when he clung to Izzy after Denny died, when he knocked out the meth dealer whose baby was in withdrawal, and when he threatened to kick Derek’s ass for Meredith. Each time, it was so frustrating when he reverted back to his normal self. But ever so slowly, that arrogant jackass morphed into the best friend, doctor and person you could ever want for yourself. Thanks to Meredith’s tendency to pick up strays, he found a family that was always there for him, and that he would always be there for in return. Thanks to Addison’s punishment and Arizona’s mentoring he found his passion in pediatrics. And thanks to Jo, someone with a near-equal upbringing to his own, he found a living example of someone that had overcome childhood trauma and still had her head on straight.

That once infuriating fratboy intern is a shining example of a glow up. Where he once repeated his mistakes, over and over, he now learns from them. Where he once spent his days insulting patients, he now plays games with them. Where he once pushed everyone in his life away, he now embraces his unconventional family. And now, the Evil Spawn is the Chief of Surgery.