Justin Chambers' exit from Grey's Anatomy was explained in the show's midseason premiere on Thursday, with the star's departure fairly low-key.
The actor, known for his role as Dr. Alex Karev, last featured in the 350th episode of the show, which aired in the U.S. in November as part of the current season 16.
However, he hasn't filmed any episodes since, and his departure was confirmed in the show's latest episode, as his character had returned home to care for his sick mother
As Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) visited Alex's wife Jo Wilson Karev (Camilla Luddington) at their apartment and noticed that Alex wasn't there, Jo explained, "He's visiting his mom."
The 49-year-old previously revealed he's "very excited" about the next chapter in his life, telling the New York Post's gossip column Page Six he plans on taking things "one day at a time", with ambitions to produce documentaries in the future.
However, he's first looking forward to enjoying "life, family, love and friendship".