While Grey's Anatomy celebrates 200 episodes with a fundraising gala to help save Grey Sloan Memorial, Thursday's episode (9/8c, ABC) will be far from a party for the characters. In particular, Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) will get quite a shock when his father (Dexter's James Remar) resurfaces after 20 years.
"The last time he saw his father, he was abusing his mom, and Alex had beat the crap out of him," Chambers tells TVGuide.com. "So this revisit is going to be very interesting to see what happens."
Of course, his father's return comes at a time when the once-cocky doctor has found himself in a new relationship with Jo (Camilla Luddington). "Alex has always been emotionally [backward], so whenever he starts to step out a little bit and feel secure, something happens and then he's pulled back in," Chambers says. "I think [his father's arrival is] going to make them strong, because she comes from a similar background — not the best childhood. They're going to be able to lean on each other, and she's going to help him hopefully get through it."
After years of being hurt or let down by women, Alex has finally met his match, according to Chambers. "She's someone who understands where he's coming from," he says. "She can call him on things, so it's going to make their relationship deeper."
Still, Alex's father may not be the only obstacle they have to face once Alex's friends see that he's getting serious with Jo. "There's going to be some tension just because Jo's a little bit more outspoken," Luddington says. "There's always that interesting relationship that happens with the women who are the friends in your life and then the girlfriend who comes in and tries to integrate into somebody's life. I think that will cause tension during this season."
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Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.