luka's family? : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

I was a bit confused last night... In the episode where Luka treats a teenager and his mentally retarded brother, he gets very upset about social services taking the mentally retarded brother away. He insisted to Dr. Weaver that "you don't split up families." Then, I thought that he said that his wife and children were taken away from him and then killed. From that, I assumed that he and his family were forcibly separated during the war, and then his wife and children were killed. When he described it poignantly last night, it didn't sound quite the same. It was more a freak accident. He left for the market innocently, and his family's building was bombed.

Am I wrong about what he said during the earlier episode that I mentioned? Did anyone else feel this was inconsistent, or did I misunderstand his comments in the episodes? Thanks, Sarah

-- sarah (, April 28, 2000


My goodness Sarah...I literally was beginning to type this same question when I saw yours. I was wondering the same thing and it lessened the emotional impact of the scene for me. I kept thinking "but he said they were separated...". If anyone can help with this, please do so.

-- Larry B. (, April 28, 2000.

I agree. That's what I remember Luka saying. I'd thought he was taken away to work in a hospital since he was a doctor or something.

-- Diana (, April 28, 2000.

You're right about that. Luka did tell Kerry in that episode that his family was taken away and killed, then last night he said their house was bombed. My theory is that maybe he was some kind of political dissident (sp?) kind of like Mobalage from Season 5, and maybe they were punishing *him* by killing his family. I'm hoping this inconsistency will be cleared up later on!

-- Melanie (, April 28, 2000.

This also threw me for a loop and I thought I might have mistaken his previous story for someone else's. I had a sinister thought though---- What if Luka is actually mentally disturbed and trying to manipulate Carol's affections with false sympathy?? I hope it was just poor continuity in writing because I like his character! It will be interesting to see why Carol turns him away before her final curtain.....

-- Carla Mitch (, April 28, 2000.

Well, I don't believe I saw the episode Sarah is talking about, however, maybe he just meant taken away as in, the soldiers, the war, the situation, took them away from him. But everyone's confusion makes sense too. However, his story about leaving and then hearing the siren was VERY sad, even if it is inconsistent, that is one of the saddest stories from an ER character. I think it was brilliant of ER to bring in this aspect (tragic war and innocent lives at stake) and I think Luka is a wonderful person to bring it to light...eventually.

-- Elaine (, April 28, 2000.

I agree with Elaine up there - I consistently enjoy seeing international characters, or characters affected by very specefic international situations, brought to light in the intimacy of a familiar setting like the E.R. When the Mobalage (sp?) storyline originally aired, I had a job where I was writing about/studying services for survivors of torture - it was excellent to see a mighty authentic Hollywood take on this often-ignored subject.

I also got an odd thrill when Luka said he lived in Vukovar - I'm not a well travelled person (rooted in eastern Canada mostly), but I did get to spend a very short time in Vukovar, northeastern Croatia, in 1998; that city was shelled out of existence. It was the front line for much of the war; I think the original population was about 200,000 - when I visited, it had dropped to 30,000, and the only building standing was the church (it had been rebulit). That's the only point I would disagree with in Luka's dialogue; in larger centres in the region, its very true that buildings and infrastucture were rebulit quite speedily, but Vukovar was flattened in 1991-92 and remained so 6-7 years later.

Loved this episode, BTW - the Mark/David storyline was heart-wrenching.

- Jenn

-- Jenn Curran (, April 28, 2000.

I was a little confused myself. Maybe Luka was refering to the war took his wife and his kids away from him. In a way, they were murdered. The bomb murdered them. I do wonder if they are trying to match Lukas character with the acters real life struggles when he lived there during the war. That could be the reason for some confusion because the writers may have started off with one idea and the acter that plays Luka says "hey, that is not what happened, this is what happened" so they changed the sorry line a bit and hoped we wouldnt catch it.

-- Jay (, April 28, 2000.

I don't see this as an inconsistancy at all. Luka's family were "taken from him" the worst way imaginable.

-- Rusty Priske (, April 28, 2000.

Perhaps, but I believe me and Sarah's point is that in the earlier storyline about the two brothers, Luka made the point that you should not separate families, and then he later told Kerry that his wife and kids were taken or separated from him and they were killed. I don't know.

I, too, like his character and I have to remind myself he's only, what, 27? Man, he's my age but seems so much older. I liked his playfulness last night.

-- Larry B. (, April 28, 2000.

I'm sorry, but this IS an inconsistency. Luka said to Kerry that his family was, "Taken. Taken and killed." He said it twice, so I don't think it can be argued that "taken" was his word for being separated by either the war or the tragic circumstances of the day he went to the market. What is so sad about the whole story (however different it is from what we first heard) is that if Luka had taken the children with him, they would [probably] still be alive. He wanted them to stay in the apartment where it was "safe". Now THAT is sad.

-- Annie (, April 28, 2000.

I too was really confused by what Luka said last night. He definitely told Kerry that they were separated and killed. I remember thinking at the time that they must have been separated when they take the men to one camp and the women and kids to another. It really appeared to be an inconsistency in the writing.

-- amanda (, April 28, 2000.

I think that when the earlier episode was written, they hadn't yet decided how his family died, and they just made something up for "The fastest year," without referencing their earlier statements. A bit sloppy. I think, though, they didn't want to belabor the pathos more by some really horrible, grisly, war story (this was bad enough). BTW, this has to end all the speculation about one or more members of Luka's immediate family being still alive, and showing up next season.

-- Felicity (, April 29, 2000.

I love Luka. He is the coolest kind of guy. I mean, he's so sweet and he always makes it seem like he's talking about it because it's there. And it's ok, and he'll be ok. He'll "rebuild and go on".

As for the story, I don't know. It could have been a mistake that Luka ever said that to Kerry. Or maybe it's more figurative. But I like that he shares. I'm glad we get to know about him.

-- Joanne (, April 30, 2000.

I don't know, Felicity--What if the wife and kids left the building after he did and went into hiding somewhere? Or, maybe they were taken prisoner after he left, and then killed. Who knows, I guess it really is an inconsistently and we're all just trying to rationalize it into a mysterious thing. But it certainly was sad. And he's confiding this to Carol, who won't be around much longer! Poor Luka. Whatever will he do? Hopefully he'll be able to "move on" after she leaves, even though they've started getting closer.

-- Cecelia (, May 02, 2000.

Well, here's my theory, for whatever it's worth. I think that after Luka's apartment building was bombed, his family was taken to the hospital (where he undoubtedly worked, btw). Possibly, his wife was injured & he took his kids there to see her (remember "Leave It To Weaver", where he says that 'children need to see, need to know...', and in "Be Still My Heart" where he let those two kids see their parents) and ended up having to take refuge in the hospital. After all, he didn't tell Carol "...and they were killed in the blast." If he had, then I would think the writers really *weren't* paying attention. But Lydia Woodward introduced this character to us, and I suspect she has some clue as to what she's doing. Anyway, back to my theory.

Several people did, in fact, take refuge in the hospital in Vukovar (about 3000, I think). After the city fell to the Serbs (November 13th), the hospital was taken over and several doctors & patients were taken out & killed. Possibly, among those killed were Luka's wife & children. He may well have been taken to Serbia with the surviving doctors. Or even seriously injured (shot?) & left for dead. Who knows? Somehow, I think the two stories come together but Luka told one part to Kerry (the worst part) and the *least painful* beginning of the story to Carol. To me, both stories come together and the middle part is what he just couldn't go into.

From interviews with Goran Visnjic, it seems that GV has been consulted on 'all things Croatian'. I'm fairly sure that the writers had the Vukovar story in mind all the time (especially the part about patients being taken from the hospital & killed) and have some kind of one-two punch for us in the future. It may not even be made this season, but implied until some point next season. I'm giving the writers the benefit of the doubt about this, because so far, they've been very careful about how they've developed this character. I don't think the whole story has been told yet. But it's all just a theory. I could be wrong.

-- Miesque (, May 02, 2000.

I forgot one thing: Vukovar "happened" in 1991. Sorry to have left that out! :)

-- Miesque (, May 02, 2000.

Isnt Goran from Vukovar? I know he served his mandatory military time before joining a theatre and eventually moving to the US. Just a little curious.....

-- Jay (, May 03, 2000.

Jay, for your curiosity : Goran is from Sibenik, near the adriatic coast in Croatia. He went to theater school in Zagreb and he plays Hamlet every summer in Dubrovnik. No mention of Vukovar... But who knows, maybe he went there one day long ago...

-- Manon (, May 03, 2000.

Miesque, that is a good idea, and I think it would be a good idea for the writers to make Luka's story more complicated. Since he is a doctor and people on this post say that there was a big event taking place at the hospital in Vokuvar during the war, you would think the writers would use that. He may have decided not to go into the worst part of the story with her. And you're right, he did not say to Carol, that they died then, it was just implied. Your theory could be very true, however, wouldn't it be a huge challenge for the writers to do it this way, because most people are not going to remember the story EXACTLY as Luka gave it to either Kerry or Carol by the time they go back to it as a storyline, and you would have to to make sense of these stories later on to make sense of whatever the rest is that they would give us. Or not? That sounds very complicated, I hope it makes sense! Whatever the story is, I still think it was a great addition for the show to bring in some recent (but tragic) history through a very likable character.

-- Elaine (, May 03, 2000.

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