Luka and the Stethoscope-O-Justice : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

Ok, can we talk about Luka last night? Is anyone else as tired as I am of the "angry yhoung man" syndrome? Carrie is so worried about Carter and his drug use, what about Luka who recently killed a man in a rage??? Why isn't anyone observing him and his reaction to ER situations? Is his rage justified because it is directed at criminals? I am digusted with the lack of development of his well as just plain bored!!!

-- Barb (, January 12, 2001


Response to Luka

it seems that much of luka's rage and disillusionment might stem from his inexplicable grief over whatever exactly happened to his wife and child in the past.

-- steph brinson (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

I'm tired of Luka too. He seems to be running on his emotions and his actions, in my opinion, are unethical. I realize that the drunk driver killed a family, but that doesn't give Luka the right to treat him in a way that will intentionally cause him pain. That scene really bothered me. It reminded me of when he beat the mugger. If I were Abby, I would have seriously questioned why I was involved with this guy. She's been witness to him losing control twice now. The sex must be great!

I really liked Luka last season, but he's morphed into an entirely different character this season. His "angry young man" act is becoming as tired as Romano's "Jack a** of the ER" act. I feel like his character is losing depth.

-- Legs (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

I mentioned this elsewhere, but hey, maybe it bears repeating: Yes. I'm tired of this:

"OK, you've earned a good whap from the Stethoscope O' Justice, my good man--take this tube down your throat, through your nose, and NO, you DON'T get anything to dull the pain or grease the passageway. Your blood alcohol level ought to numb you up good enough."

I AM getting tired of all the people being tried and found guilty in the Kovac Kourt these days. Yeah, yeah, I understand his feelings, but for the umpteenth time, DOCTORS AREN'T LICENSED TO DISPENSE JUCTICE. They are healers, not crimefighters. I've said this so many times between now and last April or so, it's not even funny. Let's hope the end is in sight, even if he needs to find God, or chocolate, or something.

-- Cecelia (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

"Stethoscope O' Justice" He he...I like it. That's exactly it. Luka thinks he's judge and jury all rolled into one handsome dr. in a white coat.

-- Legs (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

I for one, I am so glad for this current storyline for Luka. I think I heard James Cromwell will be on several episodes. They are setting it up for this Bishop to finally help Luka cope with the tragedies in his life and I hope he does. I like Luka and do agree that the writers have come close to ruining him this year for me, but I think it was all leading to something that will happen very soon with this Bishop. Obviously, he has not dealt with what happened to him and I think he was once a very religious person (we all no he WAS Catholic now) he lost God when his family was killed. I think the Bishop is going to help him through this and he will realize that "everyone deserves comfort in their darkest hour". I am very excited to see what happens next with this!

-- amanda (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

I find it interesting that they are apparently going to have Luka deal with his problems through religion rather than psychiatry. While I personally have no use for religion, I am aware that it helps many people when other methods have failed. Also, the doctors in ER have (IMHO) a little too much of a tendency to just ask for a psych consult as if psychiatry has a better track record than it actually does. I'd like to see hospital chaplains called occaisionally. And have some of them be ministers, rabbis, and mullahs, instead of priests all the time. Loved Amira's line last night: "This is my country, Dave." You go, girl.

-- Melinda (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

I wonder sometimes if psych consults are called more often for legal reasons than health reasons. You know, to get people off the street and so forth, or to have a legal record of violent or irrational behavior on file so things will go smoother in the courts...Eh, I don't know.

Luka has definitely been "showing signs" for a while now, and on the old ER, someone would have noticed and had a quiet chat or two with him by now. You know, invited him over for dinner, recommended a good person to talk to, that sort of thing. Even Abby blew the whistle on Carter when it became blatantly obvious that his behavior was going down the drain...But it seems unlikely that she'll get anywhere with healing Luka, unless Luka too starts acting out in such a way that his problems can no longer be ignored. (Although, Christ, he killed a guy--and if no one, not even Abby, plans on doing anything about that, what option is left but The Man Upstairs?)

It all just reminds me, yet again, of how isolated and lonely the people on this show seem to be nowadays. The family is gone. Everyone has, at best, one person with whom they can share their issues, and even then it tends to be pretty selfish, all-about-me stuff.

-- Cecelia (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

This is actually a little confusing for me. Here he is telling the Bishop that he's not Catholic. But we *saw* him impersonate a priest last season, to provide comfort to a dying woman. When Carol questioned him, he gave similar answers to the priest of the current episode as he (priest) was giving last rites to the drunk. Carol seemed to be in the same mental place last season, that Luka is in now. And then Luka gave out a confirmation name. Hmm.... I guess Judge Luka is at again?

Am I making any sense?? I'm just lost as to the characterization of Luka is all. Did the attack affect him that much?

-- S. Trelles (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

I think that Luka was probably, once, a very religious man. As the Bishop said, Croatia is strongly Catholic. He obviously was confirmed (or whatever they call it). I think when his family was killed he just questioned God... How could the people who killed his family still make it into heaven? Why does God allow these things to happen? It says in the Bible that it is not by our works here on earth, but only by Faith in Jesus that we will make it to heaven. A lot of people don't understand how that can be. Especially people that have had a tragedy like this occur. I think (and hope) over the next few episodes that the Bishop will be on we will learn a little bit more about what happened to Luka's family and that the Bishop will help him come to turns with his grief and why he turned his back on God. There is a lot of potential here for a great story. We have seen so many times where Luka has used his "stethoscope 'o' justice" (to use Cecelia's words). So maybe now we will learn more about why he is like that and see him transform into the person he probably used to be.

-- amanda (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

Amanda Rehm, I agree with you. I think Luka, at one point, had a firm faith in God but tragedy had dimmed it. He is struggling, as others who have had horrible things happen to them, to maintain some sense of right in a world so terribly wrong. Maybe he does believe in God still but he wants God to act his way- angry and dispensing justice on horrible people. As Augustus Hill on "Oz" said: God is the ultimate gangster. He doesn't say why He does what He does. Though this is a rather cynical depiction, God is rather enigmatic and works out things as they should work out (as hard as that is to believe). Perhaps the Bishop will try to make Luka understand that God is not an angry God, nor is He a hateful, vengeful God but a God who dispenses justice as it is fit. In that case, the writers are on quite a roll here. The build up of anger and angst, Luka's own sense of righteous and moral indignation, his healing ability and his faith (such as it is) become a formula for understanding the character of Luka better. As for the Stethoscope of Justice- well- he's Luka. Haven't other doctors made moral judgments? Aren't you angry at the drunk driver? And yes, for Abby,the sex must be great. Don't drag on Luka!

-- joan (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

So he's Luka--so what? Him being Luka doesn't give him the right to dispense his own brand of justice to the drunk drivers of the world. What if they'd been wrong about the drunk guy, and it was actually the kid's father who'd caused the accident? Luka wasn't a witness, and he's not an officer of the law. Just because he feels some moral outrage, that doesn't mean he can essentially torture a patient he believes is "evil."

And yes, other doctors have done the same sort of thing (Dave and the child molester, Doug and the man who booted his kid out the window, for example), though I don't believe any have done it as consistently and constantly as Luka. He has problems, and his actions are unethical and illegal.

-- Cecelia (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

I am a little tired of Luka's gloom and doom, too. I just have to say, though, that when Mark asked Luka how he's doing, and Luka answered, "The same." that was one of the best lines on E.R. in a long time, as far as being completely true, and the only answer that would have worked in that situation.

-- Annie (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

Yes, Annie--it was striking, I thought. Mostly because it's unlike anything we've seen on ER in a while--Mark was placid and clear-eyed, calling Luka by his first name and asking after his well-being. A break from the isolation that all the characters seem to be fraught with these days. Luka's saw that in Mark's eyes, I think, and responded truthfully, instead of with the expected, "Fine. I'm fine." At least, as truthfully as he could muster--he's still not ready to open up to anyone yet, not really. But the cracks started to show in the facade there, I think.

-- Cecelia (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

I liked the whole storyline with Luka (except the tired cliched drunk- driver accident that wiped out nearly the whole famiy). I liked his interaction with the bishop. He's not just an angry young man who has turned his back on god, you could see him struggling through his pain, covering his pain from the bishop. I think it will be a good storyline when it gets going. Maybe we will see Luka heal a bit and get past this brooding, dangerous phase he's in. I wonder what he was thinking when he questioned about her little tiff with Carter. It didn't look like jealousy, in fact he seems to pay very little attention to his girlfriend. Could this just signal the beginning of the end of their relationship? I liked his scene with Mark too. There needs to be more friendships on the show. I would love for even a few minutes to see the guys get together for a poker game or a game of pool. Or have the whole gang go to the blues club and listen to Haleh sing. Anything to lighten their moods and move beyond the hospital-only setting.

-- Laura (, January 12, 2001.

Response to Luka

One thing that struck me as funny - we usually *don't* numb people up to "drop a tube" (put in a NG tube). We do, however, "lube" the tip with KY. I doubt you could get it moving without it. So, I was surprised to see this being used to show Luka using his medical position to "punish" those who he sees as being in the wrong. This coupled with the gaff last week when Mark wanted his Foley out b/c he "needed to pee". Duh, the Foley *keeps your bladder empty*! And Marc wouldn't know this? Really guys, better hire some better medical consultants to edit your scripts!

-- Chava (, January 14, 2001.

Well I have to say that Luka is my second favorite character on the show right now, so perhaps my defense of him is a bit one sided. First cut the guy a break he lost his whole family!!! How many of us could come through that without scars and bitterness? Not me!! And let's not forget that he lost his family during one of the most violent blood civil wars in recent times. I'm sure he feels guilty that he wasn't there to save his family, and that he survived. I'm sure he feels guilty that he has moved on with his life. He probably has never come to terms with his loss, we don't know how he handled it. Perhaps he just left Croatia and never explored his feeling and the only time he can is when he is angry at some other injustice. As for attacking the mugger, I can understand his reaction. Again remember he lived in a war zone, so his reaction to danger is going to be heightened. He also so Abby being attacked and I'm sure that triggered some primal response in him. Now all of you who are pissed that Luka used his stethscope to dispense justice, I don't hear any of you bitching Carter out. He did relatively the same thing with that drug mule, he dispensed justice by not reporting her. Just my opinion. Personally I like Luka, and I hope that we see his pain explored in upcoming episodes.

-- Kelley (, January 15, 2001.

I for one really liked this episode--and mainly because it focused on Luka. His interactions with the bishop were so revealing--here is a man who has lost so much in such a horrible way that he has lost his faith as well. I think that part of his problem with judging others is that now, after the mugger episode, he knows, deep down, that he is no better than the very people to whom he shows such contempt. Being a "formerly" religious person makes it even harder on him: he is judging himself to be unworthy of God's mercy as well. I hope that TPTB will continue with Luka's storyline via the bishop--it would be a refreshing change to redeam this character's life with a renewal of faith rather than drugs or therapy. I think it's time to show "that confession is good for the soul" and let Luka confide in SOMEONE. Then he can REALLY begin to move on with his life like he said he was doing to Carol last season.

-- christine (, January 16, 2001.

I don't think I'll be cutting him a break based on that. As I've said many times, when you take the Hippocratic Oath, you swear to do no harm. That means anyone, whether you like them or not. If you have emotional scars that keep you from seeing clearly and using your gift to heal people, then you should, at the very least, take a long sabbatical and get help. Or get out of the healing business altogether, if you're not willing to do it the way you swore to do it. When you abuse the power given to you by that Stethoscope, you don't deserve to be wielding it.

If this thread were about Carter, maybe we would...

Good point. To delve into the realm of speculation, maybe it goes deeper and further back than the mugger incident: Perhaps he took a life (or lives) in Croatia. (It was a war zone, after all, as many people are so anxious for us to remember.) In addition to feeling guilty about his family's death, he may have been the literal cause of others' deaths as well.

However, when he first appeared at County--well, he seemed fine. He smiled fairly often. It wasn't until later that we saw him growing sad and gloomy, and it wasn't until later that we saw him flailing away at the evildoers who came into the ER. But whatever it was that triggered this behavior in him, it's not a reason to cut him a break. He needs help, and shouldn't be acting like this.

-- Cecelia (, January 16, 2001.

I caught a repeat of ER over the weekend. It was from last season and Luka had to save an unborn baby whose mother was killed in a car wreck. He came in and did a c-section and delivered the baby. All the time Carol was watching him and later told him "I don't care what Mark and Weaver're a good doctor" then Luka smiled this big smile and thanked her. Anyway, to get to my made me realize just how far TPTB have brought Luka this year. I was like...where is that Luka?! He was so different.

I think they are obviously working up to some redemption with this bishop. Perhaps, Luka did kill during the war...maybe he was fighting in the war. Maybe we will find out that Luka's wife was brutallay raped and beaten and that the attacker is someone he knows and never was punished...maybe that is why he is dispensing his own brand of judgement all of the time (I know its no excuse, but somewhat understandable). This last epi he seemed even more angry than usual. Maybe when he was home he saw his families' attacker or learned something of it. Who knows? I really think Luka's help is going to come in the form of the Bishop. I think religion is the perfect therapy for Luka's situation. I don't think all situations require drugs or psychiatric help. I am so anxious for this storyline to play out. I really feel that Luka is in the never-ending circle right now. I think he knows deep down that his actions are wrong, but everytime he does something like this it gets easier to do the next time. The Bishop will help him and we'll have our old Luka back.

-- amanda (, January 16, 2001.

Luka's behavior reminds me of an epi last year when Benton, Elizabeth, and Anspaugh were scrubbing up for surgery. Benton was complaining that he had a patient who wouldn't consent to life-saving surgery because he had "seen" his dead wife, and Elizabeth said that was funny, her patient (Dean Rollins) was the devil incarnate. Anspaugh responded to them both by saying, "Who made you judge and jury?" No matter how awful a patient is or what they have done (and we've certainly seen some horrendous patients on the show!), the doctors are there to treat, not judge, them.

I think Luka's suffering from PTSD ... and needs counseling.

-- Cindy (, January 17, 2001.

Totally true. Luka is completely judging his patients, which is something others have gotten in trouble for in the past. Will Luka? He painfully stuck a tube up the drunk drivers nose when it would have been just as easy to let Abby numb him first. And then he wanted to deny him his own rights of a priest when he was dying! I liked Luka but there is nothing great and enduring about him now. I don't get where this great big change happened with him...sure he "broaded" last season, but at least then he had happy moments. Have we seen him laugh or smile once? It's not because Carol left him, is it all because he accidently killed someone? Either way, he has so little compassion for his patients these days (and Abby), it doesn't make sense.

-- Elaine (, January 17, 2001.

Well, he does have compassion for some...such as the seventh- grader who was pregnant and being abused by her boyfriend. Luka was anxious to "save" her, and he does tend to champion children (and wives) at every chance he gets. I suppose the easy answer is that he wants to "save" his own wife and kids by proxy, while punishing the bad guys. Eh.

-- Cecelia (, January 17, 2001.

Okay while I really,really like Luka but lately I have to say his character has been a little bit over-broody,if thats a word,I was hoping that Abby would start to make him feel better and up until the attack on the first date I think he was seeming a little happier. And now hopefully this Bishop can help Luka because obviously things are not going well for him and he is having a hard time in his life. His life has been very difficult as we already know and he needs to start to have happy times. And I really think that the show, although chances are it won't happen,needs to help him to make more friends at the ER and to feel more accepted there because we learned last season that he didn't think the other dr.s thought he was a good doctor. The only ones who ever complemented him on that ended up being his girlfriends and so far Luka's relationships haven't been going so well. Okay and now I just have a question, why does he live in a hotle?? Like why not an appartement or a house or SOMETHING! Hotels are NOT homes.

-- Kyka-Marie (, February 03, 2001.

Why does he live in a hotel (and before that a boat)? Probably exactly because it's NOT a home, not permanent. It was speculated on another discussion board that possibly the reason he insists on being at the hotel with Abby rather than her place is to keep a certain distance; a reluctance to "settle down" and go on with life. Maybe one of the first things he'll do after he deals with his issues is get an apartment.

-- why? (, February 04, 2001.

Luca said he lived in a hotel because it had room service and stuff, plus he got a break because he was the resident doctor.

As for his family, once he told Kerry that his family was taken away and killed, then he told Carol that he went to the store and his apartment building was bombed. which is

-- Mary (, February 09, 2001.

Being in a country that is war torn - and not just recently, but has a history of being volatile, think back to World War One, think about how Yugoslavia was created in the first place, think about where Croatia is located on a map and what it's between - there is a lot of social, political, and economic change and unrest in that area that has been going on for decades, not just in the 1990's with the Serbian invasion. Growing up in that kind of an atmosphere would certainly be different than growing up in the US or Canada... I'd like to know more about how that might be affecting Luka's behavior and our understanding of it. I definitely can say that I know very little about war, but I do know alot about PTSD and it can be really disconcerting interacting with someone who has it... they DO change from black to white in a matter of a summer, or even of a couple of weeks, they DO seem to overreact and have no control of their emotions, etc.

And as for why Abby is with him, well HELLO look at where she came from, she's a rescuer if ever there is one, it has less to do with the sex than with the fact that she learned growing up to put up with a lot of crap (i.e. the mood changes with her mother) so to her it is normal, and besides, she's going to save this guy, dontcha know... and he is going to save her... its just your typical dysfunctional relationship.

-- Kris (, August 24, 2001.

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