December 21, 2021

ER 10.2, The Lost: Carter Isn’t the Only Savior With the Initials J.C.

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

If nothing else, the Africa episodes were good for Luka, looks-wise

Summary: Carter’s on his way back to the Congo to make arrangements in the wake of Luka’s death. On the plane, a man named Steve introduces himself and guesses that Carter is flying to Africa for business, possibly for Coca-Cola. Carter doesn’t want to make small talk, but Steve doesn’t get the hint. He tells Carter he works for the American embassy. Carter eventually explains that he’s going back to the Congo to retrieve the body of a murdered friend. Interesting that he says “friend,” not “colleague.” After they land, Steve gives Carter his business card in case he wants to meet up sometime.

Gillian and Charles meet Carter at the airport, and the three get drinks before heading out. Gillian is too upset to talk about Luka. Charles tells Carter that there have been thousands of deaths in just the past two weeks, and there are too many bodies for the Red Cross to have found and identified Luka’s. So Carter’s mission here is going to entail more than just signing some paperwork.

The three meet up with a guy named Andre who works for the Red Cross. They were able to rescue some civilians from the rebel soldiers, and they received a list of the known dead, as well as some personal items they could use to identity people’s remains. Among them was Luka’s ID badge, which has blood on it. Carter asks about retrieving Luka’s body, but they’ll have to wait until the fighting dies down. That could take weeks or even months.

Andre suggests a few people who might be able to give Carter and Gillian more information. One of them, Debbie, is familiar to Gillian; she works for the Red Cross in Kisangani. Gillian tells Carter that she’s his type, though Carter wonders how Gillian knows what his type is. He wishes he’d stayed in the Congo instead of going back to Chicago. Gillian points out that he probably would have been killed, too.

We rewind to 22 days earlier, when Gillian, Carter, and Luka said goodbye as Gillian and Carter left Luka in Matenda. The last thing Carter said to Luka was to not get himself killed. Well, to be fair, Luka’s never wanted to listen to Carter.

In the present, Carter talks to a U.S. embassy official named Bob, who notes that since Luka wasn’t a U.S. citizen, this is going to be even more complicated. To make matters worse, Croatia doesn’t have an embassy in the Congo. Bob tells Carter that the rebel soldiers hate westerners because they believe they’re stealing the country’s natural resources. Carter asks if they can make some sort of exchange for Luka’s body. Bob doubts that the rebels would play by the rules of war. All Carter can do is be patient.

Yeah, he’s not going to do that. He calls on his new buddy, Steve, who doesn’t have any suggestions that Carter and Gillian haven’t already tried. Off the record, Steve says that money will get them a lot further than official channels. Good thing Carter’s super-rich! He and Gillian go to an exchange place and get $20,000. That’s a pretty good deal, actually. I’d pay a lot more than that for Luka.

19 days earlier: Luka wakes up during the night as government soldiers are passing the clinic in Matenda. Patrique tells him they’re retreating, which means the rebel soldiers will heading their way soon. Luka takes a long look at the bodies the soldiers are transporting with them.

Present: Carter, Gillian, and Charles arrive in Kisangani, which is now crowded with refugees. Carter reunites with Angelique and gives her all the supplies he stole from County (which he pretends were donations). She asks him to assist her in surgery.

17 days earlier: The boy with whooping cough is better. Gillian calls Luka on the radio from Kisangani to warn him that the fighting near Matenda is getting worse. She asks him if he’s warned Patrique that he’s in for an increase in patients. Chance’s mother, Sakina, gives Luka a cross necklace to thank him for taking care of her daughter. Luka says he’s not a very good Christian, but Sakina doesn’t think he would be helping in the Congo if that were true.

Present: Carter and Gillian meet up with Debbie, and judging by the look on his face, she really is his type. He asks if she can help him get into Kivu, the place they believe Luka’s body has been taken. Debbie chastises Carter for trying to buy his way to Luka – the Red Cross is only safe as long as they’re neutral in the civil war, and handing out money makes them look like they’ve taken a side. Carter asks what they can do instead. Debbie says they’ll just have to wait. But as Carter’s leaving, Debbie (calling him Richie Rich) says she needs a doctor to help her transport some injured people out of Kivu. Someone in a camp there could know something about Luka.

16 days earlier: The rebel soldiers are on their way. Patrique tells Luka they need to leave the clinic, but Luka’s sick, possibly from malaria. He rallies himself enough to carry Chance as everyone from the clinic hides in the jungle. Patrique urges Luka to take some medication, but Luka wants to save it for the patients. The pouring rain is probably not going to help his condition.

Present: In Matenda, the clinic has been burned down, and Carter yells at the soldiers guarding it for destroying a place that could have helped them if they needed it. Charles finds the remnants of a massacre in a tent and learns that the bodies of the dead were taken to Kasese. That could be where Luka is.

15 days earlier: Luka and Patrique have been abandoned by the rest of their group out of fear of being found with foreigners. Patrique sent some of their medication with the group but kept some for Luka. Sakina and Chance have stayed behind, and Luka tells Patrique and Sakina to leave him and get somewhere safe. They refuse. Patrique thinks they’ll be safe if they go back to the clinic; the rebels probably won’t go back there.

Present: Carter asks Debbie for a vehicle so he can go to Kasese, but she needs his help where they are. Gillian tends to a woman who thinks she might be pregnant. All of the women in the area were raped by the rebel soldiers. Carter starts to examine another patient, but then he spots two familiar faces, the boy with whooping cough and his father. The father tells Gillian that the rebel soldiers found them in Matenda.

15 days earlier: Luka, Patrique, Sakina, and Chance return to the clinic in Matenda, believing the rebel soldiers have already left. They’re wrong. The soldiers emerge from the jungle, stalking them like predators. Patrique tells his group to keep walking. They do until a soldier stops Luka and punches him.

Present: Carter spends his evening drinking and listening to his iPod, technology Debbie isn’t familiar with, maybe because she’s been working so much in parts of Africa that don’t typically have Apple products. She asks if he has any music by the Chicks. Carter blows a raspberry. Hey, don’t disrespect the Chicks, man!

After confirming that all the boy’s father knew is that Luka and Patrique were left behind in the jungle, Carter asks if Debbie ever worries that the soldiers around them will start shooting just for the heck of it. She says she tries not to think about it. He admits that before he came to the Congo, he had no idea what was going on there. Since there’s no oil there, Americans don’t care. People are being murdered every day and westerners have no clue.

Debbie asks why Carter’s in the Congo, since he doesn’t seem like the type to volunteer there. He’s not a peace-seeking hippie or an adrenaline junkie. Carter says he’s not sure why he’s there. His relationship is falling apart, and it’s simpler to be in a place where he can help people who need help. Debbie tells him that in the morning, they’ll go to Kasese.

14 days earlier: Luka, Patrique, and some other men are kept hostage in the clinic, fully aware that Sakina is being raped nearby. One of the hostages is a geologist who doesn’t speak French and has no idea what’s going on. He asks Patrique to tell the rebel soldiers that he’s an innocent scientist. More soldiers arrive as Sakina is dragged out of another tent and left with Chance. The soldiers then take a hostage to that tent and shoot him.

Present: Carter, Gillian, and Debbie go to Kasese and are shown to an abandoned building (possibly a former school) where bodies are being kept. Gillian gives Carter a chance to back down, but he starts to head into the building.

14 days earlier: As the soldiers start taking the hostages’ personal items, Luka asks Patrique if he’s religious. Luka grew up Catholic and went to church with his mother twice a week. He liked the music. He stopped going after his children died; he couldn’t believe in a God who would let something like that happen. As another hostage is dragged away to be killed, Luka says it’s hard to feel the presence of a higher power at a time like this. He apologizes for letting Patrique stay with him instead of sending him with the rest of their group. Patrique tells the soldiers that they’re doctors, but they don’t care. One of them shoots Patrique dead.

Present: Carter enters the abandoned building, which is full of corpses. He tells Gillian to stay outside, since it’s a grim situation, but she’s far enough into the building that she can tell when he finds Patrique’s body. A soldier points Carter toward a white body, but when Carter rolls him over, it’s not Luka – it’s the geologist. Carter shows the soldier a picture of Luka, and the man identifies him as a priest.

14 days earlier: The soldiers drag the protesting geologist to the tent and kill him. Luka is the only hostage left. He waits quietly for the soldiers to come get him, looking up at the sun and the trees. He stands up and begins praying. A soldier (the same one now with Carter) announces that he’s a priest. Sakina echoes that, and since Luka’s still wearing her cross necklace, the soldiers all believe it. They kneel next to him and listen to him pray.

Present: The soldier takes Carter, Gillian, and Debbie to a refugee camp. Sakina and Chance are there, as is Luka. He’s sick but alive. Carter, Luka, Gillian, Charles, Sakina, and Chance head to safety, and Carter arranges a flight to the U.S. for Luka. He gives Luka a letter to give to Abby. Carter’s going to stay in the Congo for a while and take over for Luka. He tells Luka to tell Abby that Carter was lost but is now found. Luka kisses Carter’s cheek and thanks him for the rescue.

Carter, Debbie, and Angelique watch the plane take off, then head back to work. Debbie still can’t believe Carter doesn’t like the Chicks. You’re going to need to get over that, Debbie. Anyway, Luka’s safe, and we’re about to get a break from Carter for a few episodes. I love a happy ending!

Thoughts: Debbie is played by Mary McCormack.

This is, admittedly, not one of the worst Africa episodes. I’d say it’s actually the best, not that the bar is very high.

Also, scruffy Luka is a gift to us all.

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