ER’s Abby and Luka: A Walk in the Woods

Season 7 is the one where Abby and Luka struggling to connect and in episode 14 Luka’s patient the bishop helps them on a new path.

A Walk in the Woods starts off with four amorous morning scenes with four couples of the show. The last ones out are Abby and Luka who just concludes some morning loving and I have always loved this after-sex small talk that has so much in it. I find it very sweet and intimate in their own, introverted kind of way and the way Abby cautiously start to talk and explore is something the really have not done before.

I have also come to love that whole episode and realising how that first scene sets up the rest of the episode for these struggling love birds.

AWINW 1DThe scene itself is beautiful:

  • Abby’s careful kissing of his hand as they finish the sex.
  • Their sweet mutual check to see if the other one is okey.
  • How Luka first says “nothing really” before honestly telling her he is thinking about the bishop at the hospital.
  • How Abby feels comfortable to make a joke: ”Making love with me makes you think about a priest with lupus?”
  • Luka laughing, appreciating the joke.
  • Abby using the ”making love”-words again as she is noticing that Luka looks at her when doing that.
  • How Abby connects Luka’s thinking about the bishop with him thinking about his past, and hesitates but then asks him about his dead wife.
  • How Luka never stops touching her, stroking  her hand, her hair and letting his lips touch her head.
  • How Luka quietly tells Abby what she wants to know.
  • How Abby is not threatened by his answers, but happy he had loved.

It’s all very soft and low-key and shows their relationship is more to them then just something casual. That the want to connect even though they are struggling to do it. They talked, even if not using so many words. They opened up, if only just a little bit.

awitw-2.pngIn a later scene Abby goes to find Luka in the ambulance bay, and I love that fact that she goes and finds him (”we always seem to find each other”). He is upset about the bishop leaving the hospital against medical advice. Abby understands him, not only that he is worried about the bishop, but that Luka needs him. She is the one telling him to go after the bishop and help him, understanding it will also help Luka.

ER Abby and Luka s7e14The bishop’s story about a walk in the woods, when he was feeling lost, not knowing which way to go, as he tells Luka at the church, becomes Luka’s story. And when Abby again comes to find Luka in their final scene, Luka is also looking for answers in the snow. He too is lost and confused, not finding it as easy as he first thought perhaps to actually move on with another woman. When Abby shows up he takes another look towards the sky before deciding he is ready to go home with her and be with her, not only physically but emotionally. It will just takes another visit to the bishop and a heartbreaking confession before he is completely ready.

A Walk in the Woods is written and directed by John Wells.

Note! All photos are screenshots from DVD. Material owned by Warner Bros Entertainment Ltd.

For more of Abby and Luka visit: ER’s Abby and Luka 

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ER’s Abby and Luka: If Not Now

This episode, the 11th in season 12, If Not Now, is one of my favourite ER episodes, so exquisitely written, acted and directed.

We follow Abby with all her fears and insecurities during one day in January, looking back at her and Luka’s endless conversations during the holidays about her surprise pregnancy, until she finally making a decision. It shows us Luka so carefully navigating through those talks being honest without being pushy, being supportive yet encouraging and being loving without inflicting guilt.

The Fear

A: It scares me, Luka.
L: Having it or choosing not to?
A: Yeah.

INN 1 Abby and Luka

The Sweet

A: What if I go shopping and leave it in the supermarket?
L: Don’t worry! I’ll do all the shopping.

INN 2 Luka

The Sting

A: What are you looking for? Someone to have a baby with?

INN 3 Abby and Luka

The Knowing

L: It has to be your choice. I know that!

INN 4 Luka

The Truth

L: When I say I want us to keep it, you don’t like the way it sounds. But anything else is a lie.

INN 5 Abby and Luka

The Choice

A: I want to keep it. I want us to have this baby.

INN 6 Abby

This episode is written by David Zabel and directed by John E Gallagher III.

Note! All photos are screenshots from DVD. Material owned by Warner Bros Entertainment Ltd.

For more about Abby and Luka, look here: ER’s Abby and Luka

ER’s Abby and Luka: All About Christmas Eve

All About Christmas Eve is all about Abby’s pregnancy and it gives us hints at how her fears about having children was not about wanting it.

It’s not even December yet, but I can’t help but start writing about the Luby Christmas episodes. This one was all about Abby’s pregnancy of course and how it seem to me Abby had only great thoughts about it at first, maybe imagining herself telling him or even imagining them with the baby and liking that picture.

AACE Abby Youre gonna love
In the lockup she thinks about telling him when he is teasing her about what he’s giving her. But it’s not the right time, he is distracted by patients. Still she blurts out ”you’re gonna love what I got you”, meaning the pregnancy for sure, knowing he will be happy about it.

AACE Part of your present
At the Christmas party in the evening she bought him the snow globe, just like one he once gave her, presenting it as ”part of your present”, obviously still thinking about the baby as a present.

It’s not until she actually has to say it out loud that all her fears and insecurities pours out of her. She is afraid she will ”do something to ruin it”, the great time they have had together the last few weeks being back together. Ruin it like she did with Richard when they were married.
AAEC I don't wanna do anything to ruin that

Not telling Luka like as she did not tell Richard would definitely ruin it. Telling and then not keeping it would ruin it too probably. But keeping it could also ruin things, at least that is what Abby thinks as she has little faith in her motherhood capabilities.

All of next episode is about her fears of becoming a mother, the fear of providing for a baby as poorly as her own mother did for her or having a baby with the same problems and condition as her mother and brother.

AACE Abby 5
So looking back at All About Christmas Eve, all points to the fact that it was never about not wanting the baby, Abby was happy about the pregnancy. It was all about having the courage to keep it.

All About Christmas Eve is written by Janine Sherman Barrois and directed by Lesli Linka Glatter.

For more of Abby and Luka check out: ER’s Abby and Luka

ER’s Abby and Luka: 4 adorable moments of their friendship

The art of Abby and Luka’s friendship shown here in four adorable moments, how it evolved and in the end paved the way for their renunion in season 12 of ER.

There is nothing that I like about the Luka/Nicole storyline in the beginning of season 8 and that includes my view that Julie Delpy was totally miscast. But since the story has a purpose and it actually brought good things, I endure it. It told us a lot about Luka’s character, the caretaker longing for kids, and also contrary to what one might have believed, it actually brought Abby and Luka closer together instead of further apart.

Here somewhere, when the pressure of a romantic relationship is off, their friendship is born.

Despite of their brutal breakup, Luka felt he could confide in Abby and she was supportive, and here somewhere, when the pressure of a romantic relationship is off, their friendship is born and they started to be comfortable in each other’s presence.
I love these scenes and how they are showing their budding friendship, how it evolved and in the end paved the way for their renunion in season 12.

1. Abby being caring and compassionate:
“Thinking about your kids?”

Abby Luka caring s8e10

I’ll Be Home For Christmas, 8×10

2. Luka trying to master the art of joking and getting even while also wanting to protect:
“No, seriously, if you need a place to stay? You can stay as long as you need and you only have to sleep with me on the weekends.”

Abby Luka joking s8e15

It’s All In Your Head, 8×15

3. Luka being supportive and encouraging as always when it comes to Abby’s work, now when she has re-entered med school:
“The coat looks good on you.”

Abby Luka supportvie s10e5

Out of Africa, 10×05

4. Abby so cleverly cheering Luka up after Sam and Alex has moved out by joking with him and at the same time admitting that she knows the part she played in their own breakup:
“Thanks Luka! I always thought it was my fault things didn’t work out between us. Now I know it was you.”

Abby Luka cheering up s12e2

Nobody’s Baby, 12×02

That’s the beauty of this relationship. It started with mutual attraction, it continued as a friendship until they realised that friendship definitely was not enough.

For more on Abby and Luka, check out this page: ER’s Abby and Luka

ER’s Abby and Luka: Two pieces of a puzzle finally in the right place

In Sea Change Abby comes home from work the day before her and Luka’s planned honeymoon. The scene is one of my favourites because of how utterly comfortable they are with each other finally. It wasn’t always so.

I could perhaps write an essay on the journey of Abby and Luka’s physical intimacy, but I’ll keep it shorter. This scene where Abby comes home and stops for a moment to look at Luka and baby Joe before she says hi, climbs into the sofa and embraces him from behind, is lika a sweet end to a long story.

Comparing this interaction to season 7 when it sometimes was like they had magnets repelling each other, making it difficult for them to really connect. In The Crossing when Abby brushes off the snow from Luka’s arms, I get the feeling that she uses that as an excuse to touch him, like she needs an excuse to do that. In the next episode, Witch Hunt, Luka only allows his forehead to touch her, wanting so much to comfort and show her affection, but not daring anything more intimate than that, afraid she will reject it.

Abby and Luka intimacy
Of course everything changes when they get back together in season 12. Still in this scene from Sea Change, in season 13, just after they’ve gotten married, it’s like the magnets are finally correctly attracting each other until there is absolutely no space between them. It’s like Abby is attaching herself to Luka there in the sofa, they are a perfect fit, like two pieces of a puzzle supposed to be together and finally in the right place. So relaxed together, so comfortable with each other and finally nothing between them. I love that moment!

Then of course there is a phone call and the sea change is about to happen, but that is another story.

The episode is directed by Laura Innes, who has directed several other significant Luby episodes (e.g. The Human Shield). She gets them.

For more about Abby and Luka check their page: ER’s Abby and Luka

The Affair season 1: A bad-scented soap wrapped in exquisite paper

Season 1 of The Affair is best when it deals with the marriages, which come off as far more interesting than the affair. While the actors, scene and direction is of high quality, the script is trivial and unoriginal. 

I have finally suffered through season 1 of The Affair, for Maura Tierney only, and nothing else. It really comes out as a bad scented soap wrapped in exquisite paper. The actors are good, Tierney is great and I love Mare Winningham, the setting is elegant, the direction impeccable, but the script is just simple, flat and trivial, there is nothing original or nuanced about it.

Helen the Affair.I loved the pilot. It was a vibrant view of family drama and everyday married life. What followed was five episodes of a relentlessly boring affair and seeing it from Noah’s (Dominic West) side and Alison’s (Ruth Wilson) side after one another, and their different recollections of things, didn’t make it more interesting. Episode seven and eight, I found more fascinating, because these were about the marriages, and the marriages are just far more interesting than the affair. The episodes gave us insights in why they were cheating, what emotions were really afloat in their lives and what fetters they were trying to escape. There was history and expectations that made the story richer.

Some of the characters feels like typical clichés, Winninghams matriarch is one, the arrogant restaurant owner, Oscar, another and also Alisons mother comes off as a stereotype. Tierney makes Helen intriguing though, but Joshua Jackson’s Cole could for sure have been deepened a bit.

Episode nine had a really touching Alison part and for once we really got to know her and see her. It revealed so clearly how the affair and everything she did was a way to process her grief. For the first time we also got to know what the crime investigated was really about, another thing that kind of bored me to sleep during those other five episodes.

Helen and Noah
The finale I found kind of plain and undistinguished, just dolled up enough to make us wonder about season 2. I’m still not convinced Noah and Alison actually love each other, they still mainly seem to search for something new, something different that will make them feel something new.

Yes, I will get through the next season as well, since Tierney got an Emmy for it and she’ll make it worth while, I’m sure.

For more of Maura Tierney, check my ER pageER’s Abby and Luka

ER’s Luka Kovac: Evidence of the carefully constructed and complex character he is

Luka’s 9-year long story on #ER is one of the most touching I’ve seen on TV and it’s an unusual one as well, I think, especially for being about a man and the fact that his characters is so very carefully constructed.

Just as Abby is freed from any stereotype female traits, Luka too is not your average guy, but one inhabiting traits both associated with men (the protector and provider) and women (passive, patient, compassionate and caregiving). Most of all he is just a very carefully constructed, complex man driven by his quest to fill the void after the family he lost.

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Here are 8 things characterising him:

1. He is caring, compassionate and fond of children, which together with his longing attracts him to women with kids.

2. He is very competent but not competitive. He is encouraging, supportive and always confident in others’ (Abby’s) capabilities.

3. His survivor’s guilt and longing for a family throws him into a depression triggered by Abby choosing Carter over him. It starts with some kind of sex addiction to numb the pain and ends with a death wish fortunately not being accommodated nor when he crashes his Porsche into a building nor when going to Africa and getting captured by militia.

4. He does have a violent streak, seen when it comes to protecting women as illustrated both with the man that tried to rob him and Abby and the neighbour beating up Abby. After surviving Africa though, we never see the survivor’s guilt, the death wish or the violence again.

5. He is passive in his ways and usually lets things happen to him, especially when it comes to women. He is never flirty or makes passes. Abby, Nicole, Gillian, Sam and all the women he had encounters with during his slutty phase, he was never the initiator (Carol is the exception.) Not until he decides to show Abby what he feels and wants, does he make the first move, kissing her at the end of The Human Shield (probably the best of all ER scenes)

6. When it comes to relationships Luka gets beguiled by his visions of an idyllic future and doesn’t really get why they don’t turn into reality (Carol, Sam). Abby was the exception who with her pessimism never projected any kind of happy future for him to fall in love with, he just loved her.

7. He learns to be patient when getting back together with Abby. He knows she can’t be pushed and patiently waits for her to get ready to ”define” their relationship (Abby’s word), moving in together and finally getting married.

8. He never understand (Abby’s) jokes!

No one could portray Luka the way Goran Visnjic does, having the capability to express so much emotion and states of mind without usually many words to go with it. All the credit to him and the writing team for creating such a unique, deep and interesting male character.

Read more about Luka here:
ER’s Abby and Luka, part 1: Luka’s story through 10 episodes

And everything about Abby and Luka on this page: ER’s Abby and Luka