"The Lost"
Season 10, Episode 2
Air date October 2, 2003
Written by John Wells
Directed by Christopher Chulack
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The Lost is the second episode of the 10th season of "E.R."


Believing that Luka is dead, Carter returns to the Congo. There, he learns about Luka's fate from Charles & Gillian and begins his search for his body.

In flashbacks, we see Luka from the time Carter left 22 days earlier. Still at the Matenda clinic and under threat, Luka contracts malaria as he cares for his remaining patients. He, Patrique, Chance and her mother are soon captured by the Mai Mai.

With the help of Debbie, a Red Cross worker, Carter and Gillian find their way to where the bodies from Matenda are kept, but Luka's is not among them. They learn one man, a priest, is still alive, and discover it's Luka.

As the flashbacks continue, we see that a cross given to Luka by Chance's mother along with Luka's prayers lead the Mai-Mai to believe he is a priest which saves his life. Carter, Debbie and Gillian find Luka in a compound nearby, close to death.

Gillian accompanies Luka on a plane home to Chicago. Carter decides to remain in the Congo, giving Luka a letter to take to Abby.

NBC DescriptionEdit

CARTER RETURNS TO THE CONGO TO FIND DOCTOR AMONG KILLING FIELDS: Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) returns to the Congo to search for the body of a fellow doctor and reunites with several associates but the chaos, stench and danger of the country's long civil war threaten to curtail his efforts and again put him in harm's way.

Elsewhere in the strife-torn country, Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) is seen in flashbacks as he battles debilitating malaria while he ministers to the sick and dying in a land where life is cheap at best.


  • Although in the opening credits, Laura Innes, Mekhi Phifer, Alex Kingston, Maura Tierney, Sherry Stringfield, Ming-Na, Sharif Atkins and Paul McCrane do not appear in this episode.
  • Along with the Season 9 finale "Kisangani" and the Season 10 "Makemba," Hawaii doubled as a location shoot for this Congo-based episode. Many of the captive scenes were filmed at Kualoa Ranch on the north end of Oahu. The American Embassy that Carter visits is actually the Supreme Court building in Honolulu, with pictures and other set dressings added to create the atmosphere of an American embassy. In addition, due to the lack of available extras, many of the soldiers depicted were flown to Hawaii from elsewhere.
  • The prayers that Luka recites in Croatian in the scene where he is about to be executed are the "Lord's Prayer" followed by the "Hail Mary." The lyrics to Barber's Adagio for Strings is the prayer "Agnus Dei" (Lamb of God). All of these are traditional Catholic prayers Luka would have known from his childhood.
  • Luka's badge picture is a photo of Goran Visnjic that was taken at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah as part of a promotional shoot for the 2001 film "The Deep End."
  • According to a March 31, 2005 article in People magazine, at the time this episode was filmed, Noah Wyle was allowed to miss the next six episodes in order to spend more time with his family.
  • This episode received an Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series" (Christopher Chulack).


Carter (to the Mai Mai soldiers): You guys burned the clinic to the ground?! You guys... You guys keep burning down hospitals. Where are you gonna go when you get shot, huh? Where are you gonna go when your mothers get shot?!
Luka: I was raised in the church. Catholic. I used to go twice a week with my mother. It was beautiful. I liked the music, the singing.
Patrique: Do you still go?
Luka: No, I stopped when my children and wife were murdered. I couldn't believe in a God would allow such a terrible thing to happen. (pauses, ironically) It's really hard to feel the Holy Spirit's presence on a day like today.
Debbie (to Carter): What are you doing here? You don't seem the type.
Carter: What's the type?
Debbie: Macho adrenaline junkies and save-the-world peacenik freaks.
Carter: (laughs) Which are you?
Debbie: Which do you think?
Carter: I...don't know what I'm doing out here. I've been seeing this woman. She's great, but it ain't good, for her or for me. It's simpler here. People need help, I can help them.

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