Season 13 Episode 5

Ames v. Kovac

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Oct 19, 2006 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
172 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Award winning actor/director Forest Whitaker begins a six-episode arc as Curtis Ames, a carpenter who suffers a stroke under Luka’s care and then sues him for malpractice. In the opener, Luka and Ames square off in court as each man’s recollections of Ames’s treatment are recounted via testimony and flashbacks. Meanwhile, Luka worries about the implications of the suit and the possible outcomes. Abby returns to work and must adjust to the dramatic changes in her life. An equipment shortage hampers Pratt, Abby, and Neela’s treatment of a patient, leading them to attempt a risky procedure. Pratt’s early morning trip to the barbershop results in a new awareness of community need.moreless

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  • Chaotic day

    Luka has to go tot he court as there is problem with one of the patience he treated and how now is partly paralyzed. Abby has her first day back and that is chaotic.

    So we have two storylines switching back and forward to create very unique motion and it works well. Luka storyline is very serious and in the end, when court has to make a decision there is also question for us - we all like Luka and feel sorry for him but the way the story is put, I think we also feel sorry for the patient.

    Abby's day is just one crazy day in Er with some shocking moments.. some fun.. and blood..moreless
  • Excellent show by two excellent actors, Forrest Whitaker and Goran Višnjic.

    The best thing with this episode is that we, as viewers, get to see both sides of the Ames/Kovac controversy. Neither Curtis Ames nor Luka is blamed for what has happened.

    Considering the preassure that the ER staff are working under, Luka's point of view is understandable. He had been giving Mr Ames in the best possible care, given the circumstances.

    Meanwhile, I can understand that Ames found Luka and Chuny to be arrogant. He wasn't familiar with the situation and he felt ignored.

    Luka's line that he had decided to treat Ames agressively, really sounds much worse than he meant to, I believe. It was Ames' pneumonia he treated agressively. Not the patient.

    Most dramatic scene: Luka and Curtis Ames in the restroom outside the courtroom. A lot of tension in the air. Luka wants to create a friendly atmosphere, but Ames is bitter and unresponsive.

    Best scene: Luka in the courtroom, looking thoughtfully and meaningfully at Ames and his children.

    Funniest scene: Abby singing "Should I stay or should I go" over the phone to Joe, and Sam's comment that Abby is auditioning for "American Idol".moreless
  • Some drama with Luka and some comedy with Abby.

    Luka in court and Abby back at work. This episode wasn't as action-packed as it usually is but it was still decent. Although the story of a patient having been mistreated and the doctor getting a malpractice suit is as old as time itself, all the flashbacks and the comparisons between Luka and Ames' memories were quite interesting. We got to see the patient's point of view for a change. I don't have much compassion for Ames though because after all he's suing Luka. And no matter what Luka tells the jury, it's going to be on the victim's side. I have yet to see how this plays out. Abby had some great moments, the singing and the 'my boobs are gonna explode'-thing. I just love her character no matter what she does. I think she hasn't quite figured out that Pratt is her superior but the realization must come some time. The Neela/Ray relationship was again pushed back when Katey asked Ray out. They are trying to build obstacles so that Neela/Ray doesn't happen too quickly and we get to wait. I guess it's a good thing, wouldn't want everything to happen just like that. Sooner or later they are going to have to confront each other though, and I'll be waiting anxiously. On a side note, it was refreshing to see Maggie Wheeler as a 'normal' character when in Friends she was not. She was surprisingly believable as a lawyer. Overall a good episode, I enjoyed it greatly (as the case usually is with ER).moreless
  • Luka and Ames battle to win a court case, its abby's first day back at work and a man spontaneously combusts! all in one episode!

    i thoroughly enjoyed this episode. it was much better than i thought it was going to be. i think i was expecting an episode like " darfur". when TPTB only focus's on one thing, but they proved me wrong and did a nice mix of the court room and the ER.

    i loved the scenes in the ER, and like so many others completely dont get why or HOW the man was set on fire ?? it has me very confused lol. how good is to get our abby back, and doing what she does best, being a super doctor! i liked her interactions with Gates, i think she was very kind to her and probably the only one so far who has treated him as an adult and given him the deserved respect an adult gets!

    Luka and FW were great in the scenes in the courtroom, i felt sorry for FW because he was kinda neglected, but i think he embeleshed a bit with what things happened. like how in gods name was he able to tell luka ate a bagel with poppy seeds on..... i thought the flash backs were a great aspect to a show, its been a while since we've had flash backs! and i thought they just made the episode better!

    i enjoyed it, hope everyone else didmoreless
  • Curtis Ames a carpenter who suffers a stoke under Luka's care and then sues him for malpractice. Luka and Ames go to court. Abby returns to work and deal with the changes.moreless

    Interesting episode. I like the start with the whole Luka and Ames at court. I think Luka deserves to win. Ames is like the worst person you could get in an ER and he doesn't understand that their are people with worst stuff. So glad Abby is back at work and we get more of her. This was a great episode and yeah. I don't really know else to write because I have been doing so many reviews lately to get my level up so yeah and normally I have lots of things to say or maybe it's because I am tired and not thinking that much. Very good episode again.moreless
Maggie Wheeler

Maggie Wheeler

Amy Kellerman

Guest Star

Harvey J. Alperin

Harvey J. Alperin

Dr. Saunders

Guest Star

Ray Baker

Ray Baker


Guest Star

Laura Cerón

Laura Cerón


Recurring Role

Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker

Curtis Ames

Recurring Role

Lynn A. Henderson

Lynn A. Henderson


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In the scene where Chuny tells Ames Luka is not working on his second day in the ER, a doctor moves into the background of scene to treat the woman on the gurney behind Ames'. He bears a striking resemblance to Carter, and may have been put there to remind us Carter was still around at the time this case took place, and was the attending on the floor that day.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • (as Luka walks the street alone, lost in thought and obviously worried, we hear the jurors' deliberations in voice-over)
      Juror: Kovac is part of the system, and we all know the system sucks!
      (the camera pans up high in the air, as though looking down on Luka in judgment)

    • (Growing increasingly frustrated with Ames's attorney's grilling)
      Luka: At the time of Mr. Ames's numbness there were 47 patients in the ER, 82 in the waiting room. I was treating a young mother who was the victim of domestic violence, nearly beaten to death; an eight-year-old hit by a car; and a 53-year-old heart attack victim. There are always sicker patients in the ER, and it was reasonable to believe Mr. Ames's numbness could wait!

    • (Pratt, Neela, Sam, and Crenshaw watch Abby singing to Joe on the phone)
      Neela: Abby?
      Abby: What? It's his favorite song. It's the only thing that puts him to sleep.
      Crenshaw: (to Neela) Aren't you glad you don't work here anymore?
      Sam: She's auditioning for American Idol.

    • (Abby steps over to the O.R. desk to use their phone, picks it and puts it down a couple of times)
      Gates: Forget how to use that thing?
      Abby: I just don't want to be one of those crazy obsessive mothers who phones their babysitter every hour.
      Gates: Mine used to tie me to my high chair. (Abby gives him a look) I'm sure yours is much better.

    • Abby: Didn't you used to be...
      Gates: A paramedic? Yeah, now I'm an intern.
      Pratt: Next week he wants to be a cowboy.
      Gates: Astronaut.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Gates: You know, wise men say only fools rush in ...
      The first lines of Elvis Presley's hit song "Can't Help Falling In Love" are, "Wise men say only fools rush in, but I can't help falling in love with you."