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Joel Luschek is a main character and a former CO and staff electrician/manager of the Electrical shop at Litchfield Penitentiary. He generally serves as an anti-villain, but in Season Three and Season Seven he serves as a tertiary antagonist. He is portrayed by Matt Peters.
Luschek is sarcastic, and somewhat apathetic. He doesn't appear to enjoy his job, although he appears to lack motivation to seek another: when a screwdriver goes missing from the shop, he buys another with his own money to avoid disciplinary action.
Not much is known about Luschek. He often verbally abuses the female inmates including Piper by making inappropriate sexual remarks to them.
Multiple people suggest he is an alcoholic, and he is seen regularly adding alcohol to his morning coffee. It is confirmed that he consumes drugs on at least a semi-regular basis, primarily when Nicky proposes to Luschek that he sells her heroin and he is unperturbed, and when he tells the laundry staff to wash his uniform during "Bed Bugs and Beyond", but first removes a baggie of marijuana from the pockets. Due to his personality, many of his co-workers don't even like him, including Caputo and Piscatella.
Joel Luschek has medium ash blond hair and blue eyes. With the reason being unknown, he does not wear a traditional CO uniform. He is always seen wearing a blue cotton shirt with pants similar to the CO's. He is of average height and is slightly chubby, likely a 'beer-belly'
In Piper's first day in electrical, he introduces himself and welcomes her and Watson to the class. When Watson tells him that she was not going to fix a lamp without pay, Luschek makes a comment that she was "one of those" and puts her behind the cage, tasking her to keep track of whom take tools from the wall.
After a lunch break and the class is dismissed, Luschek panics as there was one screwdriver missing.
Luschek gets caught with heroin in his desk in Electrical, placed there by Nicky. He is quick to accuse Nicky, and Caputo believes him due to Nicky being an ex-heroin addict. This causes Nicky to be transferred to MAX. He is one of the few original Litchfield staff characters to remain in the series after Season 3.
During "Piece of Shit", Luschek arrives at work and CO Bayley alerts him that his mailbox is overflowing with letters. He opens them up and all of them are written on yellow lined paper calling Luschek names - they are from Nicky. He then asks Judy King for advice on the situation. Later, an argument happens between Luschek and Coates when Luschek is too busy playing a soccer game to take a bleeding Gina to the clinic. Coates then proceeds to call Luschek a piece of shit and Luschek starts to question everything.
During "People Persons" and "Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again", Luschek is assigned to protect Judy and Yoga Jones in their room. Judy produces some MDMA, which they all take, and they soon start having a threesome.
Luschek is rounded up with the other guards as hostages and subjected the cruel punishments. When he's stripped down to his underwear it's revealed that he has a boner, which he says happens when he's scared- or aroused. Later, unable to leave and go to a bathroom, he pees himself, earning nicknames like "Piss Bitch."
He is the last guard left in the bubble after Gloria takes them all to "The Poo" for her plan to release them, and ends up locked in there with her after the others figure out what she was doing. He talks to her about her son's surgery, saying his roommate in college had the same one, and that it has a high survival rate. When the riot officers begin storming the building, she is upset at having no phone to call and see how the surgery went, he tells her to run to Healy's office.
Once she leaves Cabrera handcuffs him to herself, saying he would be her human shield, but once they're forced to jump into a closet to hide from officers, he lands on her ankle and she can no longer walk. He ends up picking her up and carrying her out of the prison.
After the events of the riots, Luschek, along with Ryder Blake and Artesian McCullough returns to work at Litchfield, this time at Max. Later in the break room, McCullough asks Luschek how he can be this calm, considering what happened the last time they were inside of a prison. Rick Hopper and the other CO's then enter the room and invite all 3 newcomers to Fantasy Inmate. Luschek is really excited about this, having heard rumors of it before not being quite sure if those rumors were true. He later asks Hopper for advice on how to select inmates. Hopper tells him he has an advantage because he knows some of the inmates from minimum security. At the end of their shifts, Luschek invites both Blake and McCullough to a party. McCullough reveals she has taken up a second job as a taxi driver. While Blake seems concerned about McCullough, Luschek just wonders if she has gotten sexier. ("I'm the Talking Ass")
One evening, Copeland and Alvarez meet Joel Luschek, Artesian McCullough, Stefavonic, Ryder Blake and Rick Hopper to decide on players for fantasy inmate. When the COs show up at his house, it is very messy, as he states that he likes to break his neighbors' kids' skateboards and they seek revenge by egging and T-P/ing his house. He has inputted the rules and players that Alvarez has supplied ino the TV. Together, they decide to make Luschek the new commissioner for fantasy inmate, despite Alvarez' discomfort. Luschek is angered when Stefanovic chooses Nicky. Luschek provides Blake with a can of coke since he does not drink alcohol for religious reasons, (they also don't consume caffeine). He later laughs as Blake ended up smoking weed. ("Mischief Mischief")
Luschek is later made the Head of Receation at the Maximum Security prison, despite his laziness, where the Litchfield inmates were moved to. He is in charge of inmates' outside time as well as exercises, such as dance and aerobics classes. He has to replace Cathy and deals with auditions. He meets with Flaca, who originally fails to impress his as she needs a partner. He also states Maritza is prettier and has a better voice. Alana Dwight does sock puppets, Zirconia does chanting, which he doesn't like but is nice to her. Later, the exercise group criticizes him for sending them home after the VCR doesn't work, he shouts at them. After Flaca and Cindy arrive at an audition and he is so bored that he just gives it to them immediately. He later does an EDM workout which the inmates don't enjoy. ("State of the Uterus")
Luschek is trying to get the VCR to work so that the inmates can exercise. Gloria says that this doesn't count as exercise. Luschek makes them do 400 jumping jacks. Luschek dismisses the class after watching Irene jump around in her cast. Madison stays behind and talks to Luschek. He says that he'll help her out if he gets 60% of whatever she's trying to do but Madison says 20%, 30% tops. He asks her what she's looking to get her hands on. Luschek is directing an exercise class. Afterward, Madison takes the phone he was using to play music on and hides it in her cast. He tells her that there will be all new songs on Friday. She tells him that next time to charge the phones up more. That if he brings them in faster there might be something for him. ("Changing Winds")
Luschek gives the inmates a bunch of basketballs. He's trying to advertise his exercise class. Piper goes up to him and tries to blackmail him by telling him that she knows about him smuggling in cellphones. She tells him that they should bring back kickball. Luschek says he could bust her for having a cell phone but Piper says he could lose her job if they found out she got it from him. Luschek says that he'll see what he can do about bringing kickball back.
After Gloria's advice, he begins doing salsa like classes with spanish music. He is Gloria's partner and gets a boner, surprising her and upsetting Zirconia. ("Break the String")
During kickball practice, Badison doesn't take the training seriously and kicks the ball so it gets stuck. No-one seems impressed by this, except Nicole, who laughs hysterically. McCullough gets Luschek to get the ladder and later he feels stupid for not remembering there is multiple balls. Piper gets it while Luschek and McCullough help her hold the ladder. McCullough asks if Head of Rec gets extra money, because she can't drive for LYFT anymore. Piper sees the field, and Badison backs her up when Piper begs to be able to use the field. He agrees. McCullough is worried they'll be outnumbered out there and panics. Luschek states if they fight eachother, it's not a riot. Later, he arrives at Gloria's bunk and asks Blanca to leave so he can talk to Gloria. He asks why she has left class and wonders if it is because of his boner. She tells him about how the blocks internally bully her. ("Chocolate Chip Nookie")
Linda and Luschek are in charge of the inmates to be in PolyCon's video. He gets mad at Rosalie Deitland for wasting his time and jokes to Linda that they should just pick them randomly. Linda is not impressed. Later, at his recreational class, he notices that there is a lack of people. Gloria Mendoza arrives and is immediately criticised by Brock who tell her to leave and remind them of Badison. He shouts at them calling them rude and that the class is open to anyone. They say they double hate her now that she is part of D-Block. ("Double Trouble")
Luschek gets annoyed when Alvarez announces the end of Fantasy Inmate due to Gloria discovering it. He later drives away as he sees the kickball game begin, likely fearing that a fight would break out. ("Be Free")
- Randy, a friend that drops him at work in Season Four.
- Nicky Nichols (former)
- Sam Healy
- Scott O'Neill (questionable; does tolerate Luschek's foolishness)
- Wanda Bell (questionable; does tolerate Luschek's foolishness)
- Wade Donaldson (questionable; does tolerate Luschek's foolishness)
- Kowalski (questionable; does tolerate Luschek's foolishness)
- Elique Maxwell (questionable; does tolerate Luschek's foolishness)
- Judy King
- Lee Dixon
- Artesian McCullough (questionable; does tolerate Luschek's foolishness)
- CO Blake (questionable; does tolerate Luschek's foolishness)
- B. Stratman (questionable; does tolerate Luschek's foolishness)
- Josh (questionable; does tolerate Luschek's foolishness)
- Gloria Mendoza (questionable; she is his crush, but he lets her down when it's revealed Luschek participates in Fantasy Inmate and again when he allows Mendoza to be pinned for the phone. He makes up for this by turning himself in, thus allowing Gloria to be released while Luschek is fire.)
- Nicky Nichols, an inmate working in Luschek's electrical shop, who seemed to have a decent relationship with him, until Joe Caputo finds some of the heroin he was selling and Luschek points the finger at her, getting her sent to Max. Later in season 4, Luschek sleeps with Judy King in order to get Nichols out of Max. It's revealed that he has feelings for her when he finds her rooting through his drawer for drugs. She quickly dismisses his feelings, telling him he's an idiot for falling for a "card-carrying lesbo". However, in Season Six, He allows her to officiate a wedding for Piper and Alex.
- Janae Watson, an inmate working in Luschek's electrical shop. Watson and Luschek dislike each other, as seen when Watson complains about her job. Luschek directs some racist comments her way.
- Piper Chapman, an inmate working in Luschek's electrical shop. Luschek and Piper have a tense relationship, due to Luschek's rude attitude and the fact that he sold Nicky out in Season Three.
- Joe Caputo, Luschek's boss, who is annoyed by Luschek's general attitude and apathy.
- Gina Murphy - Shown to always be rude to Gina, and not care after possibly being infected with Tetanus. In season 5 when he tells her which wire to cut to turn off the alarm, she believes he's lying and cuts a different one, cutting all the prison's power.
- Maria Ruiz
- Alvarez - He stole Alvarez's authority of Fantasy Inmate.
- Tamika Ward - Fired him
- Susan Fischer, whom he briefly dates during Season Two.
- Judy King, an inmate whom he sleeps with multiple times after befriending her when she first arrived at Litchfield. However, he is blackmailed into doing so initially, and later does so because he is high on MDMA.
- Yoga Jones - has a threesome with Luschek and Judy King whilst under the influence of MDMA in "People Persons".)
- Cabrera (flirtation) - Zirconia is frequently seen suggesting she is interested in him, though the feelings are not returned. Even so, he carries out of the building after she injures her ankles at the end of the riot.
- Gloria Mendoza , in Season Six he gets a boner from dancing with her and smiles while watching her dance. They flirt a little and he helps her out with the gangs.
- "It's Luschek. Like in 'loose check'." How long have I worked here, man? God!"
- — to Healy in "Moscow Mule"
- "When I got there the blonde one was screaming and the hot one was stuck inside."
- — Joel Luschek
- "Jesus Christ. You're having your red dot special? Communists in your funhouse? Crimson tide?"
- — Joel Luschek
- — Joel Luschek, after seeing the inmates running to the pond (Trust No Bitch)
- — Joel Luschek
- "It's not a riot if they're fighting eachother!"
- — Luschek to Artesian McCullough, (Chocolate Chip Nookie)
- He gets an erection when he's scared.
- He never went to college, but he lived near campus and made his parents believe he did so they would send him checks for tuition. When they found out, his mother put raisins in all of his food for a whole month.
- He thinks that Maritza is hotter than Flaca ("State of the Uterus")
- For most of the first season his name was pronounced Lu-check not loose-check
|Orange Is the New Black: Season One|
|"I Wasn't Ready":||"Tit Punch":||"Lesbian Request Denied":||"Imaginary Enemies":||"The Chickening":||"WAC Pack":||"Blood Donut":|
|"Moscow Mule":||"Fucksgiving":||"Bora Bora Bora":||"Tall Men with Feelings":||"Fool Me Once":||"Can't Fix Crazy":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Two|
|"Thirsty Bird":||"Looks Blue, Tastes Red":||"Hugs Can Be Deceiving":||"A Whole Other Hole":||"Low Self Esteem City":||"You Also Have a Pizza":||"Comic Sans":|
|"Appropriately Sized Pots":||"40 Oz. of Furlough":||"Little Mustachioed Shit":||"Take a Break From Your Values":||"It Was the Change":||"We Have Manners. We're Polite.":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Three|
|"Mother's Day":||"Bed Bugs and Beyond":||"Empathy Is a Boner Killer":||"Finger in the Dyke":||"Fake It Till You Fake It Some More":||"Ching Chong Chang":||"Tongue-Tied":|
|"Fear, and Other Smells":||"Where My Dreidel At":||"A Tittin' and a Hairin'":||"We Can Be Heroes":||"Don't Make Me Come Back There":||"Trust No Bitch":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Four|
|"Work That Body for Me":||"Power Suit":||"(Don't) Say Anything":||"Doctor Psycho":||"We'll Always Have Baltimore":||"Piece of Shit":||"It Sounded Nicer in My Head":|
|"Friends in Low Places":||"Turn Table Turn":||"Bunny, Skull, Bunny, Skull":||"People Persons":||"The Animals":||"Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Five|
|"Riot FOMO":||"Fuck, Marry, Frieda":||"Pissters!":||"Litchfield's Got Talent":||"Sing It, White Effie":||"Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally":||"Full Bush, Half Snickers":|
|"Tied to the Tracks":||"The Tightening":||"The Reverse Midas Touch":||"Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling":||"Tattoo You":||"Storm-y Weather":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Six|
|"Who Knows Better Than I":||"Shitstorm Coming":||"Look Out for Number One":||"I'm the Talking Ass":||"Mischief Mischief":||"State of the Uterus":||"Changing Winds":|
|Credit Only||Credit Only||Credit Only||Appears||Appears||Appears||Appears|
|"Gordons":||"Break the String":||"Chocolate Chip Nookie":||"Well This Took a Dark Turn":||"Double Trouble":||"Be Free":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Seven|
|"Beginning of the End":||"Just Desserts":||"And Brown Is the New Orange":||"How to Do Life":||"Minority Deport":||"Trapped in an Elevator":||"Me as Well":|
|Appears||Appears||Credit Only||Appears||Credit Only||Credit Only||Credit Only|
|"Baker's Dozen":||"The Hidey Hole":||"The Thirteenth":||"God Bless America":||"The Big House":||"Here's Where We Get Off":|
|Credit Only||Credit Only||Appears||Appears||Appears||Appears|