‘NCIS: New Orleans’: How Realistic Is Sebastian’s Move From the Lab to the Field?

Since 2014, Sebastian Lund (Rob Kerkovich) has been part of the NCIS: New Orleans team. His previous role as a forensic scientist helped Dr. Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder) with autopsies. His work assisted in nailing down specifics of each case using scientific methods. This helped lead Dwayne Pride (Scott Bakula) and his team to the proper suspects.

In season 3, however, Sebastian changed course. He’s now part of the NOLA field team. Is it a realistic move?

Sebastian began helping the ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ team in the lab

'NCIS: New Orleans'
Rob Kerkovich as Forensic Scientist Sebastian Lund | Sam Lotheridge/CBS via Getty Images

As the resident forensic scientist for Jefferson Parish and assistant to Dr. Wade, Sebastian is the “brains” behind the whole operation. Every member of Pride’s team plays an important part, but Sebastian is the one with concrete proof of a crime.

Forensic scientists pull from a plethora of principles to support theories surrounding any physical evidence at the crime scene. They analyze the evidence (such as DNA) and present findings based on scientific analyses.

The field team does the footwork when it comes to catching “the bad guy.” However, they wouldn’t know where to begin if not for Sebastian’s (and Loretta’s) findings. He’s arguably the most underrated character on the show for his ability to pin the crime on the correct suspect alone (based on science).

Why did Sebastion want to join the filed team?

During a suspense-filled event, Sebastian was kidnapped and ultimately escaped. That near-death experience forced him to re-evaluate his place in work, and in life. When he returned to the lab, his responsibilities felt a little less fulfilling.

Having watched Pride and the team from afar, Sebastian felt he could contribute more in the field than he did in the lab. He applied to become an agent, which delayed Tammy Gregorio’s (Vanessa Ferlito) introduction as an official part of the team.

Sebastian’s transition created tension among the team in the beginning. It wasn’t smooth by any means. But, when he helped bring down the leader of a drug cartel, Sebastian found his true calling.

Soon after, Sebastian signed up with FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center) to make the leap. In true Sebastian form, he helped Pride’s team with forensics while in training for the field.

What happened when Sebastian transitioned to the field?

Around halfway through season 3 of NCIS: New Orleans, Sebastian became an official Forensics Agent. He investigated murders while balancing lab life. Someone has to analyze the evidence.

Still a little gunshy (one reason we love him), Sebastian has proven himself among his teammates (particularly his roommate, Gregorio).

Executive producer, Christopher Silber recently opened up to Parade about what fans can expect from Sebastian in episodes to come.

“One of the fun elements of this show, and I’ve been on it since the middle of the first season, is just to see the evolution specifically of Sebastian’s character, because he’s made such a very distinct change,” he said.

“He’s far more confident, he’s successfully made the transition to field agent, and so we can’t help but want to push him a little bit farther.”

As for Sebastian’s physicality compared to the other agents, he has to work at it.

“He’s going to be pushing himself physically, emotionally, and psychologically as he tries to join this very aggressive group of the tip of the spear of NCIS, and that will give us a lot of opportunity for fun and also for more growth for Sebastian.”

Is the career transition realistic?

Silber and executive producer, Jan Nash, explained Sebastian’s choice to join the REACT team. The balance is like being a “volunteer fireman.” You work a day job, “but then you get called in for these specialized missions that you get extra training for.”

Silber concluded, “in the real world, regular NCIS agents can join REACT, and if there is an issue in their region, then anyone who’s a member of the REACT team, whether it’s a hostage situation or an active shooter, they’re prepared to go in and deal with that.”

So, while it’s not typically the norm to see a forensic scientist move from the lab to the field, it can be done with the right training and hard work. With Sebastian’s skill set, he’s not only the newest member of Pride’s field team, but he’s also arguably one of the most important.

NCIS: New Orleans returns February 2020 on CBS.