Weaving Threads of Truth: Arturo Moreno’s Legacy in The Terminal List

Behind the captivating performances and gripping storyline of a series like Amazon Prime Video’s “The Terminal List” lies the often-unsung magic of costume design. In this realm, Arturo Moreno (1980-2022) reigned supreme, transforming characters into tangible beings through their apparel. His meticulous attention to detail and profound understanding of character psychology elevated the show’s visuals, leaving a lasting impression on viewers and a legacy that continues to inspire.

A Life Dedicated to Storytelling Through Costumes:

Born in 1980, Moreno’s passion for costume design flourished early. He honed his skills on productions like “Superstore,” “9-1-1,” and “Midnight, Texas,” showcasing his ability to seamlessly blend historical accuracy with contemporary trends. His talent caught the eye of “The Terminal List” creators, entrusting him with the daunting task of bringing the show’s diverse cast to life through their clothing.

The Soul Through Stitches:

“The Terminal List” revolves around James Reece (Chris Pratt), a Navy SEAL grappling with the loss of his platoon and seeking the truth behind their demise. Moreno’s challenge was to translate Reece’s internal conflict and PTSD onto the screen through his clothing. He opted for muted tones and worn textures, reflecting Reece’s emotional turmoil and physical scars. Every crease and fray whispered a story of hardship and resilience.

In stark contrast, the show’s antagonist, Secretary of Defense Paul Watkins (William Hurt), exudes an air of power and authority through his impeccably tailored suits. Moreno’s costume choices for Watkins were deliberate, highlighting his wealth, privilege, and detachment from the harsh realities faced by the show’s protagonists. Each meticulously pressed line and pristine fabric mirrored Watkins’ cold and calculated demeanor.

Beyond the lead characters, Moreno crafted distinct looks for each member of Reece’s former platoon. Their varying styles and gear reflected their individual personalities and backgrounds, further immersing viewers in the show’s gritty and realistic world. This attention to detail breathed life into each character, making them more than just faces on the screen.

From Battlefield to Backyard: The Nuances of Civilian Life:

Moreno’s talent extended beyond depicting the military world. When Reece returns home, his struggle to reintegrate into civilian life is mirrored in his changing wardrobe. He sheds the military fatigues for more casual attire, yet subtle hints of his past remain, such as the worn boots he never seems to take off. This choice speaks volumes about Reece’s internal battle and the lingering trauma he carries, a testament to Moreno’s ability to use clothing as a narrative tool in everyday settings.

A Legacy Cut Short, Yet Everlasting:

Tragically, Arturo Moreno passed away in 2022. However, his work on “The Terminal List” stands as a testament to his exceptional talent and dedication. His ability to use clothing as a narrative tool added depth and complexity to the characters, propelling the show’s emotional impact and immersing viewers in its world. His legacy is a tapestry woven with passion, meticulousness, and an unwavering commitment to storytelling through the art of costume design.

Moreno’s Impact: A New Chapter in Costume Design:

Moreno’s influence on the future of costume design is undeniable. His meticulous attention to detail and focus on character psychology have inspired a new generation of designers to look beyond the surface and use clothing to tell deeper stories. His work on “The Terminal List” serves as a masterclass in the power of costume design to elevate a narrative and leave a lasting impression on audiences.


Arturo Moreno’s contributions to “The Terminal List” are a masterclass in using costume design to enhance storytelling. His meticulous attention to detail and keen understanding of character psychology breathed life into the show’s characters and added depth to its emotional core. While Moreno’s passing is a loss to the entertainment industry, his work on “The Terminal List” will continue to inspire and influence costume designers for years to come. His artistry serves as a reminder that costume design is not merely an afterthought, but a vital storytelling tool that can elevate a narrative and leave a lasting impression on audiences.


1. What specific detail in the costumes truly highlights Moreno’s brilliance?

One striking example is the subtle shift in Reece’s clothing throughout the show. Initially, his attire features muted greens and browns, reflecting his emotional isolation. As he progresses, warmer hues like beige and khaki emerge, symbolizing a flicker of hope and a tentative return to life. This subtle shift speaks volumes about Reece’s internal journey without a single spoken word.

2. How did Moreno approach costume design differently for action sequences versus quieter moments?

In action sequences, Moreno prioritized functional and practical military gear for realism and agility. During quieter moments, his focus shifted to more personal details, like Reece’s worn boots or the faded baseball cap he wears at home. These seemingly insignificant choices speak volumes about Reece’s emotional baggage and the weight he carries from past experiences.

3. Did Moreno face any unique challenges designing for “The Terminal List”?

One major challenge was balancing historical accuracy with contemporary trends. The show explores different timelines, requiring seamless blending of clothing styles while maintaining a cohesive feel. Moreno’s ability to bridge these temporal gaps with meticulous research and creative flair exemplifies his mastery of the craft.

4. What advice would Moreno have for aspiring costume designers?

Based on his work on “The Terminal List,” Moreno would likely encourage:

  • Prioritize character psychology: Understand the characters’ inner lives and motivations, and let those inform your costume choices.
  • Don’t shy away from research: Immerse yourself in the world of your show, whether it’s a historical period or a specific subculture.
  • Embrace storytelling through details: Even the smallest choices can speak volumes about a character’s journey.
  • Collaborate and experiment: Work closely with actors, directors, and other creatives to ensure your costumes resonate with the overall vision.

5. Where can I learn more about Arturo Moreno’s work?

While Moreno doesn’t have a dedicated website, following costume designer hashtags on social media and searching for interviews with colleagues of Moreno in the entertainment industry can offer valuable insights and stories. Additionally, keeping an eye out for articles and blogs that celebrate his work can provide further information and appreciation for his contributions.

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