Arturo Moreno: The Costume Designer Who Left a Lasting Mark on “The Terminal List”

The success of any television show or film hinges on a multitude of factors, from the captivating storyline to the stellar performances. But often, the unsung heroes who breathe life into the narrative are the costume designers. In the case of the Amazon Prime Video thriller “The Terminal List,” Arturo Moreno was one such unsung hero. His meticulous attention to detail and keen understanding of character psychology elevated the show’s visuals and left a lasting impression on viewers.

Moreno’s Journey to The Terminal List

Born in 1980, Moreno’s passion for costume design blossomed early. He honed his skills in various productions, including “Superstore,” “9-1-1,” and “Midnight, Texas.” His ability to seamlessly blend historical accuracy with contemporary trends caught the eye of the “The Terminal List” creators, who entrusted him with the daunting task of bringing the show’s diverse cast of characters to life.

The Characters Through Costumes

“The Terminal List” revolves around James Reece (Chris Pratt), a Navy SEAL haunted by the loss of his platoon and determined to uncover 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-out textures for Reece’s attire, reflecting his emotional turmoil and physical scars.

In 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.

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.

Beyond the Battlefield: 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 subtle costuming choice speaks volumes about Reece’s internal battle and the lingering trauma he carries.

A Legacy of Excellence

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.

Moreno’s Impact on the Future of Costume Design

Moreno’s legacy is far-reaching. His meticulous attention to detail and focus on character psychology have inspired a new generation of costume 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.


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

One striking detail is the subtle variation in the color palette of Reece’s clothing throughout the show. Initially, his attire features muted greens and browns, reflecting his emotional isolation and detachment. As he progresses through his quest for truth and reconnects with loved ones, warmer hues like beige and khaki slowly 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’s costume design differ between the show’s action sequences and quieter character moments?

In action sequences, Moreno often utilized functional and practical military gear, prioritizing realism and agility. During quieter moments, however, he shifted the focus to more personal details, like Reece’s worn-out 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 particular challenges while designing for “The Terminal List”?

One major challenge was balancing historical accuracy with contemporary trends. The show explores both the present day and flashbacks to Reece’s deployment, requiring Moreno to seamlessly blend clothing styles from different eras while maintaining a cohesive feel. His ability to bridge these temporal gaps with meticulous research and creative flair exemplifies his mastery of the craft.

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