REVIEW: ‘Moriarty the Patriot,’ Episode 20 – “The White Knight of London Act 2”

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Moriarty the Patriot Episode 20

Regrettably, the concerns from the previous episode proved true in Moriarty the Patriot Episode 20, which is a stain on an otherwise great episode. Moriarty the Patriot is an anime adaption from Production I.G. based on the manga of the same name by Ryosuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi. The story, inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, reimagines Lord of Crime James Moriarty as a team of brothers out to overthrow the corrupt caste system in Britain. They work from the shadows with a slew of allies, all while Sherlock Holmes tries to make sense of William’s motives. The manga is available in English from VIZ Media.

The last episode ended on quite a cliffhanger. Adam Whiteley, the “White Knight” of the House of Commons, has passed William’s test and has been handed incriminating documents on the House of Lords by Albert. At the same time, Milverton will not be outmaneuvered. After offing the insider who killed off the bomber before he could talk, he sets his sights closer to Whiteley. Instead of killing him, Whiteley plans to disgrace him publicly by pushing him into a situation where all of his ethics are questioned. These high stakes would be fantastic to watch if there wasn’t one major problem in Moriarty the Patriot Episode 20.

Sam Whiteley, Adam’s younger brother, is targeted by Milverton’s men. While the entire household is endangered, Sam is the true target. This is disappointing because it makes his character entirely centered around his disability, becoming tragedy porn to fuel the storyline. For a show that is supposed to be about standing up for the oppressed, this writing decision is glaring.

Moriarty the Patriot Episode 20 would have a fantastic plot line otherwise. Unfortunately, it cannot be viewed as separate from the above. The animation choices to build up suspense to Whiteley’s downfall are fantastic. The symbolism between Milverton and the Snake in the Garden of Eden is a bit on the nose, but overall works. The show creates an interesting juxtaposition between Milverton and Moriarty. William acknowledges themselves as “evil,” but a necessary one, rather than pure evil. These are the layers that make the show work (when it does). It also makes the ending one that will ideally shock viewers. It is an unexpectedly thrilling note to end the episode on.

Once again, all praise towards Whiteley’s downfall are meant towards the art direction and cinematography choices to set the scene. The writing decisions are a huge disappointment and harmful. Normally, the show’s writing can be forgiven because of the pure enjoyment from watching the show, but this time it is glaring and rather hypocritical.

Moriarty the Patriot Episode 20 should be a high point for the series. Whiteley’s downfall has unexpected surprises that will keep viewers leaning forward. The animation and direction heighten the tension and are glorious to look at. However, it feels wrong to praise the episode due to the glaringly harmful writing decision to tokenize Sam for tragedy porn.

Moriarty the Patriot is streaming now on Funimation.

 

Moriarty the Patriot Episode 20
  • 6.5/10
    Rating - 6.5/10
6.5/10

TL;DR

Moriarty the Patriot Episode 20 should be a high point for the series. Whiteley’s downfall has unexpected surprises that will keep viewers leaning forward. The animation and direction heighten the tension and are glorious to look at. However, it feels wrong to praise the episode due to the glaringly harmful writing decision to tokenize Sam for tragedy porn.