Moriarty the Patriot Introduces a Holmes Villain Sherlock TRULY Despises

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 16 of Moriarty the Patriot, "The Phantom of Whitechapel, Part 2," now streaming on Funimation.

Following on from "A Scandal in the British Empire," Moriarty the Patriot's next arc is in full swing in Episode 16, the second part of "The Phantom of Whitechapel." As the previous episode revealed, the titular phantom is implied to be Jack the Ripper -- one of London's (and world history, in general) most notorious serial killers. The anime's twist on the historical murderer is that multiple "Jacks" exist in its fantastical version of Victorian Britain: the original nickname belonging to a war veteran and old friend of Moriarty, while a collective of copycats, the Vigilance, have coincidentally adopted the colorful moniker to rile up Scotland Yard.

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The latest episode adds a further twist. The clash between these two factions isn't really what's important in all this. Instead, the drama functions to introduce a shadowy figure -- the real "Phantom" -- on course to challenge the Lord of Crime at his own game, an individual known as Charles Augustus Milverton.

Milverton is another character plucked from relative obscurity (to the non-Holmes crowd) within Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes mythos. Other recent inclusions of the character in live-action spinoffs include Charles Augustus Magnussen in the BBC's Sherlock and under his original name in ElementaryMoriarty the Patriot's use of the character, as a direct foil to both Sherlock and Moriarty, will be far more significant, however.

Milverton, who first appeared in 1904's The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, specializes in blackmail -- much like his real-life inspiration. Notably, Milverton also differentiates himself from Sherlock's other adversaries by simply being the slimiest of the bunch. Holmes despised Milverton so much, in fact, that when the criminal was killed by one of his previous victims, the detective refused to assist Lestrade in solving his murder, and disposed of all of the man's incriminating blackmail material to spare those he targeted from any further anguish.

In Moriarty the Patriot, Milverton's hallmark is already hinted at by the end of Episode 16. Watching Louis and William emerge from the Vigilance's lair, fresh from punishing the group for thoughtlessly sacrificing those lower on the social hierarchy than them for the sake of their revolution, Milverton catches a glimpse of William's face. He identifies him instantly and makes a note to investigate the nobleman's background. Similar to his actions in the 1904 novel, Sherlock also chooses to cover up his suspicion that there was a lot more to the Ripper case than met Scotland Yard's eye when the street warfare is resolved by Moriarty. Milverton will no doubt unearth something to use against the famous family in the coming episodes, while Sherlock will seek to uncover the wider mystery.

Moriarty the Patriot

For this reason, Milverton's introduction serves to unite the detective and criminal mastermind -- though they don't know it -- against a common evil, one whose reputation in the source material indicates he'll be far worse than anything Sherlock has faced thus far, including Moriarty himself, who fulfills more of a Robin Hood role in the anime than his traditionally villainous one -- something openly referenced by Sherlock in the episode upon seeing the case resolved. Another game is afoot.

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