Netflix rang in the new year with Kaleidoscope, an American miniseries based on a heist pulled off by a crew of misfits. This heist series differs from other similarly plotted shows and movies. Kaleidoscope is an eight-part series, and you can pick any episode randomly, roll the dice or pick one blindfolded. Whichever method of probability you decide to go with, Kaleidoscope delivers by playing every episode from a different time stamp.
In this article, we will be diving into what can be the right colour sequence to watch the series in and get a clearer picture.
Fun fact: Kaleidoscope is loosely based on real-life events during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
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Behind the series
The way Kaleidoscope has fashioned its episodes, giving users a choice to choose their own path, has intrigued many and reminds us vaguely of Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch episode. Eight options to choose from are both exciting and mysterious. This excitement covers up for a moderately performed heist with all the oomph but improper execution that leaves the viewer unsatisfied.
Fear not, we will not ruin your experience but smoothly guide you in the order that you can choose to watch the series. Remember, this is an anthology series, so the events of this story will not be repeated. A new season will probably show a different set of characters and stories.
The series stars Giancarlo Esposito, Rufus Sewell, Paz Vega, Tati Gabrielle, Peter Mark Kendall, Rosaline Elbay, and Jai Courtney. It has covered the heist from 25 years before it takes place till six months after the heist. You can watch this series for the excitement of getting a choice; however, keep your expectations low.
The way to begin the series
We can tell you the chronological order to begin the series:
- Black: A teaser that summarizes what you are about to watch and how you can watch it, that is, randomly. To connect the pieces of this puzzle and figure out the story from different points of view. To solve generic questions like who gets away with it and who betrays whom.
- Violet: 24 years before the heist.
- Green: 7 years before the heist.
- Yellow: 6 weeks before the heist.
- Orange: 3 weeks before the heist.
- Blue: 5 days before the heist.
- White: The heist.
- Red: Morning after the heist.
- Pink: 6 months after the heist.
The series revolves around the main character, Leo Pap or Ray Vernon, played by Giancarlo Esposito, who is out to get his ego satisfied. 24 years before the heist, he was wronged by his close friend, Graham Davies, and now wants to even the score.
His close friend, now known as Roger Salas, is the founder of SLS, a famous corporate security firm. He has designed what he thinks is the most secure vault in the world. Until Leo pops it open.
You can watch the series in an orderly manner, or you can mix it up to create a mystery. It might be fun to take various threads of different colours and mix them up to see which timeline goes connects where.
In my personal opinion, I found that even though the episodes were built to be completely random, it felt like I was missing out on some information. For example, there wasn’t a lot of depth in some of the main characters as they barely had any background story. Keeping the characters just detachable enough to plunge them into any narrative.
However, it has been taken care to build every episode independently while simultaneously connecting with the main theme. An example is not knowing Hannah had met her dad till the third episode of the colour sequence followed. Kudos on that; the storyline was not completely predictable.
The colour sequence to follow [Spoilers Ahead]
Remember that the sequence given below is completely from one person’s point of view. There might be some spoilers, so if you haven’t watched Kaleidoscope, be wary.
(P.S. In no way should you feel compelled to follow this colour-coding sequence)
|Episode colour in sequence
(24 years before the heist)
|Laying the base first before building a structure is important. So we begin 24 years before the heist takes place with Ray Vernon and Graham Davies robbing rich people. However, Ray decides to opt out of this life but life isn’t always a bed of roses. Sometime later, Graham Davies begs Ray to bail him out of a tight spot. Ray refuses initially but later agrees. However, the robbery goes sideways and Ray’s wife does not make it. In the end, Ray is arrested and asks Ava Mercer, a young law student, to take care of his daughter, Hannah.
(6 weeks before the heist)
|It begins with Hannah working at SLS under Roger Salas, AKA Graham. In a separate situation, Leo Pap, AKA Ray, meets an explosives specialist, Judy, and her husband Bob, a safecracker through Stan Loomis, Ray’s former cellmate. Ava Mercer joins the crew and they bring the get-away driver, RJ an auto mechanic. In order to afford the main heist, the crew plans a smaller heist. Hannah is almost suspected of possessing a security breach device. She meets her dad at the end and agrees to help with the heist.
(5 days before the heist)
|Ray explains the entire heist in detail. He also breaks into Roger’s house to put something in his contact lens solution when Roger is out at a party. This causes irritation in Roger’s eyes the next day and Stan poses as a doctor to get his eye scans. Ray’s backdoor into the SLS vault, for which he had paid the manufacturer, is discovered and closed. He finds another way that involves an approaching storm.
(7 years before the heist)
|This episode takes us to Ray who is still in prison and his cellmate is Stan. Ray is being a good person but when he is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he decides to bail. He plans a prison escape with Stan but only Ray is able to make it out. He meets Ava who helps him fake his death and get a new identity as Leo Pap. He meets Hannah to offer his explanations only to find out that she works under Roger. He leaves a letter explaining Roger isn’t the person Hannah thinks he is.
(3 weeks before the heist)
|This episode focuses mainly on agent Nazan who is focusing on the smaller heist pulled by the group and worrying about her son’s custody. She has a history with Ava Mercer and believes she was involved in the smaller heist. Ava tries to dodge Nazan but ends up getting manipulated by Nazan to give updates about the main heist being planned by Ray.
|We will not ruin the heist scene for you, as this is the episode you have been waiting for. Needless to say, the heist does not go as planned. Ray leaves a present behind for Roger/Graham to find. Ava leaves a trail of breadcrumbs for Nazan to follow.
(The morning after the heist)
|At the safe house, Judy and Stan blame Ray for the heist not going as planned. They are all suspicious of each other, however only when Roger’s men locate them, do they make a run. Ava, Stan, Judy, and Ray escape on a small boat. Later FBI raids their safehouse only to find dead bodies and no bonds. Agent Nazan also finds the present left behind by Ray and Roger is arrested.
(6 months after the heist)
|Agent Nazan is still on the case and is not satisfied with the evidence. Bob visits Roger in prison to ask him for some money to locate Roger’s bonds. Roger agrees to a small sum only if Bob kills Leo. Bob is trying to find Judy and reaches Ohio where Ray and Ava are living. He interrogates them about Judy and Stan’s whereabouts, so Ray sets up a meeting. Bob drives down to South Carolina where Judy and Stan are living but before he can find them, the FBI finds him. Later, Ray is video calling Hannah from New York who shows him his granddaughter.
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