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How to View the Episodes in Chronological Order

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The following contains spoilers for Kaleidoscope, now streaming on Netflix.

Netflix’s Kaleidoscope is a unique take on the heist genre as Giancarlo Esposito’s master thief, Ray aka Leo, hires a crew to steal $7 million in bonds from Roger (Rufus Sewell), a high-tech security magnate. While the streaming service has interactive properties such as Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, this series focuses on non-linear and linear storytelling, which enables viewers to watch in the order Netflix wants, or however they see fit, which alters the way they perceive heroes, villains and the plot, in general.


Kaleidoscope’s structure has even led to debates online with many not liking how Netflix’s order ruins the big twist at the end regarding key deaths, while others think watching it in random order doesn’t change it up that much. Either way, it has audiences buzzing, so it’s worth breaking down how to view the series in chronological order, which would paint the best storyline possible and add cohesion to the show.

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1. Violet: 24 Years Before the Heist

Kaleidoscope has Ray pulling off a big heist

As an opener, “Violet” reveals Ray and Roger were partners earlier in their criminal careers, pulling off heists. Ray eventually quits the heist game to focus on his family, but Roger (known as Graham back then) sticks to crime. Sadly, Ray gets pulled back into a life of crime, wanting to steal jewels from his wife’s racist employers at a country club. Graham is all too excited to pull another heist, but things go awry when a guard catches them in the act and take him out.

Graham then lights the place on fire, which results in Ray’s wife, Lily, dying. After Graham fled instead of saving her, Ray took the rap for it, sending their daughter off with Ava (his lawyer and fence) to start a new life. Graham makes off with the jewels, assumes the identity of Roger Salas and starts a happy life, which is why an incarcerated Ray began plotting, hating how he lost everything due to Roger’s cowardice.

2. Green: 7 Years Before the Heist

Kaleidoscope has Ray pulling off a big heist

“Green” opens up Netflix’s viewing, but it flows much better after “Violet.” Here, Ray has been in prison for 17 years, connecting with Stan, his cellmate. Ray, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, wants to escape in order to take down his former partner, now living as Roger. While Stan is not acquiescent at first, he also decides to escape to reunite with Judy, who is married to the hotheaded Bob (played by Suicide Squad’s Jai Courtney)

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Stan can tell this will affect his business of Judy slipping him contraband to deal in prison, so he drugs the inmates (as he works the kitchen), using it as a distraction for them to bail. Unfortunately, after the elaborate scheme — which involved copying keys and sneaking out the facility — goes awry, only Ray gets out. This puts FBI agent Nazan on the case.

3. Yellow: 6 Weeks Before the HeistKaleidoscope has Ray pulling off a big heist

In “Yellow,” Ray (now going under the identity as Leo) assembles the crew. Stan is out, and knowing he can make $1 billion, Judy is hired as a chemicals expert, while her husband Bob, is the resident safe cracker. This causes tension, but Stan is focused on the money. RJ is then hired as the wheelman, while Ray gains a key associate to help make this an inside job.

Ava is there for arms and ammunition, as well as arranging new identities as the team’s handler. However, they first need to pull off a heist in the Diamond District, gassing the street and robbing the Manhattan shops during a break-in. They needed this for seed money, but it has Nazan keeping a close eye on them, especially after a bullet links her to an old foe in Ava.

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4. Orange: 3 Weeks Before the Heist

Kaleidoscope has Ray pulling off a big heist

“Orange” dives into how Nazan — due to her past drug addiction — had major problems in the past trying to arrest Ava. It led to her being suspended and going into rehab. Once she works out Ava is connected to a larger criminal network, however, she doesn’t mind breaking FBI rules again. She starts hatching her own scheme, monitoring Ava’s home, and how she and Bob fenced items from the district job.

This gives Nazan the intel she needs to take action against Ava, using ICE and Ava’s illegal immigrant aunt, Teresa, as pawns. It’s driven by revenge as Ava played and framed Nazan for harassment, effectively getting Nazan’s ex full custody of their son. At this point, Nazan is obsessed with the bigger case and impressing the bureau.

5. Blue: 5 Days Before the Heist

Kaleidoscope has Ray pulling off a big heist

“Blue” is where things start to go wrong for Ray. He assumes his daughter, Hannah (who also happens to be Roger’s VP), is on his side, ready to help steal the bonds, avenge her mother’s death, and start a new life as a family after their conversation in “Yellow.” He also doesn’t realize an injured Bob is plotting to betray the team and Judy is conflicted about that.

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Roger is also forced to ramp up monitoring the safe after Hannah’s scheming inside the company has a jealous ex-worker threatening the boss. This might have cleared the way for her to aid the crew, but Roger is as paranoid as ever, eager to ensure the bonds (which belong to three sinister tycoons known as The Triplets) don’t get taken. It shows how trusting Ray is and how big of an ego he has in how he didn’t think anything could go wrong.

6. White: The Heist

Kaleidoscope has Ray pulling off a big heist

“White” is intense in a way the Ocean’s Eleven movies never could be. As a hurricane hits, the team infiltrates Roger’s company, according to plan. They sneak into the vault using facial recognition technology, while flooding the area so the temperature sensors malfunction. Roger’s feed is also hacked, allowing the caper to go off, but Ray decides to stick around to plant evidence in Roger’s personal safe of past sins.

Without supervision, Bob tries to steal the loot, causing a fight among teammates. A panicked RJ shoots Bob, only for Judy to fire on RJ and end him. Broken by guilt, she then damages Bob’s throat and leaves him for dead, fleeing with Stan. Ava thinks she has the bonds and she flees after a shoot-out with Nazan, whom she sent down the wrong rabbit hole. Sadly, Hannah steals the bonds herself, sending fake papers to Ava. She let Ray know she’s giving it all back to The Triplets, who’ll make money via insurance, and not come after her and Ray.

7. Red: The Morning After the Heist

Kaleidoscope has Ray pulling off a big heist

The fact “Red” is played before “White” is a major mistake from Netflix as fans lose emotional interest knowing how the heist went. Experienced in the correct order, however, it’s horrific seeing everyone at each other’s throats at the rendezvous point, keeping secrets of their own. Ray hides Hannah’s double-cross too, scattering the team as he knows they’re physically and mentally drained from everything.

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Ray does leave feeling somewhat fulfilled, though, as Nazan and the FBI found a stolen jewel in Roger’s personal safe at this veritable technological castle, arresting him and exposing him for the country club theft. Another tipping point comes when Roger finds Stan’s glasses in the waters, working to track and monitor him. This sets in motion a wild conclusion where the theme of repercussion comes full-circle, leaving Esposito turning in yet another powerful performance.

8. Pink: 6 Months After

Kaleidoscope has Ray pulling off a big heist

This finale is a heartbreaking one, as it turns out Bob survived the heist, even though he lost his voice. He colludes with an imprisoned Roger, hires thugs and seeks revenge against Ava, Teresa and Ray just outside their safe house in Ohio. Many surprising deaths occur, which reminds Ray how his vendetta took from everyone and created killers in their supposedly-loyal tribe.

As for Bob, he does find Judy and Stan, who are living happily together. They’re hoping Ray brings them some money, but after getting intel from his hostages, it’s Bob who arrives with a gun. Luckily, Nazan is there with her FBI agents, and a gun fight occurs. This leaves Judy with a key decision to make regarding fleeing with Stan or stealing the money Bob took from Ray. The series ends with an unsuspecting Ray trying to make it to Hannah, not realizing Roger’s son is tracking him down for revenge of his own.

All eight episodes of Kaleidoscope are available on Netflix.

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