Behind the colors of Kaleidoscope

February 3, 2023

A run-down on all the episodes of Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope, directed by Everardo Gout and Mairzee Almas, is a unique heist drama consisting of eight episodes. The first seven episodes appear in a different and random order for every viewer on Netflix, with the episode “White” being the last for everyone. The diverse ways to watch give every viewer a different opinion on the changing storyline and characters with each change of order.

The viewers get to see the reason Leo, the main character played by Giancarlo Esposito, wants to take down his enemy, Roger, played by Rufus Sewell, in the episode “Violet,” set 24 years before the heist. The episode opens with Roger making negotiations with an unknown businessman, viewers soon see Leo doing a kind of mini-heist, eventually being assisted by Roger and setting up the rest of the back story.

With incredible acting all around, this is probably one of my favorite episodes. It added more background as viewers were able to see the reason Leo hates Roger later on and the origin story of the heist to come. The special effects near the end of the episode really stand out, along with the makeup put on the characters, showing the terror Leo just witnessed.

The “Green” episode opens with Leo and Stan in a prison, seven years before the heist takes place. Leo comes to Stan’s side as Stan gets attacked by violent inmates who accuse him of stealing their phone minutes. Judy, another future member of the crew, visits Stan as they are in a relationship, supplying him with SIM cards and illegal substances to sell. 

The episode soon focuses on Leo’s escape plans, which require Stan’s help. Even though Stan first declines with only six months left in jail, he eventually agrees and the plan gets set in motion. Leo escapes from the infirmary after getting an IV while Stan sacrifices himself for Leo and stays so they don’t get caught.

The directing in this episode is amazing, really trying its hardest to highlight what might seem like small details that eventually come into play. Paired with the editing, the acting was not as poor as in other episodes. The extras in the prison scenes were hit or miss, some standing out more than others.

“Yellow” is the episode that first sets up the heist itself, looking six weeks before it happens. Leo came up with the idea and his whole team, making a list of who would be useful for each thing he needs and setting him up to be the leader of the group.

This is also where the viewers get their first real introduction to the main plot, with Roger trying to sell his new vault safe to one of the richest and most influential people in the story, Stefan. Meanwhile, Leo has already got his crew together and is planning for the heist before the money is even in the vault, one of the plans being a heist on “Diamond Way” so the crew can pay for their supplies.

Tati Gabrielle as Hannah Kim did an amazing job in this episode, really selling the role as a thief before revealing she’s actually proving a point for Roger while also being a mole for the heist. She acted out three different kinds of roles for one character, showing her incredible range of skills.

The “Orange” episode doesn’t follow much of the original main characters at all, instead following one of the FBI agents against the heist, Nazan Abassi played by Niousha Noor. Nazan inserts herself into the investigation after not being trusted for years due to her past of substance abuse on the job. 

The episode continues, highlighting Nazan with little lowlights of the crew’s plans. Niousha Noor does an impeccable job at making her character relatable to many people as she struggles with custody battles and staying sober.

“Blue” takes place five days before the heist with Leo breaking down the seven jobs needed by the crew. He stresses that if one of these jobs fails, the entire heist fails. 

There was a “backdoor” set in place before the vault was made years ago, which happened to be discovered by Roger and taken out. Leo then describes how he can’t wait to watch Roger’s happy life fall apart, relating back to the Violet episode without being completely obvious.

A little later, we see Leo in a sauna with Roger, who’s unaware of who he is talking to. While Roger talks, Leo gets up and looks like he is about to kill Roger with his towel before listening to what Roger says. Using a metaphor of a storm, Leo gets the idea to use the hurricane coming in as his new backdoor to the vault, setting the heist back into motion.

Using a metaphor of a storm, Leo gets the idea to use the hurricane coming in as his new backdoor to the vault, setting the heist back into motion.

The “White” episode allows the truth behind the heist to come out as it follows the heist itself. With the FBI searching from a distance, the crew has to pick their fights carefully to finish their job.

Throughout the episode, all the little details finally come together, the attention to detail from the writers really shining through. The plant delivered to the building by Liz becomes an essential part of the plot while the crew’s main worry, talked about through the whole show, almost becomes a reality.

Most of the actors did an incredible job in the whole series, but, again, Tati Gabrielle was specifically outstanding in this episode. Near the end of the episode, Hannah saves her father from being shot before breaking down how she changed, and ruined, his plan. The episode ends with a heart-breaking quote from Hannah, only said once before in yet another emotional scene by her dad.

“Red” shows the day after the heist, starting with the crew on the boat while missing Bob, Judy’s husband after she and Stan broke up, which was partially expected. The very end of the heist is displayed here, while everyone is in panic trying to find the bonds or leave before the police show up.

The FBI quickly shows up asking what happened while Hannah pushes them away, saying nothing happened. Apparently, someone told the FBI about the heist, meaning there was a rat in the crew. It’s revealed that Roger’s name is not actually Roger and he’s committed serious identity theft.

While all of that is happening, Stan, Judy, and Leo are all arguing about what to do now. They decide to go to an island, previously planned for, and create new identities for themselves, erasing them from history.

The “Pink” episode follows the crew six months after the heist where almost everyone went their separate ways. Leo and Ava are still together along with Stan and Judy, but everyone else is off on their own. 

The viewers see that there is a problem with Judy and Stan getting money. They try selling fake expensive wine to a rich business owner, which he runs out on. Stan had been trying to contact Leo to get a hold of the bonds, which he never achieves.

The whole concept of the show is more interesting than the way the producers produced it. It can be confusing and hard to follow through most of the episodes, especially with Pink and Violet being before the heist, causing major spoilers. Especially after watching Violet, the whole White episode is kind of obvious. If the show had been in chronological order for everyone, the episodes would have made more sense for the most part.

The acting from a majority of the cast is amazing, it would have been even better if the directors and producers could have followed through with the hype of the show.

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