The Sage Reviews: “Kaleidoscope” is a New Twist on Netflix’s Roster


Austin Jew

A Sage student watches the intro to Netflix’s “Kaleidoscope.” This intro is meant to represent the colors for each episode while making the shape of a vault door to represent the theme of the show.

“Kaleidoscope,” released on New Year’s Day, is a fresh heist series that has incorporated a new mixed-episode system into Netflix’s databases. The show gives each viewer a random order of episodes, each distinguished by an individual color and always ends in “White.” Netflix’s “correct” order to watch

A screenshot displays a diverse and unique episode order. It goes: “Yellow”, “Green”, “Blue”, “Orange”, “Violet”, “Red”, “Pink” and “White.” (Holden Kopman)

the series goes: “Yellow,” “Green,” “Blue,” “Violet,” “Orange,” “Red,” “Pink” and “White.” Though this may be the preferred order to watch for most, I will be going over the randomized order I was given.


The “Yellow” Episode – Six Weeks Before The Heist

“Yellow” serves as a “team up” episode for the show, each character banded by Giancarlo Esposito’s Ray Vernon, (aka Leo Pap). Though not much occurs throughout the majority of this episode, it allows viewers to have a taste of what each group member has to offer, via. their varied skill sets.


The “Green” Episode – Seven Years Before The Heist

“Green” sees Leo Pap and Stan Loomis, portrayed by Peter Mark Kendell, who are prison cellmates at the time. With a combination of Leo’s fear of his daughter losing her memory of him (not to mention his diagnosis of Parkinson’s) and Stan’s fear of losing his girlfriend to another man, their only option is a combined effort to escape. This episode proves to be one of the more enjoyable ones as it sees two of the main characters in a state where their outside lives are on the line.

Tara Benett with IGN describes each of the group member’s motivations for participating in the heist.

“Essentially, it’s a revenge scheme for Ray/Leo against Roger, and for everyone else it’s a life-changing sum of money that not only gives them ultimate bragging rights, but a pile of cash that will afford each of them the ability to fund a life redo,” Bennett said.

The “Blue” Episode – Five Days Before the Heist

“Blue” is where plans really start coming into place as the group makes final preparations for the long-awaited heist. Also, antagonist Graham Davies, now Roger Salas (Rufus Sewell), shows his true “colors” when his career is threatened by one of his revenge-seeking employees. This episode had some rough edges but still managed to show what evil the protagonists were up against. 


The “Orange” Episode – Three Weeks Before The Heist

“Orange” is the first episode to shine some light on non-group-member and FBI agent Nazan Abassi, played by Niousha Noor. The episode follows her constant struggles, whether not being able to see her own son due to an alleged reemergence of her past substance abuse or the tensions between her and old foe Ava Mercer (Paz Vega).

The official poster for Netflix’s “Kaleidoscope” displays a multitude of colors and characters. The colored lines are meant to represent the curved pathways discovered throughout the show. (Photo courtesy of Netlifx)


The “Violet” Episode – 24 Years Before The Heist

In “Violet,” Leo Pap is seen living a more “family man” life, with a few occasional stealing jobs along the way. However, this does not last long as he is finally able to get away from his burglar past, resulting in opening the repair shop of his dreams and getting to be able to spend more time with his daughter. Everything seems to be going well for Leo; that is until his good friend at the time, Graham, recruits him for one last heist. This episode is a rollercoaster of emotions and manages to give viewers background knowledge of where Leo’s revenge plans are rooted from.

Unlike most reviewers, sophomore Nate Ebbs thinks highly of the show.

“I think the show was really dope and intriguing,” Ebbs said. “My favorite character was Stan Loomis, and I believe the show is just what a heist series should be.”


The “Red” Episode – The Morning After The Heist

“Red” shows both the losses and consequences following the big heist. It is also what makes most fans question what went wrong during the “White” episode. Not much can be said about this episode without giving away any spoilers but it mostly serves as a setup for “White” and a precursor for “Pink.”


The “Pink” Episode – Six Months After The Heist

Throughout “Pink,” viewers get to see what each character has been up to since the heist with some surprising details previously left out. Technically this episode can be considered the series finale if watched in chronological order, which does not necessarily disappoint.

“The key to getting an audience “all-in” with a heist story is always based on the strength of the heist planners and their ingenuity in setting up and executing their wiley plans,”  Bennett later said. “Kaleidoscope does have an engaging cast, but no one in the ensemble is really pushing outside of the genre’s tropes.”


The “White” Episode – THE HEIST

“White” is the massive climax that has been hyped up the entire show; after sitting through this episode with high hopes the audience starts to think: “wait, that was it?!” The seemingly elaborate plan to break into one of the highest security vaults in the world did not feel that elaborate in the end. Yes, it provides reasoning for decisions made in both “Red” and “Pink” but mostly felt overhyped.

Kaleidoscope, though having some uniqueness due to its randomized episode feature, does not draw too far from the average heist series and, in most situations, is very underwhelming. Unless looking for something to kill time, this new Netflix series is truly something that can be missed.

“If you love heist stories, it’s an experiment worth watching but it won’t rank as a seminal work in the genre regardless of its distinct presentation,” Bennett ends.