Netflix’s ‘Kaleidoscope’ is a one-of-a-kind show where you can watch the episodes non-linearly and they’d all still add up to the finale. Despite being a thriller, the story is written in a way that makes it possible for the audience not only to pick up the events from any point in the story but also to keep everything so wonderfully sorted that you never get confused about the backstory or intentions of any character.
It is a great experiment that not only tests the mettle of the storytellers but also makes things more exciting for the audience, keeping them on their toes about what they can expect from the story. By the time you are finished watching the series the first time, so many details have been built it up that you want to go for another viewing. This time, you can choose to go about it chronologically. If you want to clear up the timeline of the events that take place in ‘Kaleidoscope’, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s a linear look at the story. SPOILERS AHEAD
Backstories (Violet, Green)
At first glance, it might look like the heist planned by Ray Vernon has only been in the works for a couple of months. The real story, however, begins twenty-four years before the events in the finale. Chronologically, the show begins with the episode Violet where Ray and Roger are still young with considerably easier lives. Ray’s wife, Lily is still alive and he briefly thinks about leaving behind the life of crime. By the end of it, he becomes so entangled in it, that not only does he lose everything he held dear, but he is also betrayed by the friend that he trusted the most. This is when Ray starts to nurse the feeling of revenge which manifests seventeen years later.
In the episode Green, we find Ray seven years before the heist. He has served seventeen years in jail and has met Stan as his cellmate. When he discovers that he has Parkinson’s, he decides to break out of jail to find his daughter and explain himself to her. He finds out that Hannah has made quite a life for herself, but old wounds resurface when he finds out that it is his ex-friend, Roger, who has employed Hannah. With his daughter in a key position, he decides to strike Roger where it’ll hurt him the most.
Planning the Heist (Yellow, Orange, Blue)
For seven years, Ray waits patiently. He works with Hannah, who gains Roger’s trust and lets her father in on every secret related to the company. The time comes to execute the plan when he finds out that the Triplets (the three most rich, powerful, and influential people in the world) are entrusting Roger with their bonds worth billions of dollars. In the episode Yellow, we find him six weeks before the heist, reuniting with Stan and bringing together a crew to execute his master plan.
In the episode Orange, the timeline shifts to three weeks before the heist, when the crew has to go forward with a small heist to fence money that they invest in the bigger heist. By this time, the team has already faced troubles like Bob hurting one of his hands and making it impossible for him to crack the locks by himself, and Ava receives a threat from Abassi which leads to some serious consequences for them. There is still hope for the team, and they decide to go forward with the plan no matter what.
The team takes a hit five days before the heist, in episode Blue, where Roger Salas discover the backdoor in his system and closes it, making it impossible for Ray and his crew to access the vault. For a moment, it looks like they are all done for. But then, the hurricane arrives, and Ray comes up with the plan of flooding the vaults. In the finale episode, titled White, we find Ray and his team executing a plan that seems to lean more towards failure than success. To say the least, things don’t turn out as any of them had expected.
After the Heist (Red, Pink)
With everything about the heist having gone awry, we find only four members of the crew left to see the next morning, in the episode titled Red. In the aftermath, Roger Salas tries to salvage the situation, knowing full well how much the whole thing is screwed up and will ruin his life. Ray, Ava, Judy, and Stan try to figure out a way to keep themselves alive while wondering who betrayed whom and where exactly the bonds that they worked so hard for disappeared. Many questions linger in their minds as they run away from New York, having inflicted more damage than they’d expected, especially upon themselves. But the story isn’t over yet.
‘Kaleidoscope’ comes to an end with the episode titled Pink, where we find the crew six months after the events of the heist. While some are barely surviving, others are more focused on revenge. We also find Roger Salas making a move against Ray Vernon, who is already in pretty bad shape. This episode brings the entire story to a close with an end that is bloody, to say the least. The intentions and motivations, which had previously driven the characters, come into play. No one, neither the bad guys nor the good guys, comes out of it unscathed. This is the most brutal episode of them all, and in some ways, a fitting end to the story.