‘Kaleidoscope:’ The best and worst episodes to start watching the series

The episodes “Violet” and “Green” are the best way to get into the story if you want to get away from the background.


Giancarlo Esposito plays Leo Papp.

Courtesy of Netflix

Each episode of “Kaleidoscope” is set at a specific time in relation to the heist either during, before, or after the heist.

If you want to understand the motivations for the heist before it happens, the best episodes to start with are “Violet,” which takes place 24 years before the heist, and “Green,” which takes place seven years before the heist.

Both episodes set up the motivations for main character and mastermind of the final heist Leo Papp (Giancarlo Esposito). “Violet” follows Leo’s life in the 90s as he deals with racism in the US and tries to leave a life of crime behind. We learn about his motivations for the robbery itself (because robbery is always personal).

The episode “Green” follows Leo through his prison days and his brilliant escape plan.

While each episode has great character development, these two episodes are the most character-focused and least action-heavy of the story, making it a good entry point into the series. After that, you can then follow the story chronologically.

If you love Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, start the series with Red.


Paz Vega as Ava Mercer, Jai Courtney as Bob Goodwin and Rosaline Elbay as Judy Goodwin in “Kaleidoscope.”

Courtesy of Netflix

“Red” is another good way to start the series if you like mystery thrillers. Similar to Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs,” this episode takes place after the heist as the crew tries to piece together the night before using their different perspectives. None of them trust each other and it seems clear that there are at least one or two backstabbing in the group.

It’s intense, leaves so many puzzles to be solved, and will make the audience want to watch the rest of the series to find out how all the details make sense up to this point.

After that, you can either jump into the heist planning episodes or jump into the aforementioned “Violet” and “Green” background episodes.

“Yellow” is Netflix’s given entry point for the series, but it’s worth watching first for a cool twist.


The Kaleidoscope heist crew.

Courtesy of Netflix

“Yellow” is the first episode that comes up when you click on the series, and it’s a good place to start. It’s basically an episode-long heist group montage where Leo starts to form his crew.

There’s Stan Loomis (Peter Mark Kendall), a smuggler who can get the materials needed for the heist. He is joined by Ava Mercer (Paz Vega), a resourceful woman with an arsenal of weapons. There’s explosives expert Judy Goodwin (Rosaline Elbay) and her safe-cracker husband Bob Goodwin (Jai Courtney). Finally, there’s RJ Acosta (Jordan Mendoza), the crew’s driver and tech expert.

The heist plan is to steal bonds (physical documents representing ownership of a company or government’s debt) belonging to three of the world’s most notorious criminals from one of the most impenetrable vaults in New York.

Honestly, this episode isn’t the most exciting place to start, nor does it establish much of the characters’ motivations for the heist. It does have a nice twist at the end though, which is spoiled if you watch any of the other episodes.

Do not start with “Orange” or “Blue”.

Niusha Noor and Rufus Sewell in Kaleidoscope

These episodes established series antagonists Nazan Abassi (Niousha Noor) and Roger Salas (Rufus Sewell)

Clifton Prescod / Netflix

“Orange” and “Blue” are in the middle of planning the heist, making them odd places to start the story. While they have great character building and action scenes, nothing about the episodes really feels like an introduction to the story.

“Orange” is set three weeks before the heist as the crew is watched by the FBI. This episode very well sets up Niousha Noor’s character, Nazan Abassi, as well as the law enforcement officer trying to hunt down the crew, like Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) in “Now You See Me” or Raquel Murillo (Itziar Ituño) in “La Casa”. De Papel” (“Money Heist”).

Meanwhile, “Blue” is set five days before the heist, as the crew puts the finishing touches. However, the episode focuses on the owner of the safe, Roger Salas (Rufus Sewell), who begins to get confused with the security of his company.

Both episodes fleshed out the holes in the awkward crew fairly well, but it seems like a confusing way to get into the series.

Finish the row with “Pink” and “White”.


Paz Vega as Ava Mercer and Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap during the heist in “Kaleidoscope”.

Courtesy of Netflix

The other six episodes can be watched in any order, but “Pink” followed by “White” should be the last two you watch on the show to get the full series experience.

While “White” is meant to be the epic finale, showing how the heist went down, “Pink,” set six months after the heist, also makes crucial references to the other episodes.

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