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

The “Violet” and “Green” episodes are the best way to get into the story if you want to get rid of the backstory.


Giancarlo Esposito plays the lead role of Leo Pap.

Courtesy of Netflix

Each episode of “Kaleidoscope” is set at some point in time relative to the heist, whether during the heist, before, or after.

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

Both episodes set up the motivations of the main character and the mastermind of the eventual heist Leo Pap (Giancarlo Esposito). “Violet” follows Leo’s life in the 90s as he deals with racism in the United States and tries to put his life of crime behind him. We learn his motivations for the heist itself (because a heist is always personal).

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

While each episode has excellent character development, these two episodes are the most character-driven and least action-packed in the story, making them a good entry point into the series. After that, you can then follow the story chronologically.

If you like 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 great way to start the series if you like suspenseful mysteries. Similar to Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs,” this episode unfolds after the heist as the team attempts to put themselves back 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 backstabbers in the group.

It’s intense, it leaves so many puzzles to solve, and it’ll make audiences want to watch the rest of the series to figure out how all the details make sense before that moment.

After that, you can either skip to the heist planning episodes or jump to the aforementioned backstory episodes “Violet” and “Green.”

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


The heist team in “Kaleidoscope”.

Courtesy of Netflix

“Yellow” is the first episode that pops up when you click on the show and it’s a decent starting point. It’s basically a heist team montage of an episode where Leo begins to form his team.

There’s Stan Loomis (Peter Mark Kendall), a smuggler who can get the gear he needs for the heist. He’s joined by Ava Mercer (Paz Vega), a resourceful woman with an arsenal of guns. There’s explosives expert Judy Goodwin (Rosaline Elbay) and her husband Bob Goodwin (Jai Courtney), the security hacker. Finally, there’s RJ Acosta (Jordan Mendoza), the crew’s pilot and tech expert.

The heist plan involves stealing bonds (physical papers that represent ownership of debt owed by a company or government) belonging to three of the world’s most notorious criminals from one of New York’s most impenetrable safes. York.

Frankly, this episode isn’t the most exciting starting point, nor does it set up many of the characters’ motivations for the heist. However, there’s a cool twist to the ending that’s spoiled if you watch any of the other episodes.

Do not start with “Orange” or “Blue”.

Niousha Noor and Rufus Sewell in Kaleidoscope

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

Clifton Prescode/Netflix

“Orange” and “Blue” are halfway through the planning of 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 intro to the story.

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

Meanwhile, “Blue” takes place five days before the heist as the team puts the finishing touches. However, the episode centers on the owner of the vault, Roger Salas (Rufus Sewell), who begins to become paranoid about the security of his business.

Both episodes set up the holes in the crew’s clumsy team quite well, but seem like a confusing way to enter the series.

End the series with “Rose” 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 to watch in the series to fully enjoy the series.

While “White” is intended to be the epic finale, showing how the heist unfolded, “Pink,” which takes place six months after the heist, also makes crucial references to the other episodes.

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