There’s a new Netflix series that’s doing something really interesting—the show is non-linear, which means its eight episodes can be watched in any order. That’s cool and all, but you might wonder how to watch Kaleidoscope in chronological order if you’re wanting a more traditional viewing experience. No judgment.
“There are five episodes that take place before the heist, two episodes that take place after the heist, and then you get the white episode [the finale],” creator, showrunner, and executive producer Eric Garcia told Netflix’s Tudum. “The idea is that when you watch the white episode, you’re learning true answers to things that have been hinted about beforehand and afterward. You really find out everybody’s true motivations. It’s almost like a skeleton key.”
Starring Giancarlo Esposito, Paz Vega, Rufus Sewell, Tati Gabrielle, Peter Mark Kendall, Rosaline Elbay, Jai Courtney, Niousha Noor, Jordan Mendoza, Soojeong Son and Hemky Madera, the heist-based, action-thriller Kaleidoscope dropped on Netflix on January 1, 2023. Here’s how to watch the Kaleidoscope episodes in chronological order, culminating with the “White” episode.
To watch Kaleidoscope episodes in chronological order, it’s worth knowing in which order the episodes appear on Netflix to begin with and where they fall on the timeline. The synopsis is as follows: “Spanning 25 years, a crew of masterful thieves and their attempt to crack a seemingly unbreakable vault for the biggest payday in history. Guarded by the world’s most powerful corporate security team, and with law enforcement on the case, every episode reveals a piece of an elaborate puzzle of corruption, greed, vengeance, scheming, loyalties and betrayals… All viewers will eventually see all episodes, but the order in which they watch the episodes will affect their viewpoint on the story, the characters, and the questions and answers at the heart of the heist.”
So, chronologically, the order of episodes should be as such, starting with “Violet” and ending with “Pink”, but, as you’ll find out, you may want to watch this series more than once because there may be clues you missed before.
The series actually offers a total of 40,320 unique order combinations (that’s eight factorial, in case you were wondering, which is the mathematical concept of probability to determine how many ways a set of numbers can be arranged). How’s that for re-watchability? “Being able to move around and watch different orders gives you a different viewpoint on the characters. There are questions that are going to be asked in one episode that are answered in another episode,” Garcia continued with Tudum. “Similarly, there’ll be answers in an episode that you’re watching that you don’t even know are answers to something until you see the question when you watch another episode.”
Filming wasn’t done in chronological order either, which granted is rarely how any show or movie is shot. But actor Jai Courtney, who stars as Bob Goodwin, said some shoot days were downright confusing. “There are challenges in playing something that presents itself out of chronology. But for me, I would argue that it wasn’t that much more challenging to take on because you just have further to go and there’s more details in between,” he told Tudum. “There were days definitely in the way that we shot it that I had moments of total confusion into where the fuck we were in the story.”
The colors aren’t only the shades you’d see in an actual kaleidoscope but there’s a deeper significance to the show’s title: “If you take each episode as a color, when they combine together, all those colors make white,” executive producer Russell Fine explained to Tudum. Garcia added: “Each of the colored episodes would also then have colors within them, so I wanted to make sure that every episode had at least seven questions in it that were answered by at least one of the other episodes.”
The clues and attempts to puzzle-solve will no doubt be a highlight for viewers as it was for the actors. In an interview with TVLine, Giancarlo Esposito gushed about the miniseries’ unique take on the classic heist concept. “Everyone loves to try to figure out what the heist is going to be and how it’s going to take place, and when you have an opportunity to do that in a movie, you sort of have just one trajectory,” he said.
“With Kaleidoscope, what turned me on is the idea that the heist just wasn’t one day, one heist, and then you got the cops trying to figure it out, or the heist people trying to get away and fence the money. This took place over a period of time, so the story gets told over a period of time, and you get to see how the heist affected each person who took part in it. And because of the way it’s laid out, you’re able to watch the seven [episodes] and get what really happens and realize that all these pieces played a big part in solving the puzzle.”
Is Kaleidoscope based on a true story? Loosely, kind of. Maybe. After Hurricane Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey in 2012, $70 billion in bonds went missing from downtown Manhattan when floodwaters inundated a 10,000-square-foot underground vault. At the time, Reuters reported Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. had begun the long process of recovering about 1.3 million soaked securities from 55 Water St. While the value of the stocks and bonds was undisclosed, it was a “very small percentage” of the $39.5 trillion of stocks and bonds that its depository stores, DTCC spokeswoman Judy Inosanto told the newswire.
“It’s loosely based on something that might have happened,” Garcia told Tudum. “After Hurricane Sandy, $70 billion worth of bonds got flooded in the basement of the DTCC, which is a large clearing effort that’s owned by a bunch of the big banks. To my mind, I was like, ‘Well, that’s a perfect coverup for a heist’.”
Kaleidoscope is available to stream on Netflix.