There are more than 5,040 possible ways to watch Netflix’s Kaleidoscope, but here’s the episode order we recommend…
Once upon a time, watching TV was simple. Nowadays, though, you don’t just have an endless ream of titles to choose between, but you also have shows like Netflix’s Kaleidoscope shaking things up in a big way.
The all-new anthology series – which, spanning 25 years, follows a crew of masterful thieves and their attempt to crack a seemingly unbreakable vault for the biggest payday in history – has been trending on the streaming platform ever since it dropped earlier this month. And it’s not hard to understand why, either, as viewers can choose which order to watch each of its eight episodes in.
This means that, yes, there are more than 5,040 possible ways to watch the gripping story unfold (or over 40,000 options, if you disregard the rules Netflix has set about the finale).
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With some combinations undeniably better than others, you’d be forgiven for turning to the internet for help deciding where to begin… and where to end, too.
What you need to know about Kaleidoscope
Loosely inspired by a real-life story, in which a whopping $70 billion (£61.5bn) in bonds went missing in downtown Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy, Kaleidoscope consists of eight episodes spanning from 24 years before the heist, to the heist itself, to the aftermath some six months after.
As series creator and EP Eric Garcia tells Netflix’s Tudum: “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 (finale).’”
Basically, the idea is that viewers can watch the first seven episodes in any order, but everyone will end up in the same finale – cleverly called ‘white’ – that focuses on the main heist.
Watch the trailer for Kaleidoscope below:
“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,” says Garcia.
“It’s almost like a skeleton key.”
Why is each Kaleidoscope episode named after a colour?
Each episode in Kaleidoscope is named after a colour.
- Yellow: 6 Weeks Before The Heist
- Green: 7 Years Before the Heist
- Blue: 5 Days Before the Heist
- Violet: 24 Years Before the Heist
- Orange: 3 Weeks Before the Heist
- Red: The Morning After the Heist
- Pink: 6 Months After
- White: The Heist
Russell Fine, who serves as an executive producer of Kaleidoscope, told Tudum that when you consider each episode as a colour and combine them, “all those colours make white.”
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“Each of the coloured episodes would also then have colours 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,” says Fine.
The best order to watch Kaleidoscope in
Now, you could let Netflix pick one of 5,040 combinations for you, and finish with the finale – just as the show’s creators intended.
However, if you’re the sort of person who likes to watch events unfold as they happen, the easiest thing to do is opt for a chronological order:
Personally, though, this writer thinks keeping things in such a neat little order does the suspenseful story a disservice. Because, with every episode revealing a piece of an elaborate puzzle of corruption, greed, vengeance, scheming, loyalties and betrayals, the drama is somewhat stripped away if you force this non-linear story into… well, into a linear one.
Now, Netflix itself has tweeted some order suggestions. So, if you’re interested in watching Kaleidoscope as a Quentin Tarantino film – Pulp Fiction, in particular – you should go Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Violet, Pink, White, Red. If you want to watch it like a classic detective story, go Orange, Green, Violet, Red, Yellow, Blue, White, and Pink.
The best order of all, though? Well, after analysing Twitter (and watching the series), we have determined that it is as follows:
This order kicks us off with the crew getting together, then gives us a few details about each member before throwing them together on some odd jobs to set up the big plan… and all the complications those odd jobs create. And, while this order follows the rules and ends with the heist itself, you could always inject a little Reservoir Dogs madness into the mix and skip it entirely.
Kaleidoscope is streaming now on Netflix.
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