Kaleidoscope is a crime-thriller series that follows a group of thieves as they plan and carry out an elaborate heist of 7 billion dollars in bonds. The series is streaming on Netflix and can be viewed in any particular episode order.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Episode 1: Yellow
Six weeks before the heist, a woman named Hannah robs a couple of bonds from a bank and returns them to their owner, Stefan Thiele as her boss, Roger Salas pitches his own private vault as a potential alternative.
Leo Pap is the mastermind behind the heist and he sets about recruiting the crew he wants on the job. He starts with Stan Loomis, the smuggler who can get them all the supplies they need.
He ropes in him by telling him about their target, 7 billion in bonds belonging to a trio of bankers known as “The Triplets”, Cho Young-Woo, Suzanne Grosvenor and Stefan.
They are joined by Judy Goodwin and her husband Bob. Judy is a chemist and explosives expert while Bob is a skilled safecracker who forces himself on the crew.
Leo then meets with Ava Mercer, a hotshot lawyer who can get them all the falsified documents and identities they need for their escape and provide any necessary weapons. She also has contacts who can fence anything they rob making her a valuable asset.
Leo asks Ava if she has anyone in mind to be their driver but when they run out of options, they loop in RJ, a young kid who works on cars in Leo’s auto shop.
Once the crew is assembled, they have to find a way to get some seed money to fund their operation and when their first option is burned, Bob suggests robbing robbing “Diamond Way”, a string of jewellery stores between 5th and 6th avenue.
They set up the operation but things almost go sideways after Bob gets a little too greedy and Ava is forced to shoot two security officers after Bob is shot in the hand. Hannah gets her little sister Lizzie a job in the mailroom at her workplace.
She is promoted to senior VP after the former VP was fired for stealing information from the company servers. He was actually framed by Hannah as she planted evidence on him.
Hannah turns out to be Leo’s daughter and his person on the inside at SLS, Roger’s company and the location of the vault. She’s the one who provides him with much of the basic specs and other information.
She also finds out that she’s pregnant and has some apprehension about the job so she tries to talk Leo out of it.
Episode 2: Green
It is 7 years before the heist and Leo, still going by his original name Ray, is in prison. His cellmate is Stan, who smuggles sim cards into the prison for other cellmates with the help of his then-girlfriend, Judy.
When their sim card dealer falls through, Stan asks Judy to find another way to get them because if he doesn’t get the other prisoners what he’s promised, they will severely hurt him.
Leo occasionally has hand tremors and one night he falls off his bunk after seizing in his sleep. The doctor tells him that he probably has Parkinson’s which explains his symptoms. Leo sees the doctor’s car and comes up with a way to escape the prison.
Leo asks Stan to get him supplies and Stan immediately realises what he’s planning and refuses to help because he’ll surely get in trouble.
The next time Judy visits Stan, she comes with Bob who she brought in to help but it is apparent that she’s with Bob now. Stan goes back to Leo and tells him that he’s in for the escape.
Leo begins setting up the pieces of the puzzle for his escape but on the day, Stan hangs back just as they’re about to get out to make sure Leo can escape.
Leo’s escape is investigated by Agent Nazan Abbasi of the FBI who also has a drug problem. The first thing that Leo does is visit Ava so that she can help him disappear and start a new life.
But first, he asks her about Hannah and she tells him where she’ll be. He goes to meet her and asks if he can say a few words but she doesn’t want to listen to him. He follows after her and sees Roger, whom he recognizes as someone else.
He tells Ava that he’s not leaving because Hannah needs to know who she’s working for and he writes a letter to her with the truth. Roger Salas is the man who ruined Leo’s life.
Episode 3: Blue
Five days before the heist, Leo is going over the different steps of the plan so that everyone knows what they’re getting into. Bob continues to be a nuisance and pushes around RJ for fun.
Ava talks to an unknown person on the phone when she’s interrupted by Leo who’s headed to Roger’s house. Stan drives in crates of bees in his truck.
RJ asks for a gun so that he can keep himself safe during the heist and the others make fun of him and tell him he won’t need it. Roger and Hannah attend a party hosted by Stefan and his associates.
As Hannah is talking to Stefan, Roger arrives and he is immediately pulled away by the host. He meets Suzanne and Cho as the three of them ask Roger to launder their bonds into something more liquid. Roger says he’ll see what he can do.
Leo breaks into Roger’s house and sets up a device near his system as he collects a fingerprint sample and generally snoops around. Judy, Stan, Bob and RJ discuss what they will do with the money and Stan and Bob get into another fight over Judy.
Judy pulls Bob away and calms him down. Later that night, Roger gets a call from someone who reveals that they know his real name, Graham Davies. The caller asks for 4.3 million within three days or they will reveal Roger’s secrets.
Roger becomes paranoid and asks Hannah to go over all the security protocols once more. Thanks to his paranoia, they find a “backdoor” within the system that Leo had inserted years ago to deal with the temperature sensors of the vault.
Roger gets a bacterial infection in his eyes after Leo tampered with his contact lenses and Hannah calls in a doctor to check it out, who turns out to be Stan who uses the opportunity to map his face for the facial scan in the hallway.
Ava sees that the backdoor isn’t there anymore and panics. Roger finds out that the person blackmailing him is his former VP who still claims he was framed. Roger tells him to back down or he’ll be dealt with.
Leo goes to the sauna that Roger visits to kill him since his plan is derailed but when Roger talks about standing within a storm, Leo gets an idea to salvage the mission.
He plans on using the oncoming hurricane to their advantage by flooding the vault which lies just below a water line. Roger’s security head, Carlos, kills the person trying to blackmail him.
Episode 4: Orange
Taking place 5 weeks before the heist, the focus is on Agent Abbasi who is doing well at her job and is going through recovery from her addiction. However, she gets riled up when she finds out that Ava Mercer’s partial print was found on one of the bullets from the diamond way heist.
Ava is headed to her fence to sell the jewels they stole and she insists on going alone but Bob tags along anyway. Abbasi is rebuilding her relationship with her son and is very excited about it.
The crew is setting up whatever they need for the heist after they get their seed money from the fence. Ava is called into the FBI for questioning about the bullet and she claims that she reported two of her guns stolen a few weeks ago.
Abbasi observes the session but the agent on the case brings it to the attention of their superior and tells her to back off because she has history with Ava. Abbasi reveals that 7 years ago, Ava lodged a formal complaint against her when she was using and it led to her eventual suspension.
Ava disguises herself and visits the building where SLS is located and purchases a vacant floor space for them to set up a base of sorts. RJ sets up the wiring and with the help of sensors in the vents and plumbing, they map out the entire building.
Abbasi continues to observe Ava off the books and she catches a glimpse of Bob visiting Ava as he tries to get a bigger cut for the job. Bob goes to a doctor and learns that he’s got nerve damage in his hand and he gets into an argument with Stan once again.
Ava sets a trap to frame Abbasi because she knows she’s being followed and this ruins Abbasi’s chances of getting shared custody of her son again. Abbasi notices that there’s an older woman living with Ava and figures that would be her weak point.
She has the woman picked up and it turns out that she was Ava’s nanny in Argentina and was the person who helped her escape. Abbasi uses her illegal status to get Ava to be her mole in the crew.
Episode 5: Violet
24 years before the heist took place, Leo and Roger used to work together under their real identities, Ray and Graham respectively. Roger would entertain rich individuals as a distraction while Leo would break into their houses and rob them.
After one particular job, Leo gets nervous about the future and tells his wife Lily that he wants to stop and start fresh. Meanwhile, Roger wants to continue on and brings up several job opportunities.
Ava was Leo’s contact with the fence back then as well while she was attending law school and she offers him jobs as well but he refuses. He starts his own autoparts store while Lily does bookkeeping at the local country club.
One day when Lily takes Hannah with her to the club, Hannah wanders off on her own. When Leo arrives there to meet Lily, he sees the manager manhandling his daughter and accusing her of roaming around private property.
Leo insults the manager while Lily tries to apologise and she’s immediately fired. Leo wants to get revenge for the way they were treated and tells Roger about an upcoming charity auction which has several pieces of expensive jewellery up for grabs.
The centrepiece of the auction is a purple gem encrusted necklace called “Rappacini’s Orchid”. On the day of the auction, Leo tells Lily that he’s getting some other work done.
He and Roger get to work at the auction while Lily is called in there by the manager after their current bookkeeper calls in sick. Lily puts on her headphones and starts working.
The situation devolves when a guard sees Leo and they’re forced to knock him out. Roger sets a drape on fire as a distraction as they grab the jewels and get out but Leo sees Lily’s car and rushes back inside to find her.
He sees her collapsed within the fire and Roger closer to saving her but Roger saves himself instead. He stays with her until the fire is quelled and in the hospital, he says one final goodbye to Hannah as she’s picked by Ava and he’s arrested by the police.
Episode 6: Red
Leo, Ava, Stan and Judy are on a boat the day after the heist and Leo tries to figure out where things all went wrong. He is last seen swimming out of the flooded vault as he leaves the building on his own.
When he gets to the shop and grabs whatever cash and passports they have, Judy stops him and asks him where the bonds are. Leo says he doesn’t have them.
Judy says she isn’t leaving without them and Stan shows up eventually as they come to terms with whatever chaos just occurred. None of them trust each other and Leo insists they leave before Carlos gets to work and tries to find them.
Abbasi and her partner arrive to check out the vault but Hannah and Roger insist that there’s nothing going on so unless they have a warrant, there’s nothing to worry about.
Stan forgets his glasses at the vault and this gives Roger a credible lead to finding them. Abbasi digs into Roger Salas and eventually finds out about his past. Carlos visits Stan’s wife and mother and kills them after finding out Stan’s location.
The next morning, Ava finally shows up with the truck and a bullet on her shoulder and she tells the others that she saw Bob lying dead on the floor and no one knows where RJ is. As they’re shifting the bonds, they drop a case and realise that most of the cargo is fake.
As they’re all arguing, Carlos ambushes them with a few men but the crew manages to kill them all and escape but without their new identities and passports.
The FBI gets there too late as Abbasi goes back to Roger with a warrant to search all the vaults. Roger claims that the vaults are empty because they shifted the assets in advance but when they search his personal vault, they find something that isn’t supposed to be there.
Episode 7: Pink
6 months after the heist, Bob turns out to be alive but with a scar on his throat which means he has difficulty talking. He visits Roger in prison and tells him that he was part of the crew but was cheated out of his cut so he wants Roger to find his mission for revenge.
Leo and Ava are living in Ohio and Leo’s Parkinson’s has gotten much worse. Stan and Judy are in South Carolina but they’re running small cons to get by.
Abbasi is working hard to crack the case and find out where the bonds are and also looks into the Triplets. Bob goes to Ava’s fence to get their location after hiring two criminals to back him up.
Judy gives Stan one of the pieces from the diamond way heist that Bob had stolen for her. He goes to pawn it but it gets flagged and Abbasi is notified. Stan has his doubts and he tells Ava about it.
As they’re getting ready to escape, Bob shows up with his men and a huge firefight ensues with Bob getting the upper hand. He asks Leo where Stan and Judy are and tells him to arrange a meeting.
Stan uses Ava’s coded contact book to call Stan and gives him a time and place to meet. Abbasi arrives in South Carolina but doesn’t get more info on who tried to pawn the jewel.
After taking all of their money and guns, Bob heads to the meeting while leaving one of his men behind watch over a restrained Leo, Ava and her nanny.
Judy and Stan are headed to a nearby food truck when Bob whizzes by and Judy recognises his car. Bob goes to the meeting place and finds Abbasi and a group of feds waiting for him.
While Stan is busy eating, Judy goes to Bob’s car and finds the cash and the guns. She takes it all as she considers leaving Stan and disappearing off into the sunset.
Ava escapes her bonds as their captor is asleep but before she can load her gun, he wakes up and shoots her and her nanny. Stan kills the guy and weeps for Ava.
Abbasi is still trying to find out where the bonds are gone even though her superiors are happy that Bob and Ava were found dead and the case has progressed as far as it could possibly go.
She hellbent on digging into the Triplets and as she’s walking down the street, an innocuous meeting with a stranger on the street turns out to be fatal as she falls dead to the floor presumably from being poisoned.
Leo calls Hannah and tells her everything that he wanted to say to her for a long time. He then visits Roger in jail and has one final conversation with him.
As Leo is walking through the park, a person whose face isn’t revealed walks up behind him and as they get under a bridge, the person takes out a gun and shoots Leo in the head.
Episode 8: White
It’s the day of the heist and the crew heads out to carry out the job during the hurricane. Judy gets off and goes into the storm drain to blow it up and flood the vault.
The signal jammer that Leo set up at Roger’s house plays a feedback loop of the security feed. To get through the gait recognition hallway, they fill with bees to overload the system as Leo walks through with a protective suit.
They open the vault but Judy takes her time with the explosives and RJ rushes her, causing her to drop more than required. Abbasi and her partner are across the road waiting for Ava’s signal to go in.
They get into the vault and begin taking out the bonds. Hannah and Roger are in constant contact and Roger gets worried when the temperature sensors alert him but Hannah says it’s just a glitch.
He’s interrupted by his son who wants to have a conversation about his future. His son is wearing the same t-shirt worn by the person who killed Leo.
As they’re almost done, Ava sends a message to Abbasi telling them to go to the 59th floor. It’s the same space that Ava rented out and Abbasi sees that she’s been set up.
However, she notices a false wall and when they break it down, they find all of their surveillance equipment. They pull off all the cables, alerting Roger of the heist.
All the bonds are picked up but Leo learns that Roger is headed there and wants to get into his personal vault. Bob says that he’s not going to be too greedy and he heads up. Judy sends all the bonds up to RJ by the elevator.
Instead of reaching RJ, it goes to the mailroom, where Hannah and Liz switch out the real bonds with the fake ones they find out about later. Bob takes off the security item keeping the vault open and tries to lock the others in.
Stan and Leo get the vault open but they find a second door and give up. RJ holds a gun at Bob after learning that they’re trying to take all the bonds for themselves but before he can shoot Bob, Judy shoots him.
As they’re hiding his body in the dumpster, Stan walks out and Bob chases after him. As he’s searching for Stan, Judy shows up behind Bob and chokes him out.
Leo insists on screwing Roger in one major way and Ava tells him to get out soon. She goes up to find no one near the truck so she drives it herself, getting shot by Abbasi in the process.
Stan gets the key for the second door from Roger’s office but he’s stopped by Carlos on his way. Hannah saves him and tells him that she’s taking the bonds to launder it for the Triplets. They’ll collect the insurance from the robbery while still holding the bonds.
She said that she did this to keep him safe from the Triplets because they’re dangerous people who cannot be messed with. He goes back to Roger’s vault and places the Rappacini’s Orchid from all the years ago, getting some measure of revenge.