Kaleidoscope is the latest Netflix series that has everyone talking—but not for the reason you’d expect. While each and every episode is littered with plot twists and insights into its characters, it’s the fact that there’s no running order (and the quest for the best order to watch it) that makes it so interesting.
The eight-episode heist series is loosely based on a true story about how USD $70 million in bonds mysteriously went missing in Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Episodes are named after one colour, which features heavily throughout Kaleidoscope, with each delving into different timelines spanning before, during and after the heist. Netflix has said that the episodes can be watched in any order, with the ending providing a different viewpoint relative to your choice.
Honestly, it’s a bit of a mind bender—there are more than 40,000 unique order combinations! If you don’t like making decisions fast, this could be a little stressful.
But with that said, there are a couple of tips when it comes to whether there’s a “best” order to watch Kaleidoscope in. Scroll on as we unpack the options.
What is the best order of episodes to watch Kaleidoscope?
It really depends on how you want to tackle it—for example, some people might like to watch the heist in chronological order which would provide a neat setting and reaction timeline to the story.
If you think this is your vibe, we recommend watching the series as follows:
- Violet (set 24 years before the heist)
- Green (set seven years before the heist)
- Yellow: (set six weeks before the heist)
- Orange (set three weeks before the heist)
- Blue: (set five days before the heist)
- White (set the day of the heist)
- Red (set the morning after the heist)
- Pink: (set six months after the heist)
This order will also set you up with some solid background on the main character Leo (played by Giancarlo Esposito), because both Violet and Green delve into his past.
Alternatively if you’re a big fan of mystery (and those shows that start with a sneak peak of the climax before going back in time to the events that led to it) the series would actually be best watched from the episode titled Red—it takes place after the heist has happened and reveals the characters processing the events. You can work backwards from there or jump back to Violet and Green for some initial background.
Are there any episodes you shouldn’t watch first?
In terms of keeping somewhat of a timeline, we’d recommend not starting the series in the middle of the heist episodes, namely across Orange, Yellow or Blue because they won’t provide much background. Instead, they’re right in the thick of the action, so you’ll miss some of that interesting character development.
If you also don’t like spoiled endings, it’s probably a good idea to leave Pink until last given it’s set six months after the heist—unless you want to watch the whole thing chronologically backwards!
Ultimately, the series gives us huge ‘choose your own adventure’ energy and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. So go forth and have fun—the experience is (quite literally) like no other.
You can stream Kaleidoscope on Netflix here.