The end of “Kaleidoscope” explained: who dies? Who survives? Who gets the $7 billion?
Kaleidoscope is our first new Netflix obsession of 2023. The Heist show flips the script on bingewatching by being the first Netflix show designed to be watched in any episode order. Instead of episode 1, 2, 3, etc., Kaleidoscope color-codes its episodes and scrambles them in everyone’s personal Netflix account. You can watch the episodes in any order, please (although Netflix would prefer you end with the “White” episode, aka the Heist itself).
Kaleidoscope follows ex-con Leo Pap (Giancarlo Esposito) as he assembles a team to steal $7 billion in unregistered bearer bonds from a high-security firm run by his longtime nemesis Roger Salas (Rufus Sewell ). Chronologically, the story spans from the episode “Violet”, which takes place 24 years before the heist, to the episode “Pink”, which takes place six months after. Over the course of eight episodes, you’ll see the wild twists, intense betrayals, and even the noble sacrifices unfold. And no, not everyone makes it Kaleidoscope living. In fact, very few characters walk away.
Now you might be wondering… what exactly is the true ending of Kaleidoscope on Netflix? After all, it’s a radical show designed to be watched in any order. Is Netflix’s favorite finale ‘White – The Heist’ ending the real ending? Or should we watch the series as a whole? We prefer the latter. It’s because many characters die across the eight color-coded episodes of Kaleidoscope. The biggest mysteries are why these characters die, how they met their end, and who ends up with the $7 billion at the end.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ALL EPISODES OF KALEIDOSCOPE AHEAD!!
Here are all those who die Kaleidoscopeeveryone who survives and your guide to who got away with the money…
Kaleidoscope The Ending Explained: Who Dies in the Netflix Heist Show?
Yes, so many people die Kaleidoscope and thanks to the random order of the episodes, it’s not always clear how, when, or why they died.
Let’s go through the body count in chronological order, episode by episode, starting with the first death to affect the plot…
“Violet: 24 years before the robbery”
The first death – in chronological order – occurs in the episode “Violet”. We learn that young Ray Vernon (Giancarlo Esposito) and his friend Graham Davies (Rufus Sewell) are working together on plans to hustle into the homes of the wealthy to break into their safes. Ray wants out of crime and tries to work honestly by running an auto repair shop. When the racist bosses of his wife Lily’s (Robinne Lee) country club fire her, Ray decides to team up with Graham for a jewelry heist at the club. The heist goes awry and Graham sets fire to cover their escape. However, Ray discovers that his wife has been called back to work by her harassed bosses. She is trapped in the club’s dungeon-like offices and dies. Ray goes to jail and Graham is reborn as Roger Salas. Lily Vernon is accidentally killed by a fire started by Roger/Graham.
“Blue: 5 days before the heist”
We learn in “Yellow: 6 Weeks Before the Heist” that Ray/Leo’s adult daughter Hannah Kim (Tati Gabrielle) works with her father as a mole in Roger’s business. However, to cover their tracks, Hannah frames an innocent co-worker named Andrew (Patch Darragh). As “Blue: 5 Days Before the Heist” unfolds, someone blackmails Roger. He finds out it’s Andrew, confronts him, and later sends his personal hitman after Andrew. Andrew is murdered by Roger Salas’ henchmen for threatening Roger’s secret past as Graham Davies.
“White: the case”
As things fall apart during the heist, Bob (Jai Courtney) violently pressures his wife Judy (Rosaline Elbay) to join him leaving the team behind and taking the $7 billion for themselves. They get into an altercation with the driver, RJ (Jordan Mendoza), who realizes Bob wants to betray them. Because Judy snuck a gun to RJ in a previous episode, he’s able to shoot Bob…in the butt. RJ then points his gun at Bob’s head and a gunshot is heard. RJ drops dead because he was shot by Judy. Stan (Peter Mark Kendall) arrives in time to see them hide RJ’s body in a dumpster. Bob shoots Stan, who runs away. Bob pursues him. Judy, contrite about everything that happened, slips up behind Bob and strangles him with a crowbar. She leaves him for dead. Ava later walks past his dead body. What neither sees, he creates a makeshift tracheostomy and survives. RJ is killed by Judy for threatening Bob and Bob is assumed dead, but survives.
“Red: the next morning”
Leo, Ava, Stan, and Judy eventually reunite at their safehouse and argue over who stabbed who in the back, who replaced bearer bonds with construction paper, and more. Meanwhile, they realize that Stan’s glasses were left at the crime scene. Roger’s team is able to connect these glasses to the real Stan Loomis and Roger’s head goon, Carlos (Hemky Madera), goes to Stan’s house to shake his wife and mother. Stan’s wife, Barbara (Stacey Oristano), manages to keep quiet, but her mother (Susan Varon) blurts out that they have a tracker on her phone. Carlos kills the two women and besieges the shelter. A tense gunfight and standoff ends with the deaths of Carlos and his henchmen. Stan’s wife and mother are killed by Carlos, who in turn is killed by Leo and the gang.
“Rose: Six Months Later”
Six months after the robbery, we learn that Bob is alive and well and planning revenge against the crew. He visits Roger Salas in prison who tells Bob that he will receive $20,000 for killing Leo Pap. Bob teams up with two ex-convicts and they murder Ava Zanetti’s (Alok Tewari) fence to find out where Ava and Leo are. Bob and his buddies reunite with a declining Leo, Ava and Ava’s relative Teresa (Irene DeBari) in Ohio. Teresa throws an ax into Bob’s chest, but it doesn’t kill him. Leo reveals that Judy and Stan are waiting for him in South Carolina. Bob leaves to retrieve his wife and kill Stan. Meanwhile, Agent Abassi discovers that part of the crew is in South Carolina and organizes an FBI raid. Bob is killed in the FBI raid by Abassi. Judy sees Bob’s car and takes his stash of money and leaves Stan. Back in Ohio, Leo, Ava and Teresa try to escape. However, both Teresa and Ava are shot in their bloody fight against Bob’s cronies. Leo is the only person who survives. For now.
In the final moments of the episode, a disgraced Abassi is approached by a stranger on the street asking for directions. He shakes her hand and within minutes she is dead. She was killed by the Triplets, Roger’s ultra-dangerous clients, for suing them. She dies in a way that Hannah describes to Leo in another episode.
Leo is clearly dying of Parkinson’s disease, but is followed by a mysterious man wearing a colorful t-shirt and baseball cap in the park. The last shot of the episode is this mysterious man who shoots Leo in the back and kills him. Bob, Ava, Teresa, Bob’s buddies, Agent Nazan Abassi, and Leo all die.
Who kills Leo Pap in Kaleidoscope? Agent Toby or Stan?
Perhaps the biggest mystery in Kaleidoscope isn’t who actually ends up with the money – which we’ll get to – but who kills Leo Pap, aka Ray Vernon. On first viewing, I thought Stan was the killer. After all, Stan lost everything because of Ray’s scheme. He lost his mother, his wife and his mother and, in the end, Judy. Stan also needs to figure out that Ray betrayed him to Bob. Stan could eventually turn against his old cellie.
However, upon rewatching the scene, I noticed that the t-shirt the killer is wearing has nothing to do with Stan or his wardrobe. The cute characters on the shirt To do something to do with Agent Abassi. They evoke the little stuffed animals she kept on her desk and shared with her son. If you really slow down the scene, you’ll see that the killer’s bone structure looks a lot more like Agent Toby (Bubba Weiler) than Stan Loomis. Agent Toby was in love with Nazan Abassi and blames his obsession with the Ray Vernon case for his downfall and death.
And so, it appears that Agent Toby killed Leo Pap in Kaleidoscope.
Who Really Ends Up With The Money In Netflix Kaleidoscope?
In the episode “White”, we learn that Hannah and her sister Liz (Soojeong Kim) actually staged their own heist in the middle of Leo’s. When bearer bonds are sent to the getaway car by elevator, they make a quick stop in the mailroom. Now we know why Hannah wanted Liz to work in the mail room… to stage her own heist.
The sisters quickly pack the real bearer bonds in FedEx boxes and replace the stolen ones with construction paper covered with a photocopy of a bond. Bonds that end up in the getaway van are fake. The real bonds are shipped… not to Hannah, but to the triplets.
Yes, Hannah foiled her own father’s heist and returned the money to the triplets. Why? Well, because she knows not to make fun of them. After all, Agent Abassi sniffs them and dies. Stealing $7 billion from them would be targeting all of Leo’s crew and all of their loved ones. Hannah allows her father to dishonor Roger Salas, but makes sure the triplets stay happy.
So in the end, the money stayed with the bad guys at the top. The triplets kept their billions.