Kaleidoscope on Netflix is a unique roller coaster ride where each viewer gets to decide when to turn, flip upside down or start at the end and ride down the track backwards.
It’s an entertaining premise and each episode feels like a self-contained story, despite the fact it’s all interconnected. Kaleidoscope episode 5, “Violet,” is the third chapter in this writer’s viewing order – and it’s stunning.
If you’re looking to follow along, here is the order in which this Netflix series will be analyzed on Hidden Remote:
Chapter 1: Pink (episode 7)
Chapter 2: Yellow (episode 2)
Chapter 3: Violet (episode 5)
Chapter 4: Green (episode 1)
Chapter 5: Orange (episode 3)
Chapter 6: Red (episode 6)
Chapter 7: Blue (episode 4)
Chapter 8: White (episode 8)
The cast delivers heartfelt bonds in Kaleidoscope episode 5
The casting selections for the Netflix show have been on point, and it’s on display again in Kaleidoscope episode 5. Giancarlo Esposito’s incredible portrayal of Leo continues to pull back multiple layers of his character, as each episode has represented different points in his life.
“Pink” highlighted a stage of his life where physical health was in sharp decline, while “Yellow” emphasized his knowledge of this eventual decline and needing to pull off a 7 billion dollar heist sooner rather than later. And Esposito does it again with “Violet,” adding wonderful depth to an already outstanding character.
Leo is a father and we see how much he loves his daughter Hannah. Much like we saw the adult version of Hannah shine in episode 2, Leo’s little girl is another bright star. Austin Elle Fisher plays younger Hannah and the bond they have together is as genuine as any relationship can be. While Leo and Hannah eat breakfast, they play games where she has to deduce who people are at nearby tables; where they’re from, family dynamics and so on.
This game indicates how bright Hannah is, while also further identifying how Leo has helped her see the world. The first glimpse of Hannah is when she shows off her newly earned yellow belt in martial arts and we see the joy on Leo’s face. He asks her to stand up tall, “show me some pride” and a very endearing message is put on display, which comes up again later in incredible fashion.
“Show me where you’re brave,” Leo says, and then she points to her head. “Show me where you’re strong,” he continues as she then points to her heart. Such an incredible moment is capped off with him asking for a hug and they embrace in such a way as to highlight the tremendous love between a father and daughter. On top of these outstanding performances, Robinne Lee plays Lily (Leo’s wife and Hannah’s mother) and Rufus Sewell plays Roger (Leo’s partner in crime); both of whom are equally crucial to Kaleidoscope episode 5.
Kaleidoscope episode 5 portrays stark realities and an emotional roller coaster
Kaleidoscope is a series about a grand heist and how Leo and other players in this criminal game get from point A to B, but it’s so much more than that. There are incredible nuances to these characters and the world they’re living in. After a robbery nearly sees Leo locked in a vault where he would’ve (presumably) died from suffocation, Leo starts to see things differently.
Set 24 years before the heist, “Violet” displays the societal ramifications Leo faces day in and day out as a black man, let alone with Roger where he gets to walk in and out of the front door, while he has to escape out the back. When Leo makes a decision to call it quits, he tells Roger, “What do you think happens when they see a black man breaking into a white man’s house? I’m the one who’s jumping out of windows and you, you get to walk out the front door.”
Not only that, Leo visits his wife at work and isn’t allowed to go back to her office. The front clerk tells him multiple times to have a seat, despite Leo saying he knows where she is. On top of that, when he does sit down, a woman sitting nearby clutches her purse as she puts it over her shoulder. The scene paints a startling realization of Leo’s world, and one we wish didn’t exist in the real world. This reality highlights the greater risk associated with Leo as a thief, which is why he initially quits.
It’s clear how much Lily and Leo love each other, so when he decides to break free from his criminal enterprise, she supports him as he opens up his own auto body shop. Unfortunately, bills begin to pile up and Lily loses her job after security catches Hannah in a place deemed off-limits. The piling debt, along with a sense of getting retribution against Lily’s old boss, is all Leo needs when Roger comes back asking for help.
Watching out of order does not make Kaleidoscope episode 5 any less heartbreaking
The score: A charity auction where expensive jewelry will be on display. The cost: Everything.
In a plan where Roger serves as lookout amongst the guests and staffers, Leo gets behind-the-scenes and makes his way to where the jewelry is being stored. With a limited amount of time to extract the jewels and escape, things quickly fall apart. Leo is discovered by one of the guards and held at gunpoint when Roger intervenes. The two overpower the guard and knock him unconscious. To help their escape, Roger sets curtains on fire to serve as a distraction, but it quickly spreads out of control.
Unfortunately, Lily was already in the building. Even though she was fired, her boss asked her back to help with some major accounting paperwork. Leo realizes her presence when he sees her car outside, so they both go back inside to look for her. She’s trapped under a cabinet of some kind with the fire closing in. Roger sees her through a door, but runs away instead of attempting to help her. Leo smashes through doors and viewers watch Leo cradling her body, surrounded by flames and screaming for help.
Leo and Hannah are then sitting in a hospital hallway when police arrive to the front desk. Shortly after, Ava (played by Paz Vega) walks into the hospital. Viewers already know she has a very close bond with Leo through the first couple of episodes. It’s clear she’s there to take Hannah and Leo must break the news to his most precious thing in the world. He begins to zip up her jacket to prepare her for leaving with Ava, and the realization is simply too much to bear.
Leo is distraught as he realizes he’s going to have to say goodbye to his little girl. He tells her, “The world may not be as you expect.” Hinting at the stark realities shown earlier in this episode, Leo understands he won’t be there to help her deal with the world and all of the inherent challenges he’s already faced. Plus, at this point, they don’t know if Lily will survive.
This final moment is where that endearing message comes back – and it’s heartbreaking. It takes such strength to get through this moment and it’s Hannah who reminds Leo about being brave and strong. You have to watch it to feel the sincerity, the anguish and the overwhelming need to weep over the separation that’s about to take place. So, turn on “Violet,” make it through the entire episode and then watch one of the best scenes in all of television unfold in front of your eyes.
What did you think of Kaleidoscope episode 5? Were you equally distraught over the last scene and could you make it through without any tissues? When did you watch this episode in your out-of-order watch? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to follow Hidden Remote for more Kaleidoscope and other Netflix series coverage!