Kaleidoscope Ending Explained: What Happens in The White Episode?

All episode orders lead to the same conclusion for Netflix's Kaleidoscope. Here's how the heist goes down in The White Episode.

Kaleidoscope. (L to R) Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap, Tati Gabrielle as Hannah Kim in episode “Yellow” of Kaleidoscope.
Photo: Netflix

Netflix decided to open the New Year with one of its most uniquely structured programs in years: the Giancarlo Esposito-starring vehicle, Kaleidoscope. The dramatic thriller tells the story of a rag-tag group of criminals trying to pull off one of the biggest heists in modern history. 

The novelty of the series lies in the episode-formatting gimmick that creator Eric Garcia employs to give each viewer a different perspective on the events in the timeline leading up to and after the heist: the eight episode order is random for all Netflix accounts. No matter what order you watch the series in, however, the final hour always ends on the “White” episode, which is the actual heist taking place.

The decision to plot the show this way means some people might be a little more confused than usual about what happens to all of the characters. We’re here to break it down for you so it’s easier to understand what happened during the heist, who got the $7 billion, and the fate of the crew members who put the plan in action. Here we go!

Is the heist successful?

This question’s answer depends on what you consider a success. If you’re looking at it from the angle of whether the money was stolen without the authorities catching the criminals in the act, it was a success. Leo (Giancarlo Esposito) and his crew are able to follow through and steal the $7 billion in bearer bonds.  

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For the heist-nerds out there, this process is pretty satisfying to watch. Leo and his partners in crime use bees to block the gait sensor inside the building, they flood the underground safe area to normalize the temperatures in the area, and the most ambitious and resourceful idea put into action is probably Leo using a mask that mimics Roger Salas’ (Rufus Sewell) exact facial features to get into the vault. The billions have been obtained, and nobody is caught. But there’s still a load of cash to divy up!

Who gets the money?

Leo’s daughter, Hannah Kim (Tati Gabrielle), decides to throw a wrench in the plans, intercepting the money before it can be delivered to the truck that RJ (Jordan Mendoza) will drive out of the building. She plans on distributing the bonds back into the income streams of the wealthy elite, ensuring everyone’s lives go back to normal. 

Nobody in the crew gets the money they thought they were going to obtain. Instead, they receive a mere thousands of dollars each that Hannah left over for the crew so nobody would be suspicious of her plans. By this measurement of success, the heist was an abject failure. When you consider the fates of the characters after the heist, it becomes even more clear that the choices these characters made were very poor.

What is Leo’s fate? 

Leo Pap, formerly known as Ray Vernon, is the head of the snake and the person who was pulling all of the strings throughout the show though he has a melancholy ending that is worthy of somebody of his stature and nature. Leo is somewhat cut from the anti-hero cloth of the mid-to-late 2000s TV scene. Much like Walter White or Tony Soprano, Leo is a family man at heart and a girl dad who just couldn’t escape his hunger to steal what doesn’t belong to him. 

The fate of the character is revealed in the “Pink” episode. This hour takes place about six months after the day of the heist. Leo is now living with massive physical disabilities due to a condition that’s likely Parkinson’s disease. He gets to talk to his daughter one last time, see his granddaughter over the phone, and get the personal closure he needed as a father. 

In typical anti-hero fashion, Leo also gets what he deserves. He appears to be shot and killed by a man wearing a kaleidoscopic shirt in the final scene of the episode. Who is this mystery murderer? If you pay attention to his attire, you’ll remember the shooter is actually the son of Roger Salas. So it looks like Roger got the vicarious vengeance he was looking for, even though he’ll now spend years in prison due to Leo putting a stolen piece of jewelry into his private safe for the FBI to discover. 

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What is the rest of the crew’s fate? 

Aside from Leo/Ray, the individual fates of the crew members vary from getting to live a decent life in the aftermath of the heist, to getting shot to death by FBI agents on a beach. There’s a lot of people to keep track of so let’s go one by one.

Roger Salas

Speaking of Roger a.k.a. Graham Davies, the former criminal partner-turned heist victim of Leo is spending his later years locked up for various crimes committed throughout his life, but especially the theft of a unique necklace stolen decades ago. As was already mentioned, this valuable was planted in Roger’s personal safe during the heist by Leo as a revenge tactic. Over in prison, Leo tried to cut a deal with Bob Goodwin (Jai Courtney), but this fell through when the latter was shot and killed by the feds while on the beach at the end of the “Pink” episode. 

Bob Goodwin

The angriest character on the show didn’t really care about anything other than getting his wife, Judy, back from Stan. Bob was all about himself. His desire to lock Judy into an abusive relationship and perpetuate the same behavior came to a deserving end when he was lured onto a beach in South Carolina in hopes of killing Stan, and instead he was the one bleeding out in the sand. 

Stan Loomis and Judy Goodwin

Stan was a long-time criminal, but he was shown to treat Judy with some semblance of respect as they got closer throughout their time planning the heist. Due to Bob’s death, the two will presumably live without any sort of threat from within the group, but that journey most likely won’t be lived together. It’s implied that Judy is bored of Stan’s newly-acquired nondescript lifestyle. Judy finds the cash that Bob got from Roger inside of Bob’s car. She decides to flee everyone and start her own life with these funds. 

Ava Mercer

Ava became Leo’s love interest of sorts after the death of Leo’s wife in a massive fire 24 years before the heist. She was the only person from the group Leo wanted to stay in contact with after the heist, but she was killed by a goon in Bob’s cohort during the “Pink” episode. This was another way to demonstrate the havoc Leo inflicted on others simply by association. 

RJ Acosta

The whipping post of the crew who became friendly with Judy throughout their time planning the heist, RJ was blindsided by the only person who seemed to respect him. During the heist, Bob coerces Judy to steal the bonds with him and leave the rest of the crew in the dust. When RJ discovers what’s happening, he threatens to kill Bob, even shooting him in the leg. Judy puts RJ down to prevent any further violence against Bob. It was a tragic end for a fairly innocent bystander in the whole operation. 

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So if we take a look at the criminal crew as a whole, most of the members are dead by the time six months have passed after the heist. This means Kaleidoscope is probably a one-off mini-series of sorts rather than a series that will continue for many seasons. 

All eight episodes of Kaleidoscope are available to stream on Netflix now.