The 2022 Netflix series “Kaleidoscope” makes us privy to some convoluted characters who are not ready to embrace their reality and feel an incessant need to deceive themselves in order to fuel their actions. Ray Vernon, a.k.a. Leo Pap had intricately planned each detail of the heist that he was going to conduct, but what he didn’t know was if it would liberate him the way he had imagined. Ray had forgotten that vengeance only breeds more vengeance, and he had made himself believe that whatever he was doing was for his family. So, let’s see if he was able to complete his goal and if it provided him with the freedom he desired.
For more than 25 years, Ray Vernon had just thought about getting revenge on Graham Davies, a.k.a. Roger Salas. Once upon a time, they had been thick as thieves, pun intended, but an incident that had taken place at a Christmas charity event had changed the entire dynamic between them. Roger and Ray used to steal from the rich and powerful, and together they could break into any vault or safe, no matter how secure it was. Ray wanted to change his life for the better and stop committing crimes. He knew that his daughter, Hannah, would soon go out into the real world, and he didn’t want the consequences of his actions to adversely affect her future. Moreover, Ray’s wife, Lily, wanted him to stop risking his life, and she told him that she didn’t want anything more than what they already had. Ray, too, said that as long as he could remember, he had lived his life in a state of constant anxiety. He always felt like he had been hanging on to the edge of the cliff, and no matter what he did, he would eventually fall. Hope seemed bleak, and he had known that he would have to accept “gloom” and “despair” as his constant allies. Ray knew how it felt to wake up feeling a nervous trepidation in your bones, and he didn’t want it to happen to his daughter or wife. He loved his family and being with them gave him a sense of purpose.
Ray had been debating whether it was possible for him to make amends in his life and whether he would be able to provide for his family if he didn’t commit robberies. Ray wanted to open a shop selling spare auto parts because he had some knowledge about the business and also believed he was good at selling things. Lily was a bit skeptical about the idea, and she was not sure if they had enough capital to do so, but Ray gave her the confidence she needed and told her that it might require a little bit of extra effort, but eventually, it would be totally worth it. Ray told Roger Salas that he wanted to stop committing robberies because the risk was much greater for him as compared to Salas’s. Ray, being a black man, knew that the authorities would always have a prejudice against him, and if they got caught, there wouldn’t be any way out for them. Roger had no choice but to accept it, and Ray finally started his auto parts shop called Rocket Motors.
But as it is said, a man can probably change the way he lives his life; he can change his perception, but he cannot change his innate nature. The expenses were increasing every day, and the business wasn’t picking up pace. To make matters worse, Lily also left her job after her employer treated her with utter disregard. Ray once again partnered with Roger Salas, and together they decided to loot the jewels that were going to be auctioned for a charity event. Things didn’t go as they had planned, and Ray got caught by one of the employees in the club. It was the same club where Lily used to work, and Ray didn’t realize that while he was executing the heist, Lily was also present in the premises. Though she had resigned, she was called again by her employer, who wanted her to help him provide some assistance on a busy night. When Ray got caught, Roger came and hit the employee who had seen Ray hiding in the room. Roger burned the room so that all the evidence was completely destroyed.
What happened after that became the reason why Roger and Ray fell apart. Ray realized that Lily was stuck inside the club when he saw her car parked on the premises. He went inside to save her, and Roger, after hesitating for a moment, also followed him. Roger was standing at the entrance of the room where Lily was stuck, but he couldn’t muster the courage to risk his life and enter the fire. Ever since then, Ray had held him guilty, and he believed that he could have easily saved his wife. After that incident, Ray was arrested, and his whole life was turned upside down. He had to leave his daughter in the care of Ava Mercer, and he couldn’t meet her for almost a couple of decades. He wasn’t there for his daughter when she needed him the most. For almost 25 years, Ray planned the perfect heist, and he not only wanted to become rich but also destroy Roger’s entire life and career. Ray broke into the SLS vault together with his team, and to make sure that Roger couldn’t evade conviction, he left a piece of jewelry in Roger’s personal vault, which they had stolen from the Christmas charity auction. Roger was charged with grand larceny and identity theft and sentenced to 20 years. The bonds that Ray had stolen from the SLS vault never came to him, as his daughter decided to give them back to the Triplets. Hannah was not as delusional as her father, and she knew that if he kept the bonds, then the triplets would come after him. Hannah knew that her father was like the snake that eats its own tail, and she wanted him to put an end to the cycle.
Ray had gone to meet Roger in prison, probably to get closure, and the conversation they had made one question Ray’s beliefs. Roger never had the intention of betraying Ray, and when he was standing in front of the room where Lily was trapped, he acted based on his intuition. He didn’t have any grand scheme in mind where he wanted to destroy Ray’s life, and in fact, years later, he still regretted Ray choosing not to work with him. Roger knew that they worked well as partners and would have accomplished a lot more together. In our opinion, Ray wasn’t betrayed in any manner, though we agree that Roger’s inaction did have an impact on his life. It seemed like Roger didn’t hold any grudges even after getting convicted. He might have felt angry, but he knew that Ray was a prisoner of his own beliefs. Roger always believed that Ray wouldn’t be able to keep himself out of business for long, and that is exactly what happened. Ray had made himself believe that he had been wronged and that it was justified on his part to commit the robbery and destroy Roger’s life. Most likely, it was all an attempt by a delusional mind that was not ready to accept that he liked breaking into vaults.
Ray was shot in the end, probably by Roger’s son, and the series “Kaleidoscope” leaves us on a cliffhanger, not revealing if he lived or died. Even if survives he wouldn’t have a lot of time at his hand considering he is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Roger might not have held grudges because he felt that he was in a much better position than a person who wasn’t ready to accept his reality, but his son saw the whole thing in a very different light. Roger’s son might have believed that the only way to get justice for his family was by killing the man who was responsible for destroying them. If there is a season 2 of “Kaleidoscope,” we will get to know if Ray survived the attack or not and how Roger and Hannah would react once they get to know about the incident.