Netflix’s The Exchange follows two brave and independent women climbing up the ladder in the male-dominated and cutthroat world of the 1980s Kuwaiti stock market.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Farida is a divorcee and it’s not been that long since she split up with her husband, and he’s already begun acting up like a classic ex, refusing to pay his daughter’s tuition for the private school, that he had always done.
Meanwhile, Farida has to reluctantly go to a charity event where she ends up bidding high prices for an item, as a result of her inadvertently getting into a competition with her cousin Munira.
The two have always been like that, sparring against each other in every facet and walk of life. This time, however, Farida gets the worst end of the stick just by getting into the competition, with no money left to afford her daughter’s continued education at the British school, let alone splurge on antiquity in a charity.
She eventually has to turn to Munira for help, whose profession is also a subject of interest for Farida, who eventually takes a job as a clerk at the stock market as well, like Munira.
Filled exclusively with men, Farida and Munira are the only two women in the stock market, trading for Bank of Tomorrow and fighting hard to get acknowledged for their skills and education.
They have to work really hard while also proving their mettle as expert traders, which they do with their proficiencies in mathematics and market predictions.
Farida finds it difficult to balance her professional life with her personal one when her daughter Nujud starts going through puberty while also finding her life in public school really harsh, which is used by her father to get her on his side.
Meanwhile, Munira tackles challenges of her own. However, the two women persevere through sexism and misogyny while standing up for themselves and working harder than all the other men to prove themselves.
Munira also has a brief fling with the Bank of Tomorrow manager Saud, who gradually becomes more and more enveloped with his drive for money and the wild risks he strives to take for it.
The worse arrives when the stock markets all over the world start crashing, and it’s upon Farida and Munira to assist their peers in doing the best possible trading to save their sinking ship from complete drowning.
Due to a last-minute decision that Farida makes out of complete disorientation caused by the chaos, Bank of Tomorrow gets saved and as a result, she and Munira get promoted.
Meanwhile, Farida’s family life, as well as financial independence, get sorted for the better, and Munira’s hard work pays off and she gets out of a toxic relationship.
The Exchange season 1 ending explained in detail:
Does Farida end up with Omar?
Farida doesn’t end up with Omar at the end of The Exchange season 1. At the start of the series, the couple has divorced each other fairly recently, with Omar making things difficult for Farida by denying payment of Jude’s tuition.
When Farida confronts him about it, he again refuses to pay the tuition, also revealing to her that her father is indebted to him as well. Later on, Farida is forced to transfer Jude from British School to a public school.
Jude’s life at the new school is difficult and she becomes a victim of bullying by other girls, who target her for her rich background and family. She gets some tips from her grandfather but it’s to no avail.
Meanwhile, her relationship with her mother worsens and tensions between them only flare as time progresses. On the contrary, Jude’s relationship with her father is on a healthy trajectory, with the two frequently spending time together and keeping it a secret from Farida.
Omar uses Jude as a clutch to take Farida back, proposing a deal to her that entails her quitting her job at the stock market, in exchange for Jude’s education at British School, which he’d afford by himself.
However, throughout all the trials and tribulations that Farida goes through in her job at the stock exchange, especially with such odds stacked against them, Farida learns to do better and be better than who she was.
At the end of The Exchange season 1, Farida chooses her financial independence and job over being the old dependent self and gets back with Omar. She refuses his terms and offer, and gains a prominent place on the Bank of Tomorrow board, also becoming capable of affording her daughter’s better education.
What happens to Munira and Saud’s relationship?
Sparks started flying between Munira and Saud shortly after they gets introduced and familiar with each other. Saud proves to be a good teacher at first, giving Munira some great tips about trading, which she catches on to real quickly.
However, with time, his advice only turns into the same competitive and predatory spiel that’s aimed at taking risks to make money and make it before the opponents. Meanwhile, he begins to impose on Munira, a lot.
He asks for her hand in marriage and even asks for her father’s permission behind her back. Saud then asks her the answer, and when she wishes for some more time to think about it, he only gets more agitated and pushy.
At the end of The Exchange, he becomes the victim of his own gambling proclivities. Meanwhile, Munira gets into a verbal spat with him when she finds out that he’s told others that they’re engaged, when in reality that’s not true at all.
When the stock market crash hits all, it hits Saud the worst, who suffers a heart attack and is hospitalized. Later on, he discontinues his position as the manager of Bank of Tomorrow, with Munira filling the spot left vacant by him.
How does Farida save Bank of Tomorrow?
The 1987 stock market crash happened and stock exchanges all over the world started crashing after the US market took a historic plunge all of a sudden. The wave shortly reached Kuwait, where the protagonists of The Exchange brace for the impact.
Saud tries his best to get everyone on board with his “strategies” and profit from this situation, others are skeptical of his shallow enthusiasm and research that serves only his rash trading and investing decisions.
However, Amir shuts him down, advising everyone to sell as much as they can, irrespective of the price they’re getting, in order to at least save their bank from abject defeat and collapse.
Saud suffers a great shock and falls down when he’s not able to sell the shares he’d invested in, ultimately being hospitalized. At the end of The Exchange season 1, he’s removed as the manager of Bank of Tomorrow.
Meanwhile, chaos erupts at the Kuwait stock exchange, and all people run and burst over to sell as much as they can, despite companies collapsing and crashing left and right.
Standing on the sidelines, upset and tired of the chaos on display, Farida runs off to the spot where she and Munira would always meet in hiding and triggers the fire alarm, setting off the sprinklers and stopping all the selling.
In doing so, she ends up saving Bank of Tomorrow millions, for which she gets rewarded by Amir, who returns the money she gives him to settle for the out-trade that was unjustly levied on her.
The Exchange season 1 ends with Amir giving Farida a position in the new team equal to that of Munira’s.
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