What Goes Up
Farida has dinner with Omar and Jude as the finale of The Exchange begins… but the father-daughter duo turns against her. Omar gives the offer to pay for Jude’s tuition if she is ready to quit her job and stay with Jude. Farida is not ready to listen to his preaching and gets a distress call from Munira, calling her to the exchange.
Farida drops off Jude, takes Adib’s car, and when she reaches the office, she crashes into Munira’s car, damaging the car door and her own headlight. Amir informs the group that the markets will open the next day, despite the possibility of a crash. Saud proposes a risky trade to the group. He believes that even though the market will be crashing, here is their chance to take advantage of the panic. He lists three companies that might benefit from the war and general market conditions.
Amir wants to sell whatever they can to lose a few million as opposed to taking the risky trade and losing a hundred. Munira agrees with Amir and does not side with Saud. When he asks her for a refill of the coffee, Munira does not listen. This sparks a tirade from Saud, whose arrogance speaks on his behalf. He insults her and slights her for forgetting all the contributions he has made in her life. Khalifa apologises to Farida for the last night. But Farida, fresh off her tussle with Omar, says she was flirting with Khalifa all this time to get favourable trades, like National Cement, from him.
While talking to Amir, Munira learns that Saud has announced her engagement to him. Angry, she storms into his office and confronts him. He says he has already talked to Munira’s father and he is agreeable. Whatever it may be, Munira is not ready to be wed. In the morning, Saud proposes a more reasonable trade as Amir asked. But his speech is delivered like a madman and compels Amir to lash out at him and take charge. He asks all the traders to sell everything when they get an opportunity. The market opens and the prices crash, as expected. There is panic all around.
Munira gets to work and s able to do some trades. Farida falters behind and is not able to withstand the panic. Saud rushes in asking Munira to follow his strategy and suffers a heart attack, falling down on the ground. Farida slips away unnoticed and pulls the fire alarm lever. We see the first scene from episode 1 as Munira thanks Farida for saving them
. If not for her action, the trading would have gone on and the Bank would have lost millions. When the dust settles and the exchange reopens, global markets have started recovering. They are sharply up and Amir appreciates Farida for her common sense, saying he was watching her the whole time. Farida finally starts treating Jude like an adult and discusses the work problems with her.
They share a genuine, heartfelt moment. Farida declines Omar’s offer and gets Munira’s position on the floor the next day at the office. Since Saud won’t be returning, Amir offers his job to Munira and asks her to sit with the team to take the IPO forward, which has been greenlit by Fahd. In private, he asks Farida if she wants something else in return for saving his bank money. We do not see what yet.
But in the next scene, Farida offers to buy Munira’s damaged car and she agrees. She takes it for a ride with Jude. The next day in the meeting for the IPO, we see what Farida asked for: a chance to be a part of the team heading the IPO. She sits opposite Munira, slightly flaring her. But Farida quickly holds Munira’s hand and thanks her for teaching Farida that she cannot settle for anything less than her own worth. Munira reciprocates and Fahd celebrates the occasion as historic. The meeting begins and the screen goes black.
The Episode Review
As anticipated, The Exchange concludes respecting the pattern of narration. The final shot of Munira holding Farida’s hand in the foreground and Sabiha being in the background is symbolic of the show’s themes of empowerment. Their assessment of the position of women in the 80s in Kuwait will resonate strongly among female viewers. Farida finally discovered that she too has the courage and the determination to rub shoulders with men in a world they own.
Even though season 1 has ended, this takeaway is important in its context. It was a bit unfair to Munira that Farida got the seat in the meeting without tangible merit, but given Farida’s contribution to their “team”, it cannot be called undeserving. Saud washing away into oblivion was a bit crass.
Throughout the season, he was pinned as an impressive individual who was ambitious and reasonable. But in the end, he suddenly vanished from the spot. Khalifa suffered a similar fate. Barring that, the finale was steady, without any extraordinary or remarkable touches.
You can read our full season review for The Exchange here!