“Rough Diamonds” is a Flemish-language movie by Rotem Shamir about a family of orthodox Hasidic Jews and how one man must save the family from facing turmoil and possible jail time. Noah Wolfson (Kevin Janssens) comes back from London to his family home in Antwerp, Belgium, for a funeral when the family’s secrets start coming out, and Noah is stuck having to solve every problem one by one. The show manages to provide engaging drama and some interesting mysteries, but it feels dragging at times because of the slow stories. Here’s a recap of what happens in the show and a detailed explanation of that surprise ending.
What Does Noah Find Out About His Family?
When Noah Wolfson comes back to his familial home in Antwerp after his brother Yanki commits suicide, the man who’d abandoned his Hasidic Jewish family because of religious orthodoxy finds out that the Wolfsons are neck-deep in debt. Apparently, Yanki had a gambling addiction that made him rack up quite a sum with a local moneylender, but Noah, thanks to his life in the criminal world in London, decided he could handle this himself. He took Yanki’s diamond-encrusted watch to the moneylender and threatened him not to bother the family again, but this was only part of the problem. Apparently, Yanki started a secret diamond business, and he’d sold diamonds worth 1.5 million euros to a man named Salman Karim in Dubai, but the customer didn’t pay Yanki. Now, Fogel, the supplier of the diamonds, was constantly pressuring the family to pay him the money he owed.
Fogel and the Wolfsons have traded in the past, and the only reason matters are still civil and hush-hush is that Fogel respects the family, although he doesn’t trust the Wolfsons to keep their business alive for the next 5 years. Out of courtesy for their past relations, Fogel agrees to give them two weeks’ time to come up with the money while Noah tries to extract the sum from the customer, Salman. However, Salman can’t pay either because he’d, in turn, sold the diamonds to the Albanian mafia, who haven’t paid him yet. It’s a massive mess, and Noah is stuck trying to fix everything for a family that he hasn’t been able to tolerate.
How Does Eli Create Further Problems?
Meanwhile, Yanki’s brother Eli complicates things by reporting Fogel’s son’s unscrupulous activities to pressurize the diamond seller into listening to the Wolfsons. However, Fogel turns the table and demands immediate payment by the following Monday, ending any friendliness they might’ve had. As the walls keep closing in, Noah falls back on his mother-in-law, Kerra, who’s the head of a South London crime syndicate, and she gets in touch with the Albanians and promises to pay for the drugs they deal in, which shall be laundered using the diamonds while the drugs go to London. There’s also Matthias Dumont, the manager at a private Antwerp bank who deals with Bujar, Albanian mafia boss Tahiri’s trusted man.
Noah gets his cousins Eli and Adina to help him launder money for the mafia, which would solve their issue with Fogel, but the whole criminal aspect doesn’t sit well with the cousins. Realizing they need a different diamond supplier to provide diamonds for the deal to go down, the Wolfsons contact Bahran Chatur in exchange for another deal that has little to do with the main story. “Rough Diamonds” does include multiple plotlines that don’t add up to anything by the end. With the debt with Fogel settled, the family can breathe easy for the time being, but when the family patriarch, Ezra Wolfson, suddenly dies, there begins a power struggle as to who’ll control the business from now on. The ne’er-do-well cousin Benny Feldman whispers in Eli’s ears to snatch the entire business to their side, but when Adina exposes Benny’s dirty plans, the whole power is handed to Adina, but she agrees to split it with her brothers so that the Wolfson diamond trade can once again be taken to the heights of prestige it once enjoyed during Ezra’s prime.
The Shady Deals With Albanians
The Wolfson family is in the clear for now, but Noah finds himself getting pulled into the muck once again because of the Albanian mafia, who now want him to act as the intermediary between a Brazilian party and Matthias, the manager, to help extract the Albanians’ money from Brazil. Noah isn’t very confident but promises to help this final time and starts making connections while his mother-in-law Kerra’s drug dealings with the Albanians continue. Meanwhile, trouble once again finds the Wolfsons, as prosecutor Jo Smets begins investigating the family because of their links to the mafia, and she targets Eli as her informant because he’d been the one to strike the initial deals. Eli doesn’t have any choice but to agree to help Jo nail her primary target, Matthias, and his bank, which acts as the center for all the illegal activities.
The Wolfsons have a sudden blast of morale, and both Eli and Noah decide to cancel the promises they’d made, with Eli backing out of the deal with Jo while Noah refuses to act as the middleman between the Brazilians and the Albanians. Irritated at this sudden display of audacity, the Albanians levy a 10% tax on the Wolfsons to continue laundering their money for them, while Eli’s actions cause the police to barge into the Wolfsons’ property. Tahiri is not happy with the way things are going, and he makes Matthias speak to Noah, and the two decide to get the police to back off and cancel all investigations. Of course, the easy way to do that is to offer a sum to the investigators, and things would be solved, too, were it not for Jo Smets and her severe case of morality. She refuses to bow to the criminals and continues with her investigation, which leads to the diamond business being put on trial. Realizing this is way more trouble than they signed up for, Noah plans an escape route. With the Jewish New Year coming up, diamond shops shall be closed, and this is the time Noah chooses to rob a store, make away with the loot, and settle in the UK. The loot would be worth around 60 million euros, to be split three ways among Kerra, the Wolfsons, and the Albanians. However, the Albanians would keep the Wolfsons’ share and launder it themselves so that the family wouldn’t have to worry about it; they’d get their payment in good time.
Robbing A Diamond Store
The robbery is carried out without any hiccups, but the French guy the Wolfsons take aid from, Guillaume, ends up becoming a bother. He constantly demands his share and doesn’t want to wait till they’re home and dry, resulting in a fistfight with Noah that ends with the Frenchman falling off a building to his death. Noah takes the stolen loot to Matthias, and the deal should be over, but the protagonist has yet another plan to get his family out of the hassle, and he visits Jo Smets with the information about where the Albanians’ loot is stashed. However, the prosecutor doesn’t budge because she’s confident that the trial will be successful, and she also has Feldman’s guarantee that he’ll appear in court and testify against all the misdeeds. The Wolfsons try to smooth things out with Feldman by trying to talk to him, but he’s determined to bring down the Wolfsons, so Adina pulls a trick and records a conversation where Benny’s son is rumored to be gay. Considered a shameful thing in orthodox Jewish society, Feldman must play ball to ensure his family’s prestige and back out of testifying. On the other hand, after a talk with her father, Jo realizes that her hard-headedness is the cause of a lot of her woes, so she decides to collaborate with Noah.
‘Rough Diamonds’ Season 1: Ending Explained – How Do The Wolfsons Escape Trouble?
Noah just can’t catch a break because Jo informs him that the location of the diamonds turned out to be empty because the loot has been moved. Panicking, he calls Tahiri, who says an insider tip about a possible raid made them move the loot to a safer area and assures the Wolfson that his family will get their cut when things cool down. Noah is arrested moments later by the cops, and in a moment of desperation, he gives up his mother-in-law, Kerra. The mob boss from South London had already received her cut, so she’d had a massive loot, and by giving her up to the cops, Noah could shake off the pressure from his family. Additionally, Jo agrees to a plan to settle the matter, and the Wolfsons are let go while Kerra is taken into custody. With the protection of the Albanian mafia removed from his head, Matthias Dumont turns state witness but is gunned down by the very same mafia against whom he’d have testified. A news report announces that the items from the robbery have been recovered in London and Antwerp, so we need to stay tuned to see what plans Noah has for season 2.