The Independent is a thrilling political drama film available exclusively on Paramount Plus.
The film starts with Nate Sterling (played by John Cena) running for a presidential election against the Democrats (Patricia Turnbull) and Republicans (President Archer).
Nate Sterling’s political campaign is to end corruption. He states that corruption and recession are at their peak because these two political parties are not doing their job correctly; instead, they blame each other and run their propaganda.
Hence he tends to change all this and make America great again when he wins the presential election.
Now the focus shifts back to 5 months earlier on how it all started; we see Eli, a reporter at The Washington Chronicle, struggling to generate new reports.
When the director of Washington Chronicle, Gordon, asks for ideas, Eli provides a brilliant idea to report and investigate the news of a few high schools in west Virginia, which are going to four days of school week because of a budget cut, plus few of the schools have over 90 per cent minorities.
Eli was interested to know who stole these public funds, how they managed to do that, and which parties were involved. Well, read along to know the details.
- The Independent (Paramount Plus): Did Eli James and Nick Booker leave The Washington Chronicle at the end? Did they start a new media company?
The Independent: Who embezzled the funds from SuperMillion Lottery? How did Nate Sterling embezzle the money from SuperMillion Lottery? and How did Eli and Nick investigate the whole matter?
It was revealed at the finale that Nate Sterling was stealing people’s money and funding his election; he did that with the help of Tom Mayfield (Director of SuperMillion Lottery), Spenser Erikson (Head of Meyers & Goldstein) and Dean Clifton (owner of Patriot Catering).
When Eli and Nick investigate, they set up a meeting with Jennifer Cooke, PR associate of Mayers & Goldstein; she helps Eli by providing all the necessary invoices and the communication emails between Meyers & Goldstein, Patriot Catering and SuperMillion Lottery.
Eli found out that Tom Mayfield, the director of SuperMillion, sent an expense report of Mayers & Goldstein.
However, Nick points out that a Director shouldn’t send such expense reports; it should be performed by an associate instead.
Eli figures that the invoices are fake upon going through the invoices, emails, and expense reports. Each contains a 4, 8 or both, and the total added amount in one of the expense reports was 174,684 USD.
With the help of Nick’s brilliance, Eli figures that the average Supermillion jackpot is 20 million USD.
It generally increases by 8% during the recession, so the average jackpot should be around $21.6 million, but it has been holding on to $19 million for the last 34 weeks.
So there is a gap of $2.6 million per drawing, so with two drawing every week for the last 34 weeks, it would be 2.6*34*2=176.8K USD which somewhat matches the amount of 174,684 USD. (The above three lines have been kept directly from the film itself for the sake of better understanding)
Therefore as it turns out that the invoice shows a buck for every 1000 dollars embezzled from the SuperMillion Lottery, Eli reasons that Erikson fudges the books; the money moves in the dark of night, and the invoices track the spoils letting them monitor the fraud without uttering anything in their suspicious emails.
Now to find who is behind it, they try to investigate further. Eli comes across a college student who works at Patriot Catering, and he tells her that Dean Clifton is the owner of Patriot Catering.
Then, after Nate’s presidential debate, Eli comes across the same college student again and points out that Dean Clifton is also present and with Nate.
He reveals that Patriot Catering has been catering for Nate Sterling for a long time, even before he started running for president, and they don’t serve anyone except Nate as their owner Dean is very loyal to him.
Now Eli manages to connect every dot and concludes that Patriot Catering served Nate for a long time and has been the main focus of the fraud as they generally send out the expense report.
On the other hand, Mayers and Goldstein were handling the books for Sterlings’ funds funnelling to his Super Pac from SuperMillion Lottery.
She also figures that Tom Mayfield had left the republican party after Regan left, and he re-registered as a Republican the month Sterling’s book hit the best-seller list.
But to prove everything and pinpoint it to Nate, she will require some solid evidence.
Therefore Eli then goes to Luke to ask for his help by filling her hard drive by copying everything from Nate’s computer so that she can pinpoint the evidence and prove everything.
But Luke doesn’t believe Nate is embezzling money from the lottery and funnelling it into his Super Pac.
They eventually argue on the matter and break up with each other.
Later on, Luke eventually thinks of helping Eli, and he, Eli and Nick confront Nate Sterling in the Campaigner’s office; Sterling finally comes under Nick’s threats and reveals that he indeed funnelled all that money for the election. But he intends to give it all back after winning the election.
Luke secretly records everything on his phone and gives it to Eli to publish her report, but at night when she is about to the news article publish, Eli gets a call from her mother that her dad just died.
Hence Eli went to take care of her mom and bury her dad; while leaving, she left her office desk wide open and didn’t log out.
Kevin, out of curiosity, checked what Eli was working on and was surprised by her article; Gordon was patrolling the cubicle at that time and noticed the article.
Gordon fired Kevin from the Chronicle, thinking he was the one who wrote the story about Sterling.
Kevin then informs the same Eli, and Eli tells him that Gordon killed the story to save himself because Jack Hampton, the owner of Washington Chronicle, is loyal to Sterling; hence he has direct orders on Gordon to stop such things from spreading.
Eli finally understood that she and Nick wouldn’t be able to publish the article in The Washington Chronicle, so they now plan to create their own media house, which will not be corrupted and will intend to focus on helping people by practising trustworthy journalism.
Eli and Nick intend to build their new media house called The Independent.
But for publishing the frauds of Nate Sterling, Eli and Nick published the story on Nick’s personal website nicholesbooker.net, which went viral instantly, revealing the true face of Nate Sterling.