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The Bluetooth Cabal
The Bluetooth Cabal
The Bluetooth Cabal
The Bluetooth Cabal
The Bluetooth Cabal

5x19 Ron

Welcome to a dweeb's shrine to the four, untouchable, highest level conspirators of Day 5

You can't touch them. But they can touch you.
Christopher Henderson

Moments before 11:00PM on Day 5, it was revealed that President Logan (not Vice President Hal Gardner, as the viewers were led to suspect) was the man whom Christopher Henderson was protecting regardless of the personal cost. But the writers of 24 were not happy with the twist that a President was directing a highly treasonous plot. At around 1:20AM, the President was seen on the phone with a man who headed a mysterious cabal. It is this untouched cabal, so densely surrounded by intrigue, to which this humble shrine is dedicated.

I laugh at fans who speculate that any connection can be found between the Cabal and Day 2's Max. Max simply wanted to cripple America. The Bluetooth Cabal and the President only permitted the harm of American lives to serve a net, overall improvement of the country's situation. Just what exactly what that view was remains fairly foggy (though it certainly involved the wholesale slaying of radical eastern European terrorists on their own soil and then a subsequent increase of profitable American military and business intervention... had everything worked smoothly). But apparently when things fell through, the net improvement shifted toward the protection of the Presidency and was far more valuable than even a diplomatic passenger jet loaded with V.I.P.s. When it became impossible to protect the President, Logan himself subscribed so wholly to the apparent view of the Cabal concerning the morale of the American public, that he was moments away from committing suicide to protect it.

The Bluetooth Cabal was unknown to its enemies and feared above all else among its best pawns, including Logan, the President of the United States, and, arguably one of the most foul villains of 24, former CTU Director Christopher Henderson. Here is a little tribute to my favorite fictional conspirators, and a tip of the hat to the 24 writers, staffers, and actors for portraying such a sublimely fascinating group with such impressive dramatic skill.


The Cabal

1. GraemPlayed by Paul McCrane

The speaker and chief decision-maker for the Cabal was called Graem, a man who exercised the enviable freedom of being able to just about bully the President of the United States. In Day 6, it turned out that he was absolutely none other than the blood brother of Jack Bauer. Upon discovering this, I knew I had to meet the parents who were simultaneously able to raise my favorite fictional TV hero and one of the most shadowy masterminds of serial history. I got half my wish.

2. RonPlayed by Carl Gilliard

A man whose baritone rumbling is adorned with an accent that is – at least for my ear – quite unusual, Ron is first seen reading from a paper file (1:20AM) during the introductory, Kubrick-esque zooming shot of the Cabal, then questions the soundness of the plan to Graem (1:40), is later visible smoking a giant stoge (3:04), and is finally found in a chair at 3:45.

3. Robert Joseph(unknown actor)

Wearing a tie and a bright shirt unlike his colleagues, Robert turns up in just a handful of shots. At 1:20AM when the Cabal is first seen, he is prominent in the foreground, reading from a piece of paper at a desk; at 1:40 he is seated with his legs crossed, eyes diverted from the lecturing Graem; and at 2:56 he can barely be seen as a blurry blob behind Graem. Finally, at both 3:45 and after 4:11, he is seen leisurely enjoying a whiskey on the rocks with Graem in the glass-walled room. His name was revealed upon the release of the 24 Trading Card Game.

4. unidentified male(unknown actor)

Wearing what might be the same suit as Graem (a lavender/violet shirt, unbuttoned at the top without a tie, and a black suit coat), this man appeared casual-professional. And that's about it... he spoke no lines. At 1:20AM when the Cabal is first seen, the silhouette of his head is barely visible to the far right; at 1:40 we get our best close-ups of him; at 2:45 he can be made out passing behind Graem; at 3:04 he can be seen in the background behind Ron, with his hand to his ear (on a cell phone perhaps); and lastly, he can be seen sitting patiently at a desk in the glass-walled room at 3:45.

5x19 BXJ Bluetooths

Jack and Henderson dialogue

Christopher Henderson just turned down an immunity option, and Jack is halfway out the door, approximately 4:22AM.

Henderson: Jack... That recording was my only immunity. They give me a piece of paper, I walk out of here, and I'm a dead man. Two days, two hours, two months, who cares. They're gonna take me down.

Jack: Who's they?

Henderson: Same people who made Walt Cummings look like a suicide. C'mon Jack, you can't really believe that Charles Logan masterminded this all by himself.

Jack: Give me the names.

Henderson: You can't touch them. But they can touch you.

Jack and President Logan dialogue

Jack Bauer begins his interrogation of President Charles Logan, approximately 6:19AM.

Jack: The plan involving the Sentox nerve gas was designed to fool the terrorists and the Russians. Whether or not you formulated the plan is irrelevant, you authorized it.

Logan: You're delusional.

Jack: David Palmer uncovered evidence of this plan. When he started asking questions, he was assassinated. Other people were killed to cover that murder up. Men and women who served this country with distinction, people that I worked with, friends of mine.

Logan: No. You're wrong. This is all a pack of lies.

Jack: The terrorists discovered your deception, and they deployed Sentox nerve gas on American soil. Every American who died today, as a result of terrorist activity, is another murder that you're accountable for. And before you leave here, you are going to admit it.

Logan: Suppose if you hurt me enough Jack, I'll say whatever you want. But that won't make it the truth. Everybody who watches this will know that, perfectly well.

Jack: What are the names of your co-conspirators?

Logan: There are no co-conspirators! Because there is no conspir...

Jack: Walt Cummings! Christopher Henderson! James Nathanson! Have all admitted to being part of this conspiracy. Now they are dead. Right before Christopher Henderson died, he acknowledged that there were others. What are their names!

Logan: A man will say anything under torture. This won't mean a thing.

Jack: Mr. Logan, I'm not gonna torture you. But you are gonna tell me what I want to know. Or, so help me God, I will kill you.

After a pause, Jack seats himself directly in front of Logan.

Jack: A year and a half ago, I was warned that my life was in danger, by someone within the government. I was told that the only way I could stay alive was to create the illusion that I was dead. I was forced to deceive people that I loved. My only daughter will never forgive me. As I see the depth of your corruption unfold, I have no doubt that you are that source of danger. David Palmer was a great man. And he was a great President. He was also my friend. He tried to warn me about you, and now he is dead. Other people tried to help me, and they are dead too. So Mr. Logan, I hope you understand... I have absolutely nothing to lose. You are gonna be held accountable for your part of everything that happened today. You are not gonna be able to hide behind the Presidency! Right here! Right now you are gonna face justice! and make no mistake about this. This is personal. And if you think for a second that I am scared to put a bullet in your brain: you don't know me. I'm gonna ask you one last time. Who are your co-conspirators?

Logan shakes his head

Jack: You have until the count of three, or I will kill you. One.

Logan: You make me a martyr, I'll go down in history with Lincoln and Kennedy. But you'll go down with John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald. Is that what you want?

Jack: Two!

Logan: You're a man of honor! How can you assassinate a President of the United States in front of the entire world? If you love your country, you won't pull the trigger.

Jack: Three!

Jack's pistol shakes uncontrollably. Logan is afraid at first, then calm.

Logan: You can't do it, can you. No, Jack! It's alright. Jack! It's alright. It's alright. It's right that you can't. I'm the President. Jack... Jack, they're here.

Jack is spent, and surrenders to the small army of troops... 6:24.

The Cabal speaks


(1:18:20A.M. to about 1:19:47A.M. — Logan's first call to Graem)

Graem: Yeah.
Logan: Graem.
Graem: Yes.
Logan: You need to cancel the action against Henderson immediately.
Graem: Why?
Logan: He has the recording, but he's made arrangements to have it released if anything happens to him.
Graem: (deeply concerned groan) You should've exercised more control over him.
Logan: There's a limit to how much I can do.
Graem: Apparently.
Logan: Don't... don't you use that tone with me. We've both made mistakes today.
Graem: You're right, Mr. President, my apologies. But the fact is: we have a bigger problem than Henderson.
Logan: What. What are you talking about?
Graem: At least he can be trusted to act rationally, and in his own interest. Unfortunately, the same is not true of your wife.
Logan: (hesitates) My wife?
Graem: Apparently there's a Secret Service agent named Aaron Pierce who knows a little more than he should. He intends to share that with Martha.
Logan: I'm well aware of that and I've taken steps to deal with Agent Pierce.
Graem: But the real problem is Mrs. Logan. She continues to talk, to ask questions, talk about her suspicions.
Logan: People don't take her seriously. They think she's unstable.
Graem: There are too many loose ends lying around. We cannot afford to have her pull on one and unravel everything.
Logan: You think I don't realize that?
Graem: I think you are in a very difficult position, and that you have been hoping that the situation with Martha would resolve itself but it hasn't. You must silence her.
Logan: I know. But I'll handle this myself.
(Graem nods to himself, satisfied, and ends the call)

(1:40:20A.M. to 1:42:22A.M. — Graem addresses his three associates in private, then answers Logan's second call)

Ron: Are you sure we're going to get through this the way we planned?
Graem: What does that mean?
Ron: There are too many loose ends.
Graem: What operation doesn't have loose ends? Hmm? Of course we're not going to get through this the way we planned. No one ever does. I have never made a deal in my life that didn't feel like it was gonna fall apart in the eleventh hour. Now, if you don't have the stomach to deal with a few bumps, then this is not the room where you belong. (a pause, then, addressing the other two men additionally) And that goes for all of you. You're starting to have doubts. I can smell it, and I don't like it. We need to remember the strength we had 18 months ago when we started this thing. (a pause) You okay, Ron?
Ron: (after a moment) Yeah.
Graem: Think about your kids. That's what I do (phone rings) when I need to get focused. (answers call) Yeah.
Logan: The situation with Martha is taken care of. I spoke to her.
Graem: And?
Logan: And I made it very clear that if she continues with this behavior I will send her back to the hospital in Vermont.
Graem: Well, you were going to have her committed earlier today, but you changed your mind.
Logan: That's because she found out the truth, and I decided I should keep her close.
Graem: What if she finds out the truth again?
Logan: She won't. And if she does, I will handle it just like I have all day.
Graem: Okay. Fair enough! You have done a remarkable job today, Mr. President. I will admit that.
Logan: Thank you. It's about time I heard some words of appreciation.
Graem: Oh, listen to me, we were just talking about how you've had to be on the front line through all of this. How you've had to get your hands dirty while we could just sit back and watch from a safe distance. (a pause) You've earned our trust. And I am sure that you will do whatever it takes to keep your wife in line.

(2:20:07A.M. to about 2:20:36A.M. — Graem calls Logan)

Logan: Yes?
Graem: Have they found Bauer yet.
Logan: No, they haven't.
Graem: That's not good.
Logan: I know that's not good. I am putting pressure everywhere I can.
Graem: I don't think I have to tell you how disastrous it would be if Bauer gets his hands on that recording.
Logan: That's exactly right. You don't have to tell me. I know. When I find him, I will call you. Is there anything else?
Graem: No.
Logan: Good.

(About 2:43:55A.M. to about 2:44:26A.M. — Logan calls to update Graem)

Graem: Yes.
Logan: I just got word from the F.A.A. about a... a hijacking aboard a diplomatic flight that left Van Nuys about a half hour ago.
Graem: So what.
Logan: Jack Bauer is the hijacker.
Graem: What is he doing on that flight?
Logan: He's looking for the recording that implicates me in David Palmer's death. Henderson handed it off to somebody before he was arrested and Jack must know that it's on board.
Graem: Well then you shouldn't be wasting your time talking to me. Order the plane down, and grab Bauer before he can hurt us.


(A 29-second call ending a few seconds before 3A.M. — Logan cuts off a conversation with Martha and answers a call from Graem)

Logan: Yes.
Graem: Bauer's got the evidence. He is in control of the plane.
Logan: How do you know that?
Graem: We just picked up a call from Chloe O'Brian to Karen Hayes.
Logan: (a pause) What do we do?
Graem: You are going to have to shoot down that plane, Mr. President.
Logan: (disbelief) What?
Graem: It's the only option [you/we]'ve got. Otherwise, you go to prison. For treason, and murder.

(About 3:04:58A.M. to about 3:06:23A.M. — Graem calls Logan)

Logan: Yes.
Graem: We have a solution that will allow you to order the plane shot down.
Logan: I sure as hell hope so. I may be the President but there are certain protocols in place that I can't just ignore.
Graem: What we're proposing will circumvent your protocols.
Logan: What is it.
Graem: We're going to simulate a V.C.I. distress signal. It will be broadcast on the plane's transponder code. And it will appear to come from Bauer's flight.
Logan: Hold on. What is a V.C.I. distress signal?
Graem: It's an emergency signal indicating that there's a hijacking in progress, and that the perpetrators intend to use the aircraft as a weapon. It'll give you the pretext to shoot it down. (a pause) There really is no other legitimate response to this, uh, scenario Mr. President. All you need to do is appear to struggle with the ethics, and then give the order. (Logan is silent)
Graem: Mr. President?
Logan: Fine. (winces) All right.
Graem: You sound... reluctant.
Logan: (after a moment) I can't believe it's come to this. I'm going to shoot down a plane full of innocent people.
Graem: Well... None of us is happy about this, Mr. President, but you don't really have a choice. Bauer has evidence implicating you in this conspiracy, and I don't have to tell you what the consequences will be for all of us if it's released.
(staring off for a moment, Logan ends the call)


(About 3:27:49A.M. to about 3:28:46A.M. — Graem and Logan in the middle of a conversation)

Graem: You should've followed through, Mr. President. You should've ordered that pilot to fire.
Logan: They were landing on the freeway. I had no pretext to shoot them down. I had to abort.
Graem: It's gonna be much harder to contain now, if not impossible — Bauer's on the ground.
Logan: (exhales) He won't get far. Even before the plane touched down I ordered two battalions of Marines into the area. They're cordoning off the landing site even as we speak. Bauer... has nowhere to run.
Graem: I hope you're right, Mr. President, this is our last chance. If Bauer gets through...
Logan: I know. I know what's at stake, Graem. (pauses) I'll get back to you as soon as I have any news.

(3:42:52A.M. — Logan, ruminating over the possibility of suicide, ignores a call from Graem)

(3:45:37A.M. to about 3:47:29A.M. — Logan, having decided to kill himself, calls Graem)

Graem: Yes.
Logan: Graem.
Graem: I've been trying to reach you.
Logan: I know.
Graem: Bauer slipped through the cordon, didn't he?
Logan: Yes.
Graem: I've just been told that the Attorney General's office received a phone call, from the Director of CTU. I think it's fairly obvious they're in possession of the recording. I think that phone call was about you.
Logan: I didn't expect it to happen so soon.
Graem: I am sorry Charles. You don't deserve this.
Logan: Listen Graem, despite how things turned out... I still believe that we were in the right. I still believe that we acted in the best interests of the country.
Graem: And we have to keep putting the country's well-being ahead of our own. The spectacle of a sitting President on trial for murder? It would be devastating.
Logan: Yes. Yes it would. Aside from the psychological damage to the country, a trial would expose certain realities that should never see the light of day.
Graem: If only we could keep such a trial from taking place.
Logan: That thought occurred to me as well. (opens his gun case)
Graem: I'm glad we agree.
Logan: I want you to know I've taken steps to ensure that you and your associates won't be implicated in any of this.
Graem: I appreciate that Charles. We all do.
Logan: (after a moment) I have nothing more to say. I'm going to hang up now. There are, um, a few things I'd like to take care of, before.... (draws a blank, stares off)
Graem: Goodbye, Charles.
Logan: Goodbye, Graem.

5x19 Sentox Bluetooths

(From about 4:18:10A.M. to about 4:19:23A.M. — Logan makes surprise call to Graem)

Graem: Mr. President! I confess I didn't expect to hear from you again.
Logan: The situation's changed. Everything's under control. The recording has been destroyed, it's no longer a problem.
Graem: That's very good news, Mr. President, but what about the people who've already heard it?
Logan: Can't do anything without proof. I don't think any further action needs to be taken.
Graem: Then... can we assume you've got the rest of your house in order?
Logan: If by that you mean my wife, yes. Yes, she's cooperating fully. As for Aaron Pierce, that's another matter, but, um, I'm taking care of that.
Graem: Of course. What about Jack Bauer?
Logan: I've already given Karen Hayes permission to release him. The arrangements that we discussed about taking him out, they've already been set in motion.
Graem: It appears that you have everything well in hand, Mr. President,
Logan: Yes, yes. I said I would handle it, and I have. The situation's contained, there's nothing more to worry about. (Mike Novick comes within earshot) I'll call you back.

(From about 5:32:01A.M. to about 5:32:34A.M. — Logan and Graem in the middle of their final conversation)

Logan: The mission to retake the submarine has been successful.
Graem: Hm. So I understand.
Logan: You'll also be interested to know Christopher Henderson was killed during the operation.
Graem: You're certain of this?
Logan: CTU has confirmed the information.
Graem: (amazed, turns around) That's excellent. But let's not fool ourselves into thinking that's the end of all our problems. There's still Bauer to deal with.
Logan: Don't worry. Mr. Bauer will be taken care of.
Graem: (satisfied; slight grin) Good.

(From Day 6: between noon and 1P.M. — Graem cracks under torture and reveals the conspiracy)

Graem: It has nothing to do with McCarthy. It has to do with Palmer.
Jack: David Palmer?
Graem: Yeah... (panting) I gave the order for his assassination. And, Agent Tony Almeida, and Agent Michelle Dessler. Your coworkers... they're all dead because of me. (Jack falls into a chair in shock) I arranged everything. I... set the timetable. I... I paid off the killers. I even lured you out of hiding to take the fall. Today wasn't the first time I've tried to have you killed, Jack.
Jack: ... Why?
Graem: Because I love my country! And in the real world, sometimes that means you have to do things, terrible things, even unforgivable things... for the sake of your country! But you know all about that, don't you, brother! We're the same! I mean look at me. We're the same!
Jack: We are not the same! (shoves Graem over) You want me to kill you?
Graem: Do it!
Jack: I'm gonna do it my way! (to Burke) Four more cc's!
Burke: I can't do that.
Jack: Pick up the syringe! Do it! Now! (to Graem) Son of a bitch... you son of a bitch! You wanna die? (Jack confronts Agent Stokes, but relents when Phillip peers through the doorway)

(From Day 6: between noon and 1P.M. — After hearing Graem crack, Phillip ties off a loose end)

Graem: How am I doin'?
Phillip: Doin' great.
Graem: Everyone thinks Jack is so tough. Well, maybe he is, but so am I. It's nice to know that I can take anything he can dish out.
Phillip: You told him about Palmer.
Graem: I had to give him something, make him think I cracked. I kept you out of it.
Phillip: It's gonna get a lot worse. He's not finished. He knows you didn't tell him everything.
Graem: Yeah, and I won't, you know I won't, Dad.
Phillip: They're gonna take you to CTU. They'll do things there that'll make this seem like a cakewalk.
Graem: Like I said. I can take it.
Phillip: I'd like to believe that. Problem is, I have to be sure.
Graem: Well you can be. I'll hold my mud, Dad. Everything's going exactly according to plan: Jack bought the ruse.
Phillip: Oh I know. I'm sure we convinced him that you were gonna have me killed as well.
Graem: Heh. That makes me the bad guy and you the good guy. I take the rap, do some time, you escape free, get me out when you can. Meanwhile, the company lives on. Dad, stick to the plan. That's what you've always said, right? Make a plan, stick to it.
Phillip: Sometimes you have to make adjustments.
Graem: I would never betray you, Dad. I love you.
Phillip: I love you too, Graem. You've been a good boy. Done everything I asked. Only this time, I asked too much. Sorry.
Graem: Dad... (Phillip injects him with an overdose of hyoscine-pentothal and covers his mouth; Graem's shouts are muffled, he convulses, and dies; Phillip kisses Graem's head, and approaches the door)
Phillip: My son's had a seizure! Get in here now, hurry up! What happened? Is he gonna make it?
Burke: I don't know, please give us some room so we can work! Get CTU medical, now!
Phillip: My God. If you people killed my son, I swear, you're gonna regret it for the rest of your life!

Graem Bauer

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