Tue, 8 April 2008
After the team gets signs of an unidentified life form, they (apart from Gwen, who is running late) go to investigate. Searching an abandoned building, the team discover it is a trap and the building is bombed. The resulting explosion causes the team to be trapped under piles of concrete rubble. Gwen and Rhys arrive (Rhys having given Gwen a lift), and as they dig everyone out, the team's lives flash before their eyes revealing how Jack, Ianto, Owen, and Toshiko got recruited to Torchwood.
In the Victorian era, Jack is picked up by two women - Alice Guppy and Emily Holroyd - who have noticed his immortality and his references to the Doctor. They examine him, which includes attempting to kill him. Jack recognizes that the technology being used in his interrogation is more advanced than Earth technology of the time. They identify themselves as being part of Torchwood and offer Jack a job with them. Jack initially declines the offer learning that they view the Doctor as a threat. He agrees to the assignment after being told that if he doesn't cooperate he will be treated as a threat himself. He takes an initial assignment which is to track down and capture an alien. While they have the alien in a small cell one of the officers pulls out a gun and shoots the alien in the head without any warning. Jack disagrees with this policy and refuses the next assignment they try to give him. Jack goes to a bar when a young female fortune teller comes to his table and offers to read his cards and doesn't listen to Jack's refusal. She tells him that he will not meet the Doctor for another century. He returns to the Torchwood office and opts to join Torchwood for that century.
He is still working for Torchwood in 1999, when he comes back to the Hub on New Year's Eve to find that one of the team has murdered the rest out of fear for the future. He has in his hand some locket or pendant, and he claims to have seen the future in it and killed the rest of the team out of a sense of mercy that the immortal Jack cannot benefit from. Based on the vision from the locket, he states that the next century is when everything changes and that Torchwood isn't ready for it. He then commits suicide, leaving Torchwood to Jack as a "reward for a century of service." With the rest of the team dead, Jack will have to recruit a new team.
Toshiko's flashback takes place five years ago when she was working for the Ministry of Defence. One night after her boss leaves she immediately breaks into the security room where she obtains secret files for a Sonic Modulator. At home, she begins constructing a mock version, and once complete, takes it to a secret base. She gives it to a woman, one of her mother's captors, in the hope of her mother's release, but in seeing Tosh's potential, they decide to have her work for them. Tosh refuses, and so the captors set off the Sonic Modulator, sending an ear-piercing sound around the room that brings Tosh and her mother to the floor as their blood vessels begin to pulse violently. At that point however, UNIT soldiers break in and arrest both the captors and Toshiko and her mother. Tosh is locked in a plain empty cell and told that she will have no communication with anyone, and they refuse to answer her questions to her mother's whereabouts. After living in solitude for some time, she is visited by Jack. Jack chats to her and states that she'll be imprisoned indefinitely. He recognises, however, Toshiko's talent and high intelligence in building the fully operational device from plans that could not possibly work and offers her a pardon if she takes a job at Torchwood.
In Ianto's flashback, he first meets Jack by helping him fight a Weevil. Ianto asks for a job, but is rejected by Jack. The next morning, Ianto gives Jack a coffee outside Torchwood. Jack recalls a large amount of knowledge about Ianto, stating that he researched him after he was able to identify a Weevil. Ianto again asks for a job as his old job was lost when Torchwood One was destroyed. Jack states that he had severed all ties with Torchwood One. That night, Ianto steps in front of the SUV, and once more asks for a job. After Jack threatens to erase his memory, he tells Jack that he is pursuing a pterodactyl. After a long battle, the pair of them capture it, and Jack tells Ianto that he expects to see him at work the following morning.
Owen's flashback shows him before he was employed in Torchwood, working as a regular doctor and planning a marriage. His fiancée, Katie, begins to exhibit signs of Alzheimer's Disease and is taken in for a brain scan. The doctors, in fact, state that it is a tumor, and decide to operate. While Owen waits outside, he hears a loud noise in the operating room, and enters to find all of the surgeons dead on the floor. Jack enters, and states that there is an alien parasite residing in his fiancée's brain that gives off a toxic gas when threatened. Jack attempts to take the brain, but Owen protests, and so Jack knocks him out with chloroform. Owen wakes up in a hospital bed, but because Jack has erased all evidence of himself, there was no proof of Owen ever seeing him and telling him about the alien. The doctors come to the conclusion that Owen is traumatised and they prescribe him 3 months of rest. Visiting his fiancée's grave, Owen sees Jack and confronts him for answers, saying that he was right and Jack was not just a figment of his own imagination. Seeing Owen's potential, Jack convinces him to start up at Torchwood as a medic for the team.
When the team reunites, they discover that the SUV is missing. Jack receives a holographic message, as pictured, from Captain John Hart, who reveals himself to be behind the bombs and shows Jack an image of his long-lost brother Gray. He then vows to tear Jack's world apart, so Jack would spend time with him.
Following the previous episode directly, the Torchwood team goes to sites of rift activity. Gwen goes to the police station where the four most senior officers have been killed by Weevils. Tosh and Ianto head to the central server building to deal with "ghosts" that appeared in the building. The ghosts turn out to be humanoid beings in cloaks holding scythes who look very like the Grim Reaper, but Tosh and Ianto easily end the threat by shooting them. Tosh mentions that the server building houses servers for the military, police, NHS and the nearby nuclear power station. Owen heads to St Helen's Hospital where a Hoix was found chewing on cables and subdues it with a sedative. With the rest of the team away dealing with their respective crises, Jack returns to the Hub alone and encounters John Hart, who after a brief conversation with Jack kills him, then strips him of his weapons and restrains him while he proceeds with his task.
John gets the Torchwood members to approach the rooftops of their respective buildings to watch as he sets off 15 major and well placed explosions in Cardiff. The team try to cope with the workload of a crippled city. John, who is watching the mayhem in Cardiff Castle with a captive Jack takes him through the rift to the future site of Cardiff city in the year 27 AD. There John explains that he has not been acting of his own free will and shows Jack that his wristband has been molecularly bonded with his skin (rendering it unremovable) which is equipped with surveillance and remote detonation circuits to ensure his obedience. Before John can explain further he is interrupted by the arrival of Gray, Jack's long lost brother. Jack hugs him tearfully, happy to see him alive, only to have Gray stab him in the chest. When Jack comes to, Gray explains that he was tortured mercilessly for years by the aliens who captured him in his childhood, and that he blames Jack for what he had to endure. Gray taunts Jack saying that his grave will be the foundation of Cardiff and that his blessing of life is his curse. He then forces John to bury Jack alive as punishment for this. Before he begins his task John throws a ring into the grave, claiming that it is of sentimental value. He then proceeds to fill the grave, trapping Jack in a cycle of asphyxiation and revivification.
John, now gone free and released from his obligation to Gray, returns to the present to help undo the mess he caused. Gwen encounters him and they call everyone back to the Hub except Owen, who is trying to contain the nuclear power plant meltdown--a result of the explosions John had previously set up. Unbeknownst to them, Gray is lurking in the Hub with them. He eventually traps Gwen, John, and Ianto in Weevil cells, and then shoots Toshiko, leaving her for dead. A loud banging noise is heard by everyone and Gray goes to investigate. The sound leads him to the morgue where a light can be seen coming from one of the compartments. Gray opens the compartment to find Jack waking in a cryochamber.
The scene then flashes back to 1901 where Jack is discovered by Torchwood personnel because the ring that John dropped was in fact a beacon and Torchwood had picked up the signal. They dig him out and place him in the cryochamber at the Hub, with a timer set to wake him up in 2008. After incapacitating his brother, Jack frees Gwen, John, and Ianto. While this has been happening, Toshiko had been helping Owen to try to prevent a meltdown; despite her life-threatening injury. After sucessfully averting disaster by venting the flow channels into the room Owen is in, she also sets a time delay so Owen can escape. However, a power spike triggers an emergency lockdown and Owen is trapped. Before long the radioactive material is sent to Owen's location and the scene fades out back to the Hub. Jack discovers Toshiko who dies in his arms.
As Ianto registers Owen and Toshiko's deaths on the Hub computer, a pre-programmed pop-up video of Toshiko appears, in which she says goodbye and confesses her love for Owen as well as thanking Jack for freeing her from the UNIT prison and showing her the many possibilities of the universe. The episode and second series closes with the devastated city recovering, and Jack, Ianto, and Gwen standing together in the Hub.
This episode marks the last episode starring Naoko Mori as Toshiko Sato and Burn Gorman as Owen Harper. In the Torchwood: De-Classified that covers this episode, Burn Gorman who plays Owen Harper jokingly remarks that Owen either is truly dead or will transform into the "king of the Weevils".