Torchwood encounter an alien, Adam, who can manipulate the memories of any person he touches. He implants false memories into the team, making them believe they have known him for three years. As a side effect, the whole of the Torchwood team changes significantly.
Gwen loses all memory of her fiancè, Rhys, and upon seeing him in their apartment assumes he is a stalker. When Adam and Jack arrive to find it is only Rhys, they and the others assume it is just stress that has gotten to Gwen. Jack gets Rhys to record details about their life together as to make Gwen recall her lost memories.
Adam also has the power to reveal, alter and fabricate other memories and these powers are shown with the rest of the Torchwood team.
Jack is haunted by the memories of his childhood, seeing images of his younger brother Gray, who he had lost when ‘the worst monsters you could imagine’ attacked his home in the Boeshane Peninsula. Jack is pained by these memories as he holds himself responsible for losing his younger brother, as well as seeing his father’s dead body and his distraught mother after the attack.
Toshiko has become more confident as a result of Adam’s power and believes that she and he are in love and have been dating for the past year. She fails to recognise Owen, who has also changed quite dramatically, reverting to being somewhat of a geek and holding an obvious unrequited crush on her. While Tosh and Owen are studying an artefact in the shape of a wooden box which they cannot open, Owen presents two packed sandwiches which he has kindly prepared for the both of them, as a way of impressing Tosh. Over beers (Which to Owen’s weak objection Tosh had gathered), Tosh discusses her relationship with Adam; failing to see the disappointment on Owen’s face. They continue to observe and study the box while Gwen spends time with Rhys, slowly beginning to remember who he is again.
As Jack and Adam (who is subtly coercing Jack to reveal more about his past) are out in Cardiff on a call out, Ianto, Tosh and Owen are still studying the box. Owen makes a suggestion to which Tosh immediately shuts down, and after seeing the hurt on his face, Ianto announces that there might be something about it in his diary and that he’d go look. When he leaves, Owen notices Toshiko checking her phone and she tells him that she’s waiting for Adam to call her as it is their anniversary and they’re supposed to be celebrating. Owen slowly goes on to tell Toshiko that if it was him, he’d cherish her and wouldn’t let her out of his sight. Toshiko believes Owen is being nice, until Owen proclaims that he’s loved her ever since they started working together. She becomes angry, tells him that his speech was inappropriate and even if she wasn’t with Adam, she’d never go for Owen because he isn’t her type, leaving a rejected Owen alone.
Meanwhile, after reading his diary; Ianto becomes disturbed when he realises that there is no mention or trace of Adam in it. Adam confronts him and strongly implants false scenarios and memories into Ianto’s mind; making Ianto believe he is a serial killer who has murdered three girls. Jack returns to find Ianto deeply disturbed and realises something is wrong. He refuses to believe that Ianto is a murderer, even though the ‘best lie detector in the universe’ classifies Ianto’s outrageous claims as truth. The two both consult the Torchwood files and realise Adam’s true self, as the video tapes show him touching each person and the seeing the changes in all of them occur.
The team returns to work---Gwen from a night with Rhys, Toshiko and Adam from their anniversary celebration, and Owen who quickly drops an apology bouquet on Tosh’s desk. Jack arrests Adam, much to the confusion of the rest of the team. Tosh, who becomes upset points a gun at Jack as he leads Adam down into the vault, but is apprehended by Ianto. Jack realises while finding out about Adam’s alien purpose that the only way for things to go back to normal is for the team to take amnesia pills, to erase their memories of the past forty-eight hours. He gathers the team around the table and lets a calming hypnosis overcome them all, and gets each one of them to try and recall who they really are.
While entranced, each Torchwood member recalls certain memories. Gwen recalls the first instance where she met Rhys, and reveals that while she loves him, it isn’t in the way that she loves Jack. Toshiko recalls her love of Math, as it was constant and there was always a right answer, and recalls her first flat and how she didn’t have a flat-warming because she had no friends. As Jack comes around with the pills, Toshiko tearfully reveals that she is always waiting for someone to notice how special she is; Jack comforts her by saying that he did. Owen describes his memories of his stormy relationship with his mother. He reveals that while they save hundreds of lives, it isn’t enough; he wonders who will save him. Jack replies “I will.” Finally, Ianto recalls his love for his former girlfriend Lisa who had died in the Torchwood HQ. He saw that coming to work for Torchwood and meeting Jack gave him meaning for life again. Jack kisses him on the forehead. Each member then takes their pill, Owen looking at Tosh giving a small smile.
They all fall asleep and Jack returns to the vault to see Adam, who is dying from the amnesia pills destroying the memories. Adam says to Jack that he can give him his last memory of his childhood, before he lost Gray and before his father died. Adam then implants himself into the memory, saying that if he kills him, Jack will never regain that memory or any other of his childhood. He says that the box they’d been observing contained his last memories and that if he died, so would they. Jack considers the option for a moment and takes the amnesia pill and Adam dies.
When they all wake up, the team struggle to come to a conclusion as to why they are missing two days of action. Jack mentions that Toshiko must have a secret admirer, acknowledging the bouquet of flowers and she reads the card and surprised, says it is from Owen. Owen, back to his cynical self, says ‘in your dreams Tosh’ and that he thinks someone’s playing a joke on her because he ‘doesn’t do flowers and certainly doesn’t do apologies’. He hands the card back to Tosh, who takes it and they hold each other’s glance for a moment, smiling; both of them seemingly to accept it.
With everything back to normal, Jack goes to his office. He gives Ianto’s diary back and quips that ‘measuring tapes never lie’, to which Ianto expresses an embarrassed look as he walks away. Jack then finds a strange wooden box and opens it with a key that falls out, and finds a considerable amount of sand.
John Barrowman – Captain Jack Harkness
Eve Myles – Gwen Cooper
Burn Gorman – Owen Harper
Naoko Mori – Toshiko Sato
Gareth David-Lloyd – Ianto Jones
Kai Owen – Rhys Williams
Bryan Dick – Adam Smith
Paul Kasey – Weevil
Demetri Goritsas – Jack's Father
Lauren Ward – Jack's Mother
Jack Montgomery – Young Jack
Ethan Brooke – Gray
Rhys Myers – Young Adam
Lloyd Everitt – Youth
Jo McLaren – Dead woman
Writer Catherine Tregenna
Director Andy Goddard
Script editor Brian Minchin
Producer Richard Stokes
Chris Chibnall (co-producer)
Executive producer(s) Russell T. Davies
Production code 2.5
Series Series 2
Length 50 mins
Originally broadcast 13 February 2008