Oooh, I’m running ever so slightly behind time on this: I’ve come in right at the end of . . . actually, that sit-com with Nick Frost, with the space ship, what is that called? Hyperdrive! That’s it. I’ve come in right at the end of Hyperdrive, but that’s okay, because I watched the entire first season, or at least a fair slab of it, and I admit it didn’t really grab me.
Not like original Red Dwarf, anyway.
Still, here we are with the opening monologue, and—hey! Who’s that blonde guy? We’ve not seen him before!
Clever, clever programme.
Now Rhys and Gwen are wrestling in bed, and she seems much happier now he knows the truth.
Adam? Who is Adam, and why is he claiming he’s worked for Torchwood for three years?
Ah, Gwen, who has been in Paris with Rhys, doesn’t know who Adam is—until he touches her, anyway. And then she suddenly has a raft of memories about her past working life with him.
Nick’s impressed that Adam does all this through touch—I just wrote “through Tosh,” which tells you what’s happening on the screen right now—because he thinks it shows a strong awareness of how unprofessional the Torchwood team is.
Adam is also manipulating Tosh through touch (in more than one way, as it turns out), while Owen, wearing his glasses, is not his usual self: he’s suggesting that there shouldn’t be so much kissing at work.
Oooh, he’s wearing a cardigan, too! And trying to please Tosh with little toys.
Suddenly, this is all becoming creepy.
And even more so when Gwen gets home, and completely freaks out when Rhys touches her, demanding to know how he got into her house, and drawing a gun on him as she rings Jack.
She tells Jack to hurry, because Rhys is a nutter.
And, sure enough, Torchwood come haring into the flat, with Gwen still holding a gun on Rhys as she lets Jack and Adam up to the flat. Gwen is seriously freaking out, saying that Rhys must have put photographs of them up all over the flat during the working day.
Jack says no: he’s her boyfriend. They’ve been together for years. He tries to get Gwen to give her the gun, but she’s seriously freaked, and even more so when she realises she’s wearing an engagement ring.
Rhys is so, so distressed—and he won’t believe Jack when he says that he didn’t do this.
So Jack has a talk with Rhys, recording his memories of meeting Gwen and the other important moments of their relationship, while Gwen watches on web-cam. Gwen says that she “sort of” remembers it: she can see what he’s saying, but she can’t actually remember any of it. Adam touches her, and tells her that Rhys is her fiancee, but she still doesn’t look convinced.
Meanwhile, Tosh and Owen are checking out a mysterious object that came through the Rift at some unspecified time in the recent past—and I should have mentioned earlier that Jack, down in the prison area earlier, saw a mysterious boy dressed in alien clothes, so Gwen is not the only one whose mind is playing tricks on her.
Ianto brings Gwen back home, and she grabs Jack and begs him not to leave. But he does—only to see the same small boy, standing next to a streetlight, as he and Ianto head to the car.
Jakc says he’ll drop Ianto off, then go and check out a report about the sewers. Ianto says he could go with Jack: he says it’s been a while since they hunted together, but Jakc says he’ll be fine on his own.
Back at the Hub, Owen and Tosh share some beer, while Tosh says that she and Adam have been together for one year today, and that she still gets the shivers when he touches her. She asks Owen if he knows what that’s like, but he says he doesn’t, while we get a lovely shot of Tosh’s legs in the foreground.
Jack, down in the sewers, is hunting a weevil, but instead he gets a vision of his father, who tells him to get out while he still can. Running out of the sewer, he sees Adam, and his momentary confusion about how Adam came to be there is wiped away when Adam touches him and says that he came with Jack.
He asks Jack what he saw, and Jack says, “My past.”
Which are pretty weighty words from Jack, Intergalactic Man of Mystery.
Rhys worries, back at home with Gwen, about what this will mean, that she can’t remember them.
But Jack, listening to Adam’s insistence—as Adam, again, touches him—says that his memory is one that he buried over 150 years ago. He can’t afford to remember.
But Adam pushes him.
And Jack flashes back to the Boeshane Peninsula, his home in the 51st century. He says they lived under the threat of invasion—and they came without warning. He says people thought they’d pass over them, as they had so often before, but they didn’t.
Adam asks what they were, and Jack says the most horrible creatures you could imagine: their screams travelled before them. Jack’s father sends him and his brother Gray off, while he himself goes back to find their mother.
But somewhere alone the line, Gray lets go of Jack’s hand, and he doesn’t even know where. He ran all the way back home, where he found his father’s body—but, though he looked for years, he never found Gray’s body. He says that it’s the worst memory of his life, and he doesn’t want to remember it.
Wow, Tosh—there’s a little bit of banter here about Ianto’s diary, and what he writes in it—is looking much more bosomy this episode. Owen is trying to explain how he would cherish Tosh and never let her out of his sight, if they were a couple, because he loves her.
Tosh says what? And Owen goes on to say that he always has—that, in fact, he aches for her, that he just wants to reach out and touch her when they’re in the same room.
Oh, wow: I actually feel sorry for Owen here. Especially since all Tosh says is that he’s being completely inappropriate and, anyway, he’s not her type. She storms out.
Rhys and Gwen are in the shops, and Gwen says maybe she should be on her own today. But Rhys says no: she’s not the only one who has lost something, because he’s lost his girl and his best friend. Then the cashier walks away, and Rhys starts ranting, which reminds Gwen about their earlier relationship—she starts laughing, but it’s not that far from crying, and Rhys leads her out of the store.
But Ianto, back at the Hub, is reading his diary—and Adam isn’t in it. Why would that be, when Adam has been with Torchwood for so long?
Adam says that he can fill Ianto’s head with fake memories until his brain explodes, because that’s how he lives—and, sure enough, he fills Ianto’s brain with vivid, horrifying memories of a fake life as a serial rapist and murderer, until Ianto is left screaming and crying in a rainy street next to the body of one of his imaginary victims.
What a bastard.
Jack, high on a rooftop somewhere, flashes back to his father’s body in the Boeshane Peninsula of the 51st century, and this time his mother comes running out, weeping over his father’s body and then, as Jack confesses his horror that he let Gray’s hand go, weeping for her lost son.
Back on their flat, Gwen says that she’s “getting there,” though she still doesn’t really remember. She says they found it once and they can find it again, but Rhys says that he worries that she settled for him: because, he says, if she met him now, with all that’s going on in her life, she wouldn’t look twice at him.
And Rhys kisses her, and it’s sweet and awkward and a bit sexy, because Gwen says it’s like the first time.
But now Tosh and Adam are snogging back at her place, and this is not sexy at all: this is creepy, because now we know exactly what he’s capable of doing. And he asks Tosh how far she would go for him: would she die for him? And Tosh says yes.
At the Hub, Ianto is confessing his fake crimes to Jack, begging him to lock him in the vault, because none of them are safe while he’s around.
Aw, Ianto! I’d like to give you a cuddle, but Jack’s already doing that.
Jack wants to know what’s happened to Ianto, and Ianto says he’s a monster. So Jack straps him to an alien lie detector, saying it’s the best lie detector on the planet. And Ianto confesses to his first murder, which reads as truth. But Jack says he doesn’t believe it.
Ianto does, though. We’re seeing his memories as he talks about the murders, and they’re vivid, though all we see on his face is strain and conflict.
Ah, but luckily, Adam didn’t think to erase the security camera footage. Now why wouldn’t that occur to him? Does he think he can just control people so fully that if they find the footage, he can erase it from their minds? Or has he just not had time to get around to it? Has he just not been around for long enough? After all, says Ianto—to whom Jack has shown the footage of Adam manipulating him—Adam’s blood sample was last updated twenty-four hours ago.
The next morning, Tosh comes in to a bunch of flowers and an apology from Owen. And Gwen has come into work, though Rhys didn’t think she should. Adam pulls everyone into a group hug, and taps Ianto on the arm while telling him that he “could murder a coffee.”
But then Jack pulls a gun on Adam, asking him who he is, and why he feels nothing for Adam, despite the fact that they’ve been team members for three years.
Jack plans to take Adam to the vault, until Tosh draws a gun on him, and has to be forcibly restrained and disarmed.
Adam, in a cell, begs Jack not to kill him. He says he has to make himself part of their memories, in order to survive. Jack says he changed them, but Adam says it was for the better: all Owen’s cynicism is gone, and Tosh has never been more confident.
Jacks asks why he came here, and Adam says he was drawn by the uniqueness of their experiences, especially Jack’s.
So Jack puts his team in the conference room, and asks each of the members to think of an early memory that defines them.
Gwen remembers sitting in the college canteen, with Rhys sitting opposite her, telling stupid jokes.
Owen remembers his tenth birthday, where his mother spent the entire day screaming, “I love you because you’re my son, but that doesn’t mean I have to like you.”
Tosh thinks of the reassuring nature of maths.
Ianto thinks of falling in love with Lisa.
Gwen thinks of kissing Rhys in the supermarket.
Owen remembers his mother packing his bags on his sixteenth birthday: the nicest thing she’s ever done for him.
Tosh remembers her first flat, but she doesn’t have a flat warming—there’s no one she wants to invite.
Ianto remembers Lisa dying.
Gwen says she loves Rhys, but not like she loves Jack.
Tosh says there must be someone out there who will see that she’s special—Jack says he saw.
Owen thanks Jack for giving him something other than his mother’s abuse.
Ianto says that Torchwood—that Jack—saved him, and Jack kisses him on the forehead.
There is, as Nick says, something truly religious about that sequence.
Jack gives each of them a short-term amnesia pill, so they can forget the last forty-eight hours, forget Adam.
Tosh is the most resistant, because she remembers how much she seemed to love Adam, but Jack says he forced it on her: so she says goodbye to Adam, and takes the pill. Each member of the team falls asleep, and Jack settles them comfortably on the table before heading down to the cells, to tell Adam that he, too, will be taking the short-term amnesia pill.
Adam says he can give Jack a gift: the last good memory of his dad, a long-lost memory.
And we flash back to early evening in the Boeshane Peninsula, just Jack and his dad—but, no. At Adam’s prompting, we realise that Gray is there, too. And as Jack chases after the ball, there’s another boy there.
He’s got the ball, and Jack shoves him over. But Jack’s dad helps Adam to his feet, and tells Jack that if Jack won’t share, then they’re going home. Jack’s dad and Gray walk away, as Jack says no: they played more, until it got dark, and they lit a fire, and their mother came down to join them.
So Adam has taken the last good memory of Jack, his father, and Gray—and he’s ruined it.
I’ll say it again: what a bastard.
But as Nick says, you don’t play that game with Captain Jack.
Jack lifts his amnesia pill, and Adam says if he takes it, Adam will destroy every memory of Jack’s father, so that he will cease to exist.
Jack takes the pill.
And as Adam dies, the adult Jack is left alone in the sandstorm that is his memory of the Boeshane Peninsula, shouting for his father and Gray.
When the Torchwood staff wakes up, they realise that they’ve lost two days, and have no idea what happened. All they have to go on are the apology flowers from Owen, but Owen says someone’s winding her up: he doesn’t do flowers and he definitely doesn’t do apologies.
And to think I was feeling sorry for him.
There’s some nice banter between Jack and Ianto about tape measures, but as Jack starts to walk out of the room, the mysterious box they’ve been faffing with all episode opens.
It’s full of sand.
Hey, next week we have both Martha and Jim Robinson! Wow.