Owen (Burn Gorman) narrates the opening, speaking of his life and recent death as he sits on top of a building with a woman named Maggie (Christine Bottomley) threatening to jump. Jack (John Barrowman) had relieved Owen of his duties after his death. He is angry that Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) has his job, and he is told to make coffee. Also, he is the only one on the team who has nobody. Martha believes that Owen is human again but will not age.
The team is concerned with energy spikes coming from the estate of an alien-artifact collector named Henry Parker (Richard Briers). He has not been seen in public since 1986 and they want to see inside his house. But Owen is excluded. He accidentally cut his hand with a scalpel, but the wound will not heal. Tosh (Naoko Mori) keeps him company. The woman on the roof thinks Tosh and he are like a married couple. She reveals that her husband died on her wedding day. He recalls arguing with Tosh and breaking his finger to show how broken he is. He tried to drown himself but doesn’t need air. But since he has no body heat, he is undetectable and can get past the heat-sensors at the Parker Estate. He enters the house and finds Parker hooked up to many medical machines. He failed a bypass operation and is kept alive by something called the Pulse. Owen tells him it is really hope that is keeping him alive. He promises to help Parker face his fear of death. But Parker has another heart attack and with no breath Owen cannot perform CPR. The man dies.
Tosh says the energy levels are off the chart and whatever the Pulse is, it may explode. Owen holds the alien object to absorb its energy. He praises Martha and apologizes to Tosh, who says she loves him. The object begins to glow. When the woman on the roof asks what happened, he pulls the Pulse from his backpack. It was only a reply to NASA messages beamed into space in the Seventies.
In flashback, the team says farewell to Martha. Owen promises to confide in Tosh when he is fearful. Owen is walking along a footpath and finds a photograph of a young couple. Looking up, he sees the woman on the roof. He tells her she should jump only if she thinks there’s nothing left, but if she has a glimmer of hope it’s worth taking a chance on life. They hold hands and watch the lovely glow of the Pulse. Torchwood calls collector Henry Parker “mostly harmless” quoting former Who writer Douglas Adams. The episode made more than one reviewer admire Owen for the first time.