Gwen (Eve Myles) has a morning off with boyfriend Rhys (Kai Owen), but they see news reports of UFO sightings at the Taj Mahal and a clash between police and soldiers from the English Civil War, so Gwen runs off to the Torchwood Hub and learns that these events were caused by unstable Rift activity after Jack (John Barrowman) and Tosh (Naoko Mori) passed through the Rift, returning from 1941 in the previous episode.
There are cases of the Black Death at a local hospital that Owen (Burn Gorman) has to deal with. Tosh sees her mother injured, and the police have arrested a Roman soldier. Gwen sees Time-manipulator Biblis Manger (Murray Melvin). Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd) sees his late girlfriend Lisa (Caroline Chikenzie) free of Cyberman armour, and she asks him to open the Rift so they can be together. During an argument, Jack fires Owen. In a bar afterwards, he sees Diane (Louise Delamare), whom he last saw disappear into the past, and she wants him to open the Rift too.
Jack and Gwen visit Bilis Manger’s clock shop, A Stitch in Time, and discover that he can step back and forth in time. He shows Gwen a vision of Rhys dying, and she has her boyfriend locked up in the Hub for protection. Bilis causes a power cut and kills Rys. They find him lying in a pool of blood, just like in the vision. Gwen believes the only way to bring him back is to open the Rift. The others agree, except for Jack, who holds them at gunpoint. Owen kills him and opens the Rift. When Jack returns to life, they discover that all this was arranged by Bilis to release his master, the demon Abaddon. Its shadow kills everyone it touches.
Jack allows himself to die, which kills Abaddon, closing the Rift. Rhys comes back to life, but Jack does not, until Gwen kisses him. Kiss of True Love, I guess. The team welcomes Jack with hugs all around, but the Rift is still volatile. Jack sees the Doctor’s severed hand glowing and hears the TARDIS. He rushes out to meet it and the team wonders where he has gone.
End of Days received mixed reviews, but it was nominated for three BAFTA awards. The name Bilis comes from Iblis, The Devil in Islam. No-one knew, when it was broadcast, whether the series would be renewed. Except for Gwen, nobody in Torchwood knew that Jack could not die. The episode takes place just before the Season Three Finale of Doctor Who. Policeman Andy Davidson (Tom Price) refers to Jack and Gwen as Mulder and Scully. Whatever problems with the episode, there are great moments: Jack’s dressing down of everyone in Torchwood who demands the Rift be opened, the monstrous appearance of Abaddon, child of Satan, running amuck in the city, the monster’s realization that killing Jack is only destroying himself, and everyone’s joy when Jack finally comes back to life.