Jonah Bevan (Oliver Ferriman) is walking home when a mysterious light appears, and he vanishes. Some seven months later, Officer Andy Davidson (Tom Price) asks Torchwood’s Gwen (Eve Myles) to investigate. Jonah’s Mother Vikki (Ruth Jones) has started a support group for relatives of people who have gone missing in Cardiff and Gwen realizes the problem is extensive. Together with Tosh (Naoko Mori), she discovers that all the disappearances were accompanied by negative spikes of activity in the Cardiff Rift. Her boss, Jack (John Barrowman), tells her to stop investigating, so she naturally becomes consumed by the matter.
Gwen’s husband Rhys (Kai Owen) is disturbed by the toll the investigation is taking on her. She interrupts Jack and Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd) during a tryst. Jack still refuses to help, but Ianto gives Gwen a CPS device that points to a location on Flat Holm Island, where there is a home for seventeen people taken by the Rift. She finds Jack there. An older Jonah (Robert Pugh) was physically deformed in a burning planet in a burning solar system, and then returned. Jack admits that the care home is his, set up when he first began with Torchwood, so the victims would not need to be kept in the Hub vaults.
Gwen brings Nikki to see Jonah. She is horrified and thinks it’s a cruel joke, but Jonah speaks of his childhood, and she realizes it is her son. He begins to scream, and he screams for 20 hours, as he does every day, from looking into the heart of a dark star. A week later, Gwen visits Nikki, who says she would rather have remembered her son as he was. That night, Gwen unburdens herself to Rhys over a candlelit dinner.
Ruth Jones (Nikki) was cast against type, as she is a well-known comedian. It takes a comedian to break your heart. The episode was loved despite some plot-holes that I frankly never noticed. The main shooting location was the calm but rather barren Flat Holm Island, five miles off the coast of Cardiff, which seems a perfect spot for a rest home for Rift victims. There are no roads on the island, which made filming difficult. There is a derelict cholera isolation hospital there, but little else. Eve Myles is impressive and the episode in general is deep and heart-rending. Kai Owen also shines, and we begin to see why Gwen loves Rhys. We can also see why Jack is involved; his own brother Gray is a missing person.