Police officer Gwen Cooper arrives at the scene of a murder, but her team is ordered off when a new group arrives: Torchwood. As the plainclothes operatives look over the corpse, Gwen notices something above in a parking lot and goes to investigate. She looks down as one of the men, Jack Harkness, talks about tasting estrogen in the rain. One woman, Toshiko, dons a metal glove and touches the corpse, and the lights start to flicker and the rain stops. The man comes back to life and they tell him they have two minutes for him to talk. The man, John Tucker, doesn’t know anything about his death and Jack asks him about what he experienced when he died. Tucker says there’s nothing, and then the two minutes expire, the rain starts, and Tucker dies for good. Jack then looks up and asks Gwen what she thinks, and she hastily runs away.
Gwen goes back to her apartment where her boyfriend is watching the news, including Tucker’s murder. Gwen can’t sleep, and the next morning at work, she tries to find info on Jack Harkness. The rest of the squad is working on the murder of Tucker and several other victims, all stabbed the same way but with no other connection. Out on the streets with her partner, they briefly discuss Torchwood as a shadowy government organization then end up breaking up a bar fight. Gwen is hit in the head and goes to the hospital, where she spots a man running up the stirs. She follows and finds a sealed-off door, and goes through the barrier and finds a seemingly alien figure. Gwen assumes it’s a mask and approaches the creature, and a hospital worker arrives. The alien attacks the man, ripping out his throat, and the Torchwood team quickly captures the alien and whisks it away in a SUV.
Gwen follows the SUV while getting a trace on the license plate. Checking back with HQ, she discovers that the only Jack Harkness on file is an American who disappeared in London during the Blitz. She follows the team to the Millennium Centre but they seemingly disappear into thin air.
Gwen returns home to apologize to her boyfriend then goes back to the Millennium Centre and talks to a local pizza place, seeing if Jack Harkness orders from them. The clerk does identify Torchwood as a customer, and Gwen takes pizzas to their address: a simple wooden door. Going inside, a man greets her and Gwen says the pizzas are for Jack. The man opens a secret door which leads to a large chamber with advanced technology. The team is there, having expected her, and Jack introduces them as Toshiko (computer expert), Suzie Costello, Owen Harper (technician), and Ianto Jones (cover-up). They explain that the hospital worker died and they’ve covered it up. Jack asks what she saw and forces her to admit she knows they brought Tucker back to life. Jack invites her to see the murderer. He takes her to a cell holding the alien creature, which Jack identifies as a Weevil. The creatures lurk in the sewers and occasionally come to the surface to attack, but they don’t know why.
Gwen wonders what they’re going to do with her but Jack simply takes her up to the surface on an elevator concealed with a perception filter that prevents others from seeing them. Jack takes her to a bar and they have drinks, and he explains they capture aliens for a living. Gwen wonders what they do with the alien technology, and he says none of it is allowed off the base. He’s unaware that the rest of his team has stuff at home. Jack explains there’s a time-space rift in Cardiff. Gwen suggests they work together but Jack isn’t interested in finding the killer, but in testing the glove. When Gwen says she plans to tell her superiors, Jack says he drugged her drink with an amnesia pill, admitting it’s tragic. She runs home and tries to type up what she remembers but passes out.
Meanwhile, Owen approaches a woman in a bar and hits on her, using an alien pheromone spray, and she heads for home with her. When the woman’s boyfriend shows up, Owen uses the spray again and ends up going home with both of them Toshiko uses an alien scanning device to speed-read a book, and Suzie practices resurrecting a fly. Ianto erases Gwen’s computer file.
The next morning, Gwen comes into work but has no memory of Jack or Torchwood. She sees an artist’s recreation of the murder weapon and begins to vaguely remember what happened. Seeing a folder on the Millennium Centre, and a note she scribbled saying “Remember,” Gwen goes back to the Centre and a shadowy figure approaches her: Suzie. Suzie explains that she decided to check out the police info and reveals she has the murder weapon. Suzie pulls out a gun and explains that she was killing people so that she could test the glove under field conditions, perfecting its resurrection ability, and now she’ll have to flee Torchwood. Jack arrives within the perception filter, assuming Suzie can’t see him, but the glove has altered her and she shoots him in the head. Suzie prepares to kill Gwen but Jack comes up behind her, alive and well and the bullet wound healing instantaneously. He asks her to surrender but Suzie kills herself, while Gwen regains her memories.
Ianto locks the glove away while the rest of the team returns their pilfered alien items. Suzie’s body is put away and Jack meets with Gwen. He explains that he can’t die and one day he’ll find the “right sort of doctor” who will explain it for him. He then says that now that Torchwood has a vacancy, he has a job for her, and they need to do more to help. Gwen considers it for a moment… and then accepts.