It’s late at night on the Brecon Beacons and a solitary car makes its way across the empty road. The driver, a young woman named Ellie, is travelling alone. She takes a call on her mobile phone and tells her friend that she should be with them in about half an hour - then suddenly the signal is lost. She brings the car to a halt as her headlights pick out something in the road ahead. It looks like a body, apparently belonging to someone involved in an accident, but there’s no sign of anyone else on the road or the surrounding moor. Cautiously she arms herself with a baseball bat and approaches the body, unaware that a figure has emerged from the darkness near her car. She prods the body with her bat and discovers it’s a fake, deliberately set up to look like a real person. Realising she’s been lured into a trap, she rushes back to her car, only to discover someone has let the tyres down. She gets inside and tries to drive off, but the keys have been stolen too. She locks the doors and tries to make a call on her phone, but there’s still no signal. She suddenly hears a noise on the roof and the mysterious figure then uses the keys to open the door and leaps inside the car with her. They struggle and she screams in terror…
Early in the morning, the Torchwood group drive along the same road through the Brecon Beacons. Owen is complaining about how much he hates the countryside, describing it as dirty and unhygienic. He even complains that the grass smells. Later, they stop at a roadside burger stall and while Ianto goes to buy some food, the others gather around a map while Jack explains why he’s brought them here. In the last five months there have been 17 disappearances which the police have been unable to solve. The last known whereabouts of each person was within a 20-mile radius of their current location. No bodies were ever found and there’s no pattern to the victims - they’re from different races and different age and sex groups. It’s as if they just disappeared off the radar, and the activity is increasing all the time. Gwen wonders whether the rift spreads out this far, but Jack says they don’t know enough about it to be certain. Owen is sceptical about alien involvement and suspects it’s more likely to be some weird suicide cult. Ianto hands round the burgers, but Toshiko turns down the offer as a friend of hers once caught hepatitis from one of these places. Jack decides to start with the most recent victim, Ellie Johnson, who disappeared in the middle of making a telephone call not far away.
The group stop at a quiet spot some way off the road, not far from the mountains and some forest plantations, and they start to set up camp. Owen continues to complain about sleeping in a tent and he wonders why they can’t just go to a hotel. Jack points out that with people going missing, he doesn’t really want to spend the night in a hotel run by strangers. It‘s also a good opportunity to celebrate one of human kind‘s unique qualities as no other race in the Universe goes camping. Owen struggles to put up his tent and Tosh cracks a joke about him needing help getting it up, but when he responds that if he did he wouldn’t ask her, she is visibly upset. The group is unaware that they’re being watched by someone or something in the rocks, and particular attention is being paid to their vehicle.
Sometime later and Owen is still struggling to put up his tent. Gwen decides to have a bit of fun and asks each of the group to name the last person they snogged. She starts the game herself by naming Rhys, (which comes as no surprise to Owen), but when Tosh names Owen, both he and Gwen are momentarily stunned. He denies snogging her, but she reminds him of 3.00am on Christmas Eve in front of the Millennium Centre while they were waiting for a taxi. Owen enjoys pointing out that this means she hasn’t had a snog since Christmas and even that was with the benefit of mistletoe. It’s Owen’s turn and Gwen realises with horror that he’s going to name her! When he does, she can see straight away that Tosh is hurt by the revelation. She explains that it was complicated and refuses to answer any of Tosh’s probing questions. It’s Jack’s turn but he wants to know whether they’re allowed to include non-human lifeforms. As the others laugh, Ianto takes his turn and he names Lisa. The mood of the group immediately takes a downturn and everyone looks uncomfortable. Gwen is particularly embarrassed for having raised the subject, especially when Ianto accuses her of forgetting so soon. There’s an awkward silence and when Owen suggests they collect some firewood, Gwen quickly agrees to accompany him.
Gwen and Owen enter the nearby forest and she’s angry with him for mentioning their kiss in front of the others, but he points out that she’s been avoiding him ever since. He deduces that her sex life isn’t up to much and she angrily turns on him, especially when he makes disparaging remarks about Rhys. As they both take turns pushing each other up against a tree, the sexual chemistry between them becomes intense and this scares Gwen. As they’re about to kiss, Gwen notices a figure in the distance, watching them through the trees. They both draw their guns and split up, covering as much ground as they can. They search the wood, but there’s no sign of the figure - but then Gwen spots what appears to be a body on the ground, covered by a sheet. They cautiously approach and Owen uses a branch to remove the sheet. Underneath is a dead body, completely skinned of all flesh and with the organs removed.
Ianto uses police tape to cordon off the area while the others gather round Owen who examines the body in more detail. His inspection proves straight away that this isn’t Ellie Johnson. It’s the body of a man, aged in his late 40s or early 50s, and he obviously wasn’t killed where they found him as there’s no blood or signs of a struggle. Gwen wonders why the killer would bring the body to the middle of the woods but not bury him, and the others theorise that he may have been disturbed by their arrival or perhaps he left it there as a warning, to mark out their territory. From the condition of the body, it’s impossible to say how he died and Tosh suggests it might be the Weevils, but Jack disagrees as they don’t leave their victims in this condition. Suddenly they hear the sound of their vehicle starting and they race off towards the camp…
They arrive just in time to see the vehicle driving round the campsite and smashing up the tents, before disappearing into the distance. They start to collect together anything that’s not too damaged while Owen apologises for messing up the basic security protocols by leaving the keys in the car. Jack realises the body was left in the forest as a decoy to lure them away, which means someone has been watching them ever since they arrived. Ianto still has the tracking device and tells them the vehicle is currently 3.4 miles away in a westerly direction - but to everyone’s surprise he reveals that it’s been stationary for the last four minutes. Gwen checks the map and discovers there’s a small village in that area and apart from that there’s nothing for 30 miles. Although it has all the hallmarks of a trap, they agree to walk to the village.
The five of them cross the desolate landscape and eventually arrive on the outskirts of the village, which is actually nothing more than a collection of buildings in the middle of nowhere. The tracker shows that the vehicle hasn’t moved for an hour now so they decide to move in for a closer look around. The buildings appear to be abandoned, but there’s a pub in the centre with an ancient tractor parked outside. There’s no sign of life anywhere in the village, so Jack sends Ianto and Tosh to track down the vehicle while he, Owen and Gwen explore the pub.
Inside, the pub is completely empty, but everything still works and there’s money in the till. With their guns at the ready, they spread out through the rest of the building. The upstairs kitchen area is dirty and untidy, yet the lights have been left on as if it was recently occupied. Gwen is sickened to discover another dead body, horribly mutilated but still fresh and with most of the flesh still attached. Jack and Owen hear her retching and rush to see what the problem is. As they stare at the body in shock, there’s a noise from outside so Jack collects Gwen and they rush off to investigate.
They race outside with guns drawn, but there’s no sign of anyone so Jack suggests they try one of the other houses. At a count of three, they burst through the door, but again there’s no indication of anyone else in the area. But as Gwen moves through the rooms, she steps in a fresh pool of blood and discovers another body in a similar condition to the one in the pub. She’s convinced that whatever did this can’t be human and she suddenly realises she’s out of her depth and she should be at home with Rhys having her dinner. She wonders whether Jack ever gets scared, but he tells her she needs to stay focused.
Meanwhile, Ianto and Tosh are following the signal from the tracker and have arrived at a small cluster of buildings some distance from the main village. They approach the buildings, unaware that they’re being watched from somewhere close by. The front door of the nearest house is locked and as they look for another way in, they both hear a strange animal cry nearby. They separate and each move round the building warily - and Tosh nearly shoots Ianto when he appears again at the other side. Ianto detects the signal coming from about half a mile further up the hill and suggests they carry on…only to discover that Tosh has disappeared! He calls out to her, but there’s no reply. The only place she can be is inside one of the buildings, so he starts to move back round the front when a figure suddenly darts past him. He tries to retrace his steps, but then another figure appears behind him and knocks him to the ground…
Jack and Gwen emerge from the house in the village and try another door. It’s locked too, so Gwen breaks the chain and opens the door - and is suddenly shot! She collapses to the ground in agony, clutching her side. Jack bursts into the house and confronts a frightened young man holding a shotgun. For a moment there’s a stand off with the two men facing each other with their guns drawn, until the young man drops his weapon and explains that he thought it was “them” who’d come back for him. Jack returns to Gwen just as Owen arrives and they pick her up and carry her back inside the house. As the young man follows them, still apologising and clearly in shock, they lay Gwen on the kitchen table and Owen examines her injuries. There’s a lot of blood and her side is riddled with shot pellet wounds. There are small bullets lodged near the surface, so Owen gives her an injection and then starts to remove them one by one. Gwen grabs him in pain, and then slowly her grip starts to become more tender.
Jack wonders what’s taking Ianto and Tosh so long, but Owen thinks they should give them more time in case the vehicle was locked up. The young man, Kieran, suggests they’re probably dead like everyone else. Jack demands to know what’s going on and Kieran tells them their enemy is not human. He’s only visiting the area and is expected home by the weekend. The only thing they can do is barricade the door, but Jack proposes they move to the pub instead. They argue about going to collect the other two, but Jack thinks they should find out what they’re up against first. He offers to help Gwen, but Owen prefers to take care of her himself.
Tosh wakes up on the floor of a dark, dirty room. Ianto is already awake and is holding a metal hook for protection. He tells her their guns have been taken and he thinks they’re deep underground. He wonders what their chances of being rescued are, but Tosh assures him there’s never been a cell she hasn’t been able to get out of. Ianto recognises in her face the look that the rest of the group share when things start to get out of control. He thinks they enjoy the danger too much and he wonders how long they can carry on like that without going mad or getting killed. She argues that it’s worth the risk to protect people, but he wants to know who protects them? Neither of them got a good look at who attacked them, but Tosh has been looking around and has found some pools of blood. Nearby is a solitary shoe, but when they shine their torches around the rest of the room they discover dozens more, obviously taken from previous victims. They also discover a fridge - and when she opens the door the sight inside terrifies Tosh. She tries to stop Ianto from looking, but he insists…and finds lots of body parts and chunks of flesh, some wrapped in plastic bags to keep it fresh. Tosh realises the victims are being eaten - and they too are being kept prisoner as a future food supply…
Back in the pub, night has fallen and the group has barricaded the doors and windows. Owen wonders what will happen if Tosh and Ianto return, but Jack insists they can look after themselves. Kieran must be their first priority as their enemy has already tried to take him once and they’re not likely to give up that easily. Gwen is writing a list of what they know on the blackboard and asks if they know of any species that strips bodies for flesh and organs. Jack doesn’t answer, but he’s convinced that there have been at least 17 victims already, so it’s obvious they’re not facing casual killers. Owen theorises that the rift is spreading and dumping aliens and psychos further afield. Gwen sees the silhouette of a figure walking past the window, then they hear a noise. They’re not sure whether they’re facing one person or several, but as they plan their next move, the lights in the pub go out and they’re left in darkness. As someone tries to get through the front door, Kieran starts to panic and Gwen has to calm him down. The noise outside stops…but then they notice that the handle of the door to the cellar is starting to move. Jack realises they didn’t check that part of the house and there’s someone down there. Jack tries to stop whoever’s on the other side of the door from breaking in, but then the barricade around the front door starts to collapse, so Jack opens the cellar door and fires off several shots into the darkness. They hear the sound of a body falling to the ground, but then they come under attack themselves from whatever is outside the pub. A series of shots ring out and everyone ducks for cover as glasses and bottles are smashed all around them. Kieran is physically dragged out of the building, but Jack stops the others from rescuing him as it’s pitch black outside and they’ll only get themselves killed too. Gwen insists that Jack investigate the cellar while she and Owen try to get Kieran back.
Tosh works out that the cellar door is locked with three steel bolts. It’s also reinforced so there’s no chance of them finding any weak spots. Nevertheless, Ianto tries to kick the door open - and suddenly they hear the sound of the bolts being drawn back. A shotgun appears in the doorway and Ianto grabs it, giving Tosh a chance to overpower the new arrival. However, it’s a middle-aged woman who assures them she’s not come to hurt them. She says she’s a nurse and offers to check them for injuries, but they’re not prepared to let her come any closer. She asks if anyone knows that they’re here or whether they got a chance to call for help and Tosh tells her there are three more of them in the village. The woman says she can’t help them and adds that she’s been sent to collect them. She breaks down in tears and tells them no one’s safe in the village and every ten years there’s a harvest and some of the villagers are taken! Ianto tries to get the gun off her, but she’s too quick. She points it at them and tells them they both have to go with her.
Jack descends into the cellar looking for the person he shot, but there seems to be no one there. He looks around and finds lots of jars containing human organs and a blood splattered shotgun on the floor. He hears breathing and discovers a man cowering on the floor, begging for his help. He’s suffering from gunshot wounds, so Jack tries to administer first aid by tying a tourniquet around his leg. He demands answers from the man, who initially responds by asking him to get help, but then bizarrely starts to laugh. Jack tells the man he once had a reputation as a torture expert and he knows how to apply the tiniest pressure to a wound in order to cause maximum pain. The man pleads with him to stop and promises to talk…
Owen helps the injured Gwen across the moor and down to the nearby road. Just then, a police car draws up and they tell the young officer that they’re Special Ops from Torchwood - which he thinks sounds like the name of a band. Before he can ask any further questions, Gwen spots a light in the wood not far away and the police officer tells them its coming from a nearby house that functions as the village hall. There’s an official meeting tonight, which is why he was in the area. Gwen and Owen race off towards the building, with the police officer close behind.
Ianto and Tosh are forced at gunpoint to move ahead of the woman. Tosh tries to convince her that they can help her, but she orders them into a house. They’re instantly hit by a terrible stench and behind a torn polythene sheet they see human bodies strung up inside plastic bags, and various organs spread out across a table at the back of the room. Tosh demands the nurse tell them what kind of creatures they’re dealing with - but then a man appears behind them. The nurse starts to laugh and it becomes clear that these two are the enemies they’ve been looking for… The man, Evan, and his wife Helen, kiss, and Ianto uses the distraction to attack them, but the man is too strong and he knocks Ianto to the ground while the woman covers Tosh with the shotgun. Ianto is handcuffed and Helen tells her husband there are three more of them outside. As Tosh is tied up, the woman says she thinks they’re the best they’ve ever had. Evan then goes to the back of the room and drags out their other prisoner - Kieran. The young man promises not to tell anyone what‘s going on, but they ignore him. Tosh asks who the young man is, but Evan says he’s just meat. Ianto warns Tosh to get read to run as Evan goes into the next room to pick up a baseball bat. Tosh asks him if they’re planning to hang them up on meat hooks, but Evan says meat has to be tenderised first. Ianto waits until Evan approaches him, then he headbutts the man, giving Tosh the opportunity to escape. Unfortunately Ianto is grabbed straight away by Evan and Helen and is knocked to the ground. Evan then picks up a sword and races out after Tosh. The helpless Ianto is then clubbed into unconsciousness by a furious Helen.
Evan chases Tosh through the moonlit forest and they engage in a cat-and-mouse chase in which he tries to taunt her into breaking cover while she hides in the undergrowth. Eventually she tries to make a run for it, but he catches her. She knees him in the groin and makes another attempt escape and then the hunt begins again… He laughs maniacally as Tosh slips and falls to the ground. Evan has decided there’s no more time to play games and he starts to strangle her. Suddenly a gun appears at the side of his head - it’s Owen ordering him to leave the woman alone. Beside him is Gwen and the young police officer. Evan refuses to let go, so Owen kicks him to the ground. Tosh is in shock, but manages to tell her friends that Evan has murdered all the villagers and cannibalised their bodies. Gwen orders the police officer to arrest the killer…but he doesn’t move. Evan address the officer as Huw and he reveals that he’s Evan’s nephew! He whips out his gun and points it straight at Owen, but then Gwen points her gun at the officer and there’s a stand-off. Evan orders Huw to “shoot the bastard” and Owen and Gwen have no choice but to surrender.
Owen, Gwen and Tosh are violently pushed into the room where Ianto and Kieran are being kept prisoner. The room is now full of other villagers who have joined Helen at the dining table. It’s now clear that the entire village is involved and Evan announces that this is their harvest. They’re dragged round to the back area where Ianto is lying unconscious and Evan forces him to wake up. He picks up a meat cleaver and tells the others it’s time to bleed their friend as this helps to make the meat taste better. Helen notices the room is starting to vibrate and when they hear a noise outside, the villagers line up against the door with their weapons drawn. Suddenly the entire wall caves in as the tractor smashes through the door! The villagers duck for cover but before they can react, Jack leaps out and systematically disarms each of the men by shooting their legs. Helen grabs a nearby shotgun and Jack kills her instantly. The injured police officer tries to pick up his discarded gun, so Jack shoots him again in the hand. He grabs Evan from the floor and is about to shoot him in the head when Gwen pleads with him to let her question him.
Gwen has found the whole situation too much to deal with. She doesn’t understand how these people can do what they’ve done, so she needs to find some answers. Tosh argues that the villagers are injured and need to go to the hospital, but Gwen asks Owen to control their bleeding and then call the police. Gwen just wants one hour with Evan to find out what she needs to know. Jack agrees, but the interview does not go well. Evan confirms that the whole village was involved and that it was a tradition for them that once every decade they would target people travelling through the area who were most likely to disappear - and then butcher them. Gwen wants to know why they did it, and what kind of people could wake up in the morning and decide this is what they wanted to do…? She’s seen things most people wouldn’t believe, but this is the only thing she can’t understand. Eventually he agrees to whisper something in her ear…but all he will say is that he did it because it made him happy. Gwen is sickened beyond belief.
Outside the village, the police and the paramedics are making arrangements for the villagers to be treated and then placed under arrest. Gwen prepares to leave, still in pain from her injuries and still in shock from her experiences. Back in Cardiff, she tries to get her life back to normal. She spends a quiet evening at home with Rhys watching the television, but she’s already started to realise that things can never be the same again… She had a good job before this. She thought in a year or two, perhaps she could try for a baby. She knew Rhys would be a good dad and she could try for Desk Sergeant. Things were all slotting into place - and then she met Torchwood. The way she sees the world has changed and she doesn’t feel she can share her feelings with anyone. The only solace she can find now is in the arms of Owen, and the two of them end up sleeping together.