Adam was the fifth episode in the second series of Torchwood. It explored Jack Harkness’ origins through flashbacks.
The Torchwood team is investigating a strange box when Gwen Cooper arrives, slightly late because she was spending time with Rhys. Looking around, she sees Adam sat down, and asks in confusion who he was, to which Adam replies “That’s what I said to you on your first day…remember?” Putting a hand on her shoulder, Gwen suddenly has false memories of Adam being here. Smiling, she hugs him.
Adam is then seen editing the Torchwood database to add his file into it. Tosh asks him what he was doing, which he replies as updating details on rift activity. Adam and Tosh then kiss, much to the displease of Owen, who is wearing glasses. Meanwhile, Jack is down in the cells where he sees a young boy, which causes him to stop and stare. Gwen calls him, but when Jack turns around again, the boy is gone.
Gwen is then seen in her apartment. Rhys comes up behind her and attempts to give her a hug, but Gwen, thinking he is a stalker, points a gun at him and gets Jack to come over to her apartment. We learn that all of Gwen’s memories of Rhys have been wiped, to which she even thinks he put up photos of them together while she was gone. However, Jack and the rest of the Torchwood team simply dismiss it as temporary amnesia due to stress.
Owen is seen trying to flirt with Tosh unsuccessfully. Jack is off trying to catch another Weevil down in the sewers, but then encounters a strange man, who tells him to get out, to which he does quickly. Exiting the sewers, Adam seemingly appears out of nowhere, but when Jack questions him how he got here, Adam simply implants false memories into Jack that he came with him. Adam asks him what he saw in the sewers, to which he replies simply, “My past.”
At Torchwood Hub, Tosh has found out the box is made of wood. Owen asks on the origins of the box, to which Ianto replies that Adam found it in an excavation, and he will go check in his diary. Owen again tries to flirt with Tosh but fails and ends up managing to anger her. Owen is devastated.
Gwen is seen at a general store with Rhys. When they get to checkout, the cashier leaves to answer a call ,despite clearly being able to see Rhys there. Rhys, angry, begins to go off on a rant, to which Gwen laughs. She has regained some of her memories back.
Ianto is flipping through his diary, and is shocked that he has made no mention of Adam at all. Adam then appears behind him, and Ianto questions who he really is. Adam’s hand starts to flicker, and we learn that Adam exists simply from people being able to remember him. Discovering Ianto knows he is not who he says he is, he decides to implant memories of Ianto killing and strangling three women, claiming that he forgot about the thrill he got from doing this. Ianto sinks to the floor, crying. Some time later, Jack comes in and Ianto tells him to put him in his vault, because he is a monster. However, Jack refuses to believe it, even after he uses the best lie detector on the planet and confirms he is telling the truth. He pulls up CCTV footage of the Hub, and finds Adam implanting the false memories.
Jack, after checking, finds that not only is there lacking a blood sample of Adam, his file was updated only 24 hours ago. When he comes back into base along with Tosh, Owen and Gwen, he holds him at gunpoint. Gwen and Owen are confused by this as they still believe Adam as part of the team, and Tosh, upset, pulls out her gun at Jack. Ianto grabs her and Jack quickly sends Adam to the cells.
Jack and the others then go to the meeting room to discuss Adam. After remembering their true memories, Gwen of Rhys in high school, Owen of his tenth birthday, Tosh on her fondness of maths and Ianto recalling his girlfriend, Lisa, Jack hands them all an amnesia pill to wipe out their memories of Adam, thereby erasing his existence.
The next day, all of the Torchwood team are confused why they cannot recall anything from the past 48 hours. Owen has taken off his glasses again, and Tosh has also reverted to her old personality. Jack is seen messing with the box when a component falls out. Ianto comes in, asking if he’s seen his diary, which Jack gives back to him, saying “Measuring tapes don’t lie.” Picking up a plastic bag, he asks Ianto: “Who’s Adam?” Ianto replies that he doesn’t know and leaves. Jack, fiddling with the box and the component, manages to open it, finding it to be filled with sand, which he stares at ominously.