It is two months later and the penultimate episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day opens with the planet in the midst of a global economic crisis as the Great Depression enters its 61st day. In a move described by detractors as “institutional murder”, governments are instructing that all Category 1 patients are to be taken to overflow camps for immediate disposal.
The Torchwood team are seemingly defeated and scattered across the globe. Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) is living in Swansea, Wales with her husband Rhys Williams (Kai Owen), daughter Anwen and her parents. She has resorted to raiding pharmacies to secure morphine for her Category 1 father and is selling stolen medication to supplement the family income. Knowing the risks incurred in housing a Category 1 patient, Geraint Cooper (William Thomas) is kept in the basement for his own safety and that of his family, while a spy watches from across the road.
Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins) are holed up in Scotland. Jack has mostly recovered from the gunshot wound that he sustained in “End of the Road” telling Esther “yeah, the gunshot didn't kill me. But I think you will”. The two months have taken their toll on the pair but Esther has emerged more confident and daring, no longer frightened of her own shadow. It’s about time they wrote a backbone into her character. Esther has begun taking daily collections of Jack’s blood in the belief that if the Families want it, it must be truly valuable.
Back at C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Rex Matheson (Mekhi Pfifer) is leading the team and has imposed long hours and strict working conditions on all staff. He is reporting directly to Allen Shapiro (John de Lancie) and still has no idea that Charlotte Wills (Marina Benedict) is in the Family business.
Rex believes that he has a lead. Now that they know that every trace of the family has been erased, Rex believes that they must look to popular fiction and folklore. He refers to a 1935 work of pulp fiction, The Devil Within, written by a man called Victor Podesta. There are five points of reference in the book that are identical to Harkness story, proving that the author was in that cellar, that he saw Jack Harkness. Like the Ablemarch, Costerdane and Frines families, the Podesta family line also disappeared but Victor’s brother John was murdered, and the murder weapon, a bloody knife, is still in possession. So far, so good until Rex agrees to give the knife to Charlotte for DNA testing.