Netflix’s science fiction series ‘Bodies’ ends with startling revelations one after the other. DS Shahara Hasan and Gabriel Defoe team up to stop the 2023 London blasts from happening so that they can prevent Elias Mannix from becoming the commander of New Britain in the future. Hasan’s efforts to save her son Jawad’s life lead her to a pivotal moment in Elias’ life in the new time loop. Elias makes a significant decision that changes not only his life but also the lives of all four detectives who investigate the murder of Defoe at some point between 1890 and 2053. If you are trying to make sense of the highly nuanced climax of the British show, you are at the right place! SPOILERS AHEAD.
‘Bodies’ begins with Hasan discovering a dead body in Longharvest Lane. Since she is led to the naked body by a boy named Syed Tahir, she investigates him as a suspect. Syed eventually meets her and kills himself after telling the officer that he didn’t kill the man. The same body gets discovered by DI Edmond Hillinghead in 1890 and DS Karl Whiteman in 1941. Hillinghead comes across a photograph taken by a photographer named Henry Ashe at the crime scene, which features a man hiding nearby at the time of the murder. Although one of his colleagues advises him not to go after the man in the photo, Hillinghead finds him with the help of Henry, only to discover that the person is Sir Julian Harker.
Meanwhile, in 2053, Detective Iris Maplewood discovers the body at the same location, only for her to find out that the man is alive. In 2053, New Britain is ruled by The Executive under the leadership of Commander Mannix or Elias Mannix, the friend of Syed. Since Elias is the last person who talks to Syed apart from her, the detective investigates the boy and learns that he has been following her for a while. Hasan and her boss DCI Barber look into Elias’ life to learn how he is connected to the dead body they found. Elias shows up at Hasan’s house and gets arrested. He tells her about a bomb, that would kill hundreds of thousands of people, getting detonated.
Meanwhile, Hasan learns about Hillinghead and Whiteman’s investigation into the murder of the dead body she found on Longharvest Lane. She is astounded when her colleague informs her that the fingerprints of Sir Julian, one of the suspects in the 1890 investigation, match perfectly with Elias’. She meets Elias’ mother Sarah to discover the connection between Elias and Julian, only to learn that he is the son of a member of the Harker family, who is none other than her boss Barber. He takes his son to a boat and plays a record recorded by Julian, who is really Elias, asking him to detonate the bomb he planted between 1890 and 1941 for a brighter future.
Even though Elias initially decides against detonating the bomb, he uses a second detonator when he learns that his mother Sarah doesn’t even want to see him. The blasts result in the death of Hasan’s son Jawad. A new order is formed in Britain as Elias becomes the commander of the country. In 2053, Maplewood uses blood samples from the body she discovered to find out that the person is a physics professor named Gabriel Defoe. She is shocked to see Defoe alive in his workplace when the body she discovered is getting nursed at one of The Executive’s buildings.
Defoe then leads Maplewood to Hasan, who formed Chapel Perilous to stop Elias from time-traveling to the past to set up the bomb blasts. She wants to save Jawad by doing so. Maplewood, however, turns against them believing that they are just terrorists. She informs Elias about the time machine Defoe created. Elias shows up at the place and travels to 1890 after revealing that he was behind the 2023 blasts to Maplewood. Defoe follows Elias but Maplewood shoots at him before he completely travels through time, only for him to surface in different years as dead. Hasan exposes Elias to Maplewood, who understands that she can save hundreds of thousands of lives if she stops Elias.
But before that, Maplewood and Hasan go back in time a bit to save Defoe from dying. She seeks her brother’s help in finding and nursing him back to life so that he can lead them to travel through time to stop Elias from destroying London and their lives.
Bodies Ending: Does the Bomb Detonate? Does Hasan Stop Elias?
Maplewood travels to 1890 with the hope of meeting Hillinghead to reveal that the man he is up against is actually Elias, who is from the future, rather than Julian. She also adds that he is going to marry the police officer’s daughter Polly to have a son so that Elias will be born in one of the future generations. The thought of the vicious Elias/Julian marrying his daughter infuriates Hillinghead, who lashes out at the former when he visits the police officer. Hillinghead tells Elias that he would die regretting his decisions and without anybody to love him.
Elias travels back in time and puts an elaborate plan in motion to earn the love he never received as a child. Since his mother abandoned him to foster care when he was a child, without a father ever in the picture, Elias always has yearned for love. When his life becomes a part of a time loop, his actions start to be directed by this yearning. That’s why he creates a secret organization named Know You Are Loved. By using his knowledge from the future, he makes friends and marries a beautiful woman to experience love and be valued.
But Hillinghead’s words derail Elias from his plans. He started to question his own decisions and actions. His life changes when his wife Polly learns that he killed her father. Elias loses the love he has been receiving from Polly, who mechanically does what he asks her to do. Even when he is on his deathbed, Polly doesn’t express love or care. He reconsiders setting up the bomb for the blasts in 2023, only for Polly to make him record a monologue to convince his younger self to detonate the same since she wants the world to suffer as she did. Her actions teach Elias that he hasn’t earned love by killing thousands of innocent lives.
Thus, Elias creates a secret record in which he explains to his younger self that he shouldn’t detonate the bomb. He gives the same to Whiteman, who shows up in his house to kill him. Elias gives the recording to Whiteman and asks him to keep it for Hasan to find. Since he knows that Hasan is a cop, he hides the record in a police pub visited regularly by Whitechapel officers. Meanwhile, Hasan travels to 2023 to finish Maplewood’s efforts to stop Elias. She, along with Defoe, discovers the record and plays it to the younger Elias, who listens to the same and gets convinced that he shouldn’t detonate the bomb. He destroys the key to the second detonator and reunites with his mother, while Hasans from 2023 and 2053 share a hug celebrating the prevention of the blasts.
What Happens to Elias? Why Does He Disappear?
Right after the 2023 London blasts are prevented, Elias vanishes. Elias’ birth depends upon the time loop in which he goes to 1890 to be Julian Harker and marry Polly. When the bomb blasts are stopped, Elias’ doesn’t have an opportunity to become the commander of New Britain and the leader of The Executive, which is an essential step for him to travel back to the past. He discovers the time machine only because the bombings happen, which leads to the formation of a new authoritarian regime under his leadership. Elias’ decision to not detonate the bomb stops him from discovering the time machine in 2053.
Since Elias cannot travel back in time without discovering the time machine, the time loop that extends to 1890, for him to become Julian in the past, gets broken. Elias is born only because he travels back to 1890 to become the war veteran who marries Polly. Without that marriage, Elias’ father Barber wouldn’t have been born, which is essential for his birth. Therefore, Elias’ entire existence gets erased with his decision to not detonate the bomb. Since the blasts don’t happen, the older Hasan also vanishes since the tragic event led her to Defoe and the time machine to travel back to 2023.
Even though Elias ceases to exist, before he dies, he learns that he is loved by his mother irrespective of her absence in his childhood. Elias, although inadvertently, trades his entire lifetime for being loved by his mother, which may not have happened if he had detonated the bomb hoping he would be loved.
Who is the Taxi Driver? How Does She Know Hasan?
After the bomb blasts are avoided, Hasan’s life starts from the day she discovers the body on Longharvest Lane in the time loop. She gets into a taxi to go to her father and celebrate his birthday, only for the driver to mention her name. The driver is none other than Maplewood, who is not supposed to exist as an adult in 2023. When the 2023 bombings happen in the time loop Elias creates, Maplewood is only a child living in London with her brother. Thus, it shouldn’t be possible for her 2053 self to show up in front of Hasan in 2023.
Since the bombings do not happen in the new timeline, Elias doesn’t get to be the commander of New Britain, which means that Maplewood gets never hired by him to investigate Hasan’s Chapel Perilous and discover Defoe’s time machine. One possibility that explains Maplewood’s presence in 2023 is the creation of a new time loop. Maplewood can be traveling backward to 2023 from 2053 after Defoe discovers the Throat in the later year. Their pathways must have accidentally crossed, which gives Maplewood access to a time machine. But her knowing Hasan questions the validity of this possibility.
Considering that the bomb blasts do not occur, Hasan and Maplewood’s lives don’t get connected in 2053 for them to know each other. Still, Maplewood knowing the detective indicates the possibility of a time loop existing. The loop Hasan believed to have broken may not have really broken. If that’s the case, Elias is not the only person who controls the loop, which also explains a building in 2023 with “KYAL” lights on the same. Since Elias ceases to exist, KYAL shouldn’t be existing as well. Its presence in the new timeline indicates that either the same is part of a new loop or the old loop doesn’t get broken or end, likely due to the existence of another significant agent behind its creation.
As far as creator Paul Tomalin is concerned, Maplewood and KYAL’s presence in 2023 is shrouded in mystery. “The characters were brought to an end. But that being said, if it’s a ridiculous hit and people are storming Netflix [for more], we left that ellipsis just in case, with a very exciting idea that does justice to the setup and develops it further,” Tomalin told Cosmopolitan about the same cliffhanger.