Gabriel Defoe’s life gets stuck in a time loop created by Elias Mannix in Netflix’s science fiction series ‘Bodies.’ Since he gets shot right before traveling through time to find and stop Elias, he ends up in four different years, only to die in each of the timelines. Towards the end of the show, DC Iris Maplewood team up with DS Shahara Hasan to rescue Defoe from death. Considering that the mystery drama concludes with several changes to Elias’ time loop, which seemingly creates a new timeline, Defoe’s fate is ambiguous. Well, let us break down the intricacies behind his life-graph! SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Naked Time Traveler
Gabriel Defoe’s existence puzzles all the four detectives who investigate his murder in distinct timelines. Iris Maplewood then discovers the identity of the naked man she found on Longharvest Lane using his blood samples, which leads her to the physics professor. Until then, everyone, including Elias, is in the dark about Defoe’s apparent deaths in 1890, 1941, 2023, and 2053. It is when he decides to follow Elias and stop him from setting up the bomb to destroy London that his death finally gets explained. Maplewood tries to stop Defoe from following her commander by shooting at him milliseconds before his body gets into the Throat to travel through time.
Due to the gunshot, Defoe’s existence gets split for him to surface in four different years. However, he doesn’t arrive in these years dead. He is only on the brink of death, which is the reason why Maplewood manages to save him after discovering him for the first time. The detective uses this realization to rescue him from death for good. She seeks her brother’s help to save Defoe when he surfaces in 2053 again as part of the loop. When he does, Maplewood and Hasan provide him with the necessary medical care to snatch him from death. Thus, Defoe stays alive for the first time in the time loop.
But for Defoe to remain alive, medical help is not what he essentially needs. His life is part of the time loop Elias creates and for him to continue living, the same must get broken. He dies in the first place only because he attempts to follow Elias when the latter travels in time backward to 1890. Therefore, for him to live, Elias shouldn’t begin that journey. That’s how Defoe’s life aligns with the life of Hasan’s son Jawad. Elias travels back to the past only because the 2023 London bombings led him to his reign in the future. If the bombings never happened, Elias would not have been able to become Commander Mannix and end up in 1890.
Since Jawad gets killed due to the bombings, Hasan sets out to prevent the same from happening to save her son’s life. She discovers a secret record created by Elias, in which he explains to his younger self not to detonate the bomb. The detective plays it to Elias in 2023 and convinces him not to move forward with the bombings. When Elias destroys the second detonator, he ceases to exist because the loop gets broken, which stops him from becoming a commander, time traveler, and eventually his own ancestor.
When Elias stops existing, it becomes impossible for Defoe to follow him in 2053 to the past, the event that makes Maplewood his killer in the first place. Therefore, in the new timeline, Defoe is alive. Since he was born in 2022, he is around one year old in 2023, the year Hasan discovers his dead body in the broken time loop.
The Mysterious Taxi Driver
‘Bodies’ ends with Hasan encountering an adult Maplewood, now a taxi driver, in 2023. Since she is only a child in the same year in the time loop, her presence indicates that the loop may still exist. If that’s the case, the same may influence Defoe’s life as well. Defoe may have discovered the Throat in 2053 and he must have gotten connected with Maplewood for her to use his device to travel back to 2023 and meet Hasan. If that’s the case, his discovery may have paved the way for severe consequences once again, as made evident by the “KYAL [Know You Are Loved]” lights.