‘Bodies’ ending explained: Do the detectives survive?
(Credit: Netflix)

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‘Bodies’ ending explained: Do the detectives survive?

At the very beginning of the crime series Bodies, a corpse found on Longharvest Lane in present-day London, sets the stage for a mind-bending journey through time and conspiracies. As the series unfolds, detectives from different eras are drawn into a web of intrigue and secrets that could threaten the very fabric of the city they are meant to save.

Produced exclusively for Netflix, Bodies is an eight-episode limited series crafted by Paul Tomalin. It is based on Si Spencer’s DC Vertigo comic and graphic novel of the same name. 

This gripping series made its much-anticipated debut on the Netflix streaming platform on October 19th and has left viewers with many questions, as time loop stories tend to do.

So, here is your quick recap of what happens in Bodies, along with an ending explainer.

Whose body is found in Longharvest Lane in Bodies

The series begins as Detective Shahara Hasan (Amaka Okafor) stumbles upon a lifeless body on Longharvest Lane in contemporary London. The victim is an unidentified, unclothed man with a peculiar injury: a gaping hole through his eye. This macabre discovery is not limited to Hasan’s timeline. 

Detective Alfred Hillinghead (Kyle Soller) encounters the same corpse in the exact location in the year 1890. Detective Charles Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) discovers the same body in 1941, and Detective Iris Maplewood (Shira Haas) does so in 2053. As they delve deeper into their respective investigations, they unwittingly become embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens to have catastrophic consequences for London.

The unidentified naked man with a hole through his eye is revealed to be Gabriel Defoe, portrayed by Tom Mothersdale. In 2053, Defoe, along with Detective Hasan, leads Chapel Perilous, an organisation dedicated to stopping Elias Mannix/Julian Harker (Stephen Graham) and preventing the 2023 bomb blast that claimed Hasan’s son. Defoe possesses a time-travel device, The Throat, that could alter the course of history. However, Detective Maplewood is sent to investigate Defoe on Mannix’s behalf. As the story progresses, Defoe realises that his death is imminent and seeks to enlist Maplewood’s help.

In a dramatic turn of events, Mannix himself enters The Throat, intending to go back in time and initiate the events leading to the 2023 bomb blast. Maplewood, still believing she is on the right side, allows him to proceed. However, as Defoe jumps into The Throat after Mannix, Maplewood shoots him, and his body ends up split across four different timelines.

Defoe’s eventual careful planning allows him to return to 2053, where Maplewood and Hasan, along with Maplewood’s half-brother Alby, save his life.

What happens at the end of Bodies?

Mannix’s decision not to detonate the bomb in 2023 leads to a shift in the detectives’ fates. In the series’ final moments, we witness the cycle beginning anew. At the end of Bodies, things return to normal for the detectives. Hillinghead, Whiteman, and Hasan find themselves in scenarios mirroring the beginning of their respective timelines. Hillinghead still meets his journalist lover on a busy road, Whiteman encounters the child he tried to save, and Hasan’s son is safe and sound in 2023. Hasan boards a taxi driven by a version of Maplewood who recognises her in 2053.

As the cab drives off, we see the KYAL (know they are loved) logo light up, indicating that Mannix’s cult still exists in this timeline.