Spoilers ahead for Bodies episode 2
Bodies episode 2 picks up shortly after DS Shahara Hasan’s (Amaka Okafor) revelation that Syed had met with someone else, 15-year-old Elias Mannix (Gabriel Howell). Elias and Syed met in a care home. CCTV footage shows the pair meeting up before the body was found. Is it possible Elias committed the murder and Syed took the fall?
Hasan, DCI Barber (Michael Jibson), and a team of cops arrive at Elias’ home. A disturbing discovery awaits in his bedroom. Surveillance photos of Hasan with her son and father, hidden beneath a poster. Despite this, Elias’ adoptive parents think their son is a good kid who had nothing to do with the murder.
Life in 2053 is very high-tech. DC Iris Maplewood (Shira Haas) loves in a smart home that tells her when she has visitors and plays music when she asks. Maplewood is also equipped with some kind of intense piece of tech attached to her spine.
Her neighbor, Lorna (Philippa Dunne), comes by to visit, pointing out a bloodstain on Maplewood’s shirt from the body. Maplewood recalls the guy waking up. She can’t tell Lorna about it though, it’s classified.
Together they watch a memorial special on television. In 2023, there will be a devastating event that kills many, including Maplewood’s father. Her mother later died due to what happened that day, too, either from illness or suicide. This day in 2053 marks 30 years since the event. Whatever happens, it hasn’t occurred yet in the 2023 timeline.
In 1890, DI Alfred Hillinghead (Kyle Soller) heeds Ladbroke’s (Andrew Whipp) advice about the photograph and tells his chief they have no leads, so the case is closed. Ladbroke commends the detective for letting it go. We get to see Hillinghead’s home life. It turns out he’s married and has at least one daughter. And even though he burns the photo, it’s clear the body is still weighing on his mind.
Skipping ahead to 1941, DS Charlie Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) sets about cleaning up his mess by killing and framing a convicted rapist named Lee Cozens (Zachary Hart) who recently got out of prison. He contacts the “know you are loved” people to assure them that the body is now taken care of and he’ll soon burn the files.
Barber forwards a disturbing video of Elias recounting a recurring dream where he has to shoot a young boy and let the kid know he was loved. That phrase again!
Additionally, Hasan notices a photo of a camper van belonging to Elias’ adoptive parents, Andrew and Elaine Morley, on their social media. They track the plates and find footage of it leaving the area via the Blackwall Tunnel and stopping to get gas, just six hours after Hasan found the body. Elias is in the vehicle.
It looks like the Morleys took Elias out of town and are now covering for their son. Hasan orders the couple to be brought into the precinct and placed in separate interrogation rooms, but both lawyer up ASAP.
Maplewood has hit a wall in her investigation into the attempted murder of the mysterious body that is still alive in her timeline. When Maplewood tries to get answers, her sergeant tells her it’s a matter for The Executive, who is like the supreme leader or something of this new London. This case is way above Maplewood’s pay grade and she’s advised to forget about it.
As for that big catastrophe mentioned on the news, it happens on July 14, 2023. Hasan found the body on July 6, 2023, so there’s less than a week left before whatever is supposed to happen presumably happens.
Maplewood lied to Lorna. She does have family left. Her estranged half-brother, Alby (Edwin Thomas), who has a wife, Marina, and new baby. Alby is in a wheelchair and moonlights as some sort of illegal hacker. Maplewood apparently has no intention of heeding her sergeant’s advice, since she asks her brother to run the body’s DNA, using the bloodstained piece of fabric from her shirt. Alby notes some red flags in the system; a rarity these days, meaning this guy must be involved in something big.
Hillinghead gets an unexpected and unwelcome visit from journalist Henry Ashe (George Parker), who claims he’s come to retrieve the “evidence,” i.e. the photograph of the murder suspect—the man in the window. Ashe thinks since Hillinghead isn’t using it, he might as well have a crack at it. Well, he’s is too late. Only ashes remain, though I suspect these two will forge an unlikely alliance sooner than later, and wouldn’t be surprised if it turns romantic.
Even though the Morleys both offer the business card for their attorney, it doesn’t stop Hasan and the other detectives from trying to get at least one of them to crack. Elias’ mother, Elaine, caves first, providing a campsite where Elias is supposedly staying. Much to Hasan’s annoyance, Barber demands she stay behind and continue pressing Elaine for more information.
In 2053, the conversation between Alby and Maplewood gives us more context on this new world. The siblings were born with an illness that keeps them wheelchair bound, but Maplewood uses the spinal device to allow her to walk, while Alby refuses, believing it to be synonymous with surrendering his freedom to their surveillance state.
Alby provides his sister with the information she wanted before kicking her out. The “body” is Gabriel Defoe, born in 2022. I wonder if that’s his real birth year or if it changes depending on each era it’s discovered?
When Maplewood steps into her car, it redirects her to a new destination. She’s been summoned. See this is why I don’t like the idea of self-driving cars, imagine them taking you wherever they want!
Whiteman appears to be in the clear, at first. While attending the wake for Inspector Farrell, Whiteman’s boss notes how tidy the whole thing ended up being. Farrell suspected Whiteman of being some kind of spy, dies after saying he was going to follow Whiteman, and then a rapist’s fingerprints are conveniently discovered on the gear shift in the car where the body was found, leading to Cozens’ supposed suicide.
But a new, more pressing problem emerges. A young girl claiming to be a witness arrives at the station and Whiteman recognizes her from that fateful night when she saw him in the street for a brief moment. The agency he works for contacts him, asking if the girl recognizes him, to which he verifies that she can.
Henry Ashe isn’t the type to go away quietly. He spreads a new salacious story through the paper The Star that the London police are covering up the Longharvest Lane murder. Hillinghead reaches out to Ashe and agrees to investigate the murder with him. If Ashe can publish their progress in the papers, it may force the police to reopen the case. Plus, it turns out Hillinghead didn’t burn the photo of the suspect, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. More than that, he got prints off a gaslight in the alcove and has deduced the suspect walks with a cane, which might suggest a limp, all providing more clues to their suspect’s identity.
Maplewood’s car takes her straight to KYAL headquarters where Defoe is in surgery. She comes face to face with The Executive, Commander Mannix (Stephen Graham), himself. Uhh, as in Elias Mannix?! Mannix is impressed with Maplewood’s resourcefulness. He knows she went to her brother about the DNA despite being told not to and coaxes her into admitting she started working at KYAL to get the spine device that allows her to walk.
Even though Maplewood “saved” Defoe, Mannix is doubtful of his survival. He believes Defoe, a professor of quantum gravity theory, was part of a new terror network called Chapel Perilous and he wants Maplewood to find them. Mannix says the group wants him dead and he needs someone he can trust to investigate. A bloodhound. Maplewood accepts and Mannix entrusts her with a gun to act accordingly should she face danger. On her way out, Mannix says goodbye and, “Know you are loved.” Ooh, it’s all connecting!
Pivoting to 2023, things take a disturbing turn in the interrogation room. Elaine Morley starts rambling about how Hasan is going to be so important to Elias in the future and thanking her for the sacrifice of her son, Jawad. Um, what? Hasan freaks out at the mention of her son’s name, especially when you recall Elias’ recurring dream. Then Elaine asks “has it happened yet?” and realizes she’s said too much, so she BITES OFF HER OWN TONGUE.
Hasan realizes the Morleys have led them into a trap and contacts Barber. He and a fellow officer named Rick found the camper van, but no Elias. Just an old record player repeating something about the 2008 financial crisis on repeat. Hasan warns them to get out. But Rick is still inside and doesn’t heed the warning in time. The entire thing blows up.
Bodies episode 2 ends with Maplewood beginning her investigation into Defoe. She visits Greenwich Park University, where he teaches and is shocked when Professor Gabriel Defoe (Thomas Mothersdale) himself walks in like he wasn’t just almost dead (minus a few stitches in his head from a supposed car accident). Maplewood pulls the gun on him and says she’s bringing him in for questioning about an attempted murder. “Yours.”