Bodies episode 5 recap: Past, present, and future collide

Bodies. Tom Mothersdale as Professor Gabriel Defoe in Bodies. Cr. Matt Towers/Netflix © 2023.
Bodies. Tom Mothersdale as Professor Gabriel Defoe in Bodies. Cr. Matt Towers/Netflix © 2023. /

Spoilers ahead for Bodies episode 5

Bodies episode 5 picks up in the somber aftermath of Esther’s death in 1941. Detective Charlie Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) takes refuge in a synagogue where he meets a Rabbi who knew his parents. Elsewhere, in 2023, Detective Shahara Hasan (Amaka Okafor) gets rescued from the Harker house by her boss, DCI Barber (Michael Jibson).

But everything Hasan saw down there, the creepy specimen jars holding multiple copies of Gabriel Defoe’s (Tom Mothersdale) body, are all gone, as is Andrew Morley. Barber assures Hasan they’re looking for him, but he’s putting a stop to this off the books investigation. It’s a rabbit hole and Hasan will get lost in it.

Yeah, well, that’s easier said than done. Hasan is in too deep now and matters are further complicated when Maggie (Alexandra Roach) contacts her to reveal the fingerprints from 1890 are a 100% match for Elias Mannix.

In 2053, Defoe and Lorna (Philippa Dunne) take a captive Detective Iris Maplewood (Shira Haas) to the Chapel Perilous headquarters where she comes face to face with… Shahara Hasan! It looks like 30 years from now, Hasan becomes the leader of this supposed “terrorist” organization.

Hasan in 2023, confronts teen Elias with the new discovery regarding the fingerprints and his connection to Sir Julian Harker from 1890. Julian Harker died in 1941 at 99 years old, killed in his own bedroom by a cop. Interesting. We thinking Whiteman did it?

Speaking of Whiteman, in 1941, he’s forced to tell his boss, Calloway (Derek Riddell), everything that’s been happening. Calloway stitches up Whiteman’s wound while he recounts how he got involved with these people. He had gambling debts and needed help paying them off. Lee Cozens was the first man he’d ever killed and now he wants justice for Esther. Whiteman suggests there might be another rat in their department, someone who has been feeding information to the people responsible for Esther’s death.

Pivoting her investigation to Elias’ parents, Hasan learns the name of his mother, Sarah Mannix. Elias claims he has no idea where she is, but she is a drug addict and might be in a bad state. He doesn’t want her to know anything about him. We learn that the social workers took Elias from Sarah when he was just four years old. Hasan offers to show her a photo of her son and tell her what she knows about him.

Skipping forward to 2053, a hardened and older Hasan makes it clear to Maplewood that she doesn’t trust her since she’s working with the older Elias Mannix (Stephen Graham). Maplewood assumes they’re going to torture or kill her, but Hasan says they don’t torture, they educate. Hasan tells Maplewood she was one of four detectives to find Defoe’s body, Hillinghead in 1890, Whiteman in 1941, herself in 2023, and now Maplewood in 2053.

Then Hasan reveals that the government are the ones who set off the bomb and she watched 15-year-old Elias Mannix do it in 2023. Time travel is real. Elias Mannix traveled back in time to 1890, became Julian Harker, and created a cult that set off a chain of events leading to the catastrophic bombing in 2023 that would allow Mannix to build his version of utopia, the one they’re living in, in 2053.

She even shows Maplewood a photo of Julian Harker, which is obviously identical to the Mannix that Maplewood is working for now. Hasan also mentions the old records that mentioned Maplewood by name. Still, Maplewood doesn’t believe any of this, so Hasan orders they bring her to “The Throat.”

Returning to 1890, Hillinghead demands they bring in Julian Harker for questioning after getting a match on the fingerprints from his glasses and the gaslight from the alcove. Harker admits he was at the scene of the crime then he sends off Hillinghead’s superior for tea so he can be alone with Hillinghead.

In 1941, Calloway and Whiteman reveal Lee Cozens was framed and reopen the case into the murder of the body in the car. Whiteman then starts eavesdropping on his colleague’s calls via the switchboard operating room and that’s where he learns that his own secretary, Kathleen (Emily Barber), is also working for the same people and she tells the woman on the other end that Whiteman got the case reopened, along with using that telltale phrase, “know you are loved.”

Confronted, Kathleen says the woman, who we know is Polly Hillinghead, threatened to kill her son if she didn’t cooperate. She also reveals that the number leads to a private switchboard at the Harker & Co. bank in the city. Whiteman and Calloway travel there to confront Polly and Whiteman goes rogue, knocking out his superior and firing his gun before kidnapping Polly and throwing her in the back of his car, even throwing in a cheeky, “know you are loved.”

Things take yet another twist in 2023. Sarah tells Hasan about Elias’ father, a man named Daniel descended from a rich banker’s lineage and living off a trust fund. Hasan is confused, there is no Daniel Harker in the family tree. Sarah says no, he took his mother’s last name… Barber. Yep! DCI Barber is actually Elias Mannix’s biological father, Daniel Barber, and seconds later he calls Hasan, telling her to give his love to Sarah. He already knows where Hasan is and he’s signed Elias out of the prison for his “transfer.”

“The Throat” is the actual time travel particle that Mannix uses to travel back to 1890. They take Maplewood to the particle and allow her to experience temporal displacement so she’ll, hopefully, finally believe them. Hasan and Defoe reveal they’ve tried breaking the loop multiple times already and even tried destroying the particle itself. But nothing has worked.

Maplewood asks them what would happen to the people who exist in 2053. If they stop the bomb and save those people, they’d kill everyone who is alive in her time. Hasan is clearly driven by the desire to get her son back. Unfortunately for Hasan and Defoe, they might have underestimated Maplewood. She tells them they got her wrong…she’s not their friend. Then the alarms go off and the police arrive at Chapel Perilous, killing everyone in sight. Commander Elias Mannix arrives moments later to congratulate Maplewood on a job well done and she brings him to The Throat.

In 1890, Julian Harker tells Hillinghead he was on Longharvest Lane waiting for a miracle, and he got it. Hillinghead promises to make it his life’s mission to expose Harker and the truth about him and his followers. But Harker has an ace up his sleeve, the staged photographs from the séance showing Hillinghead with Defoe’s body, which would essentially frame him as a spurned lover turned murderer.

Harker wants Hillinghead to frame Henry Ashe (George Parker) for the murder, or he’ll destroy him using those photos. If Hillinghead succeeds, he’ll ensure his and his family’s future. Before leaving, Harker also says he doesn’t know who truly killed Defoe, he never did. Interesting.

Whiteman takes his captive to his synagogue. Older Polly doesn’t give him much, but she does try to bargain for her life by offering Whiteman money. It doesn’t work. He’s determined to see her pay for Esther’s death. However, before he can kill her, Calloway intervenes. Having heard Polly’s confession, he puts them both under arrest. Whiteman for the cop in the subway tunnels and Lee Cozens, Polly for Esther’s murder.

But the twists aren’t over! Before Calloway can take the arrestees out, several new characters show up. Calloway’s chief, a man who shoots his subordinate dead when he learns Calloway heard Polly confess. He and his goons also knock Whiteman unconscious before turning to greet Polly who is… the chief’s mom!

Bodies episode 5 comes to a close with Hasan following Barber to his flat where she finds a key and a record player waiting for her. This record features audio of a very old Elias Mannix promising Hasan that they will meet again.

Next. Meet the four detectives at the forefront of Netflix's Bodies. dark