Bodies episode 8 finale recap: How does the series end?

Bodies. Amaka Okafor as DS Hasan in Bodies. Cr. Matt Towers/Netflix © 2023.
Bodies. Amaka Okafor as DS Hasan in Bodies. Cr. Matt Towers/Netflix © 2023. /

Spoilers ahead for the Bodies season finale

The final episode of Bodies picks up right after Detective Iris Maplewood (Shira Haas) time travels to 1890. She’s placed in a cell at the police precinct and soon finds herself in the company of Detective Alfred Hillinghead (Kyle Soller), having just confessed to the Longharvest Lane murder.

Once there, Maplewood tells Hillinghead the entire story, and it takes some convincing on her part, but she ultimately manages to convince him she’s telling the truth just before he’s taken to be transported to another prison. We know this is when Hillinghead dies, and his fate plays out the same, with Ladbroke ultimately murdering the detective and making it look like a suicide, but this time, Hillinghead is able to speak frankly with Sir Julian Harker a.k.a. Elias Mannix (Stephen Graham).

Hillinghead gives Mannix the spook of his life by referring to him by his real name. He tells Mannix that despite everything, he will die with that same hollow feeling in his heart. He will never know what it is to be loved and to feel love. His entire grand plan has been in vain. Mannix is obviously deeply disturbed by what Hillinghead says and his knowledge of what’s to come.

It might not seem like much, but it’s enough to tap into those secret regrets of Mannix’s that Andrew Morley referred to while talking to Detective Shahara Hasan (Amaka Okafor) in 2023. Hillinghead manages to plant a seed of doubt in Mannix that grows and slowly alters the loop.

He still marries Polly (Synnove Karlsen) and the two still have Hayden Harker together. But Polly learns that her husband was responsible for the death of the man her father went to prison for and it forever alters their relationship, as does the revelation of him being from the future. Their marriage turns into something bitter as Polly never forgives him for her dad’s death.

On his deathbed in 1941, Mannix decides to make one final, secret record to send to his younger self. This record reveals that everything teen Elias (Gregory Howell) ever heard from him has been a lie, and that his plans for the future are nothing but empty dreams. When Detective Charlie Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) arrives to kill Mannix, he manages to put him off long enough to persuade him to take the record and find a way to get it to Shahara Hasan.

Whiteman uses the alcove on Longharvest Lane to etch a message to the future, and so does Maplewood when she arrives. In 2053, Gabriel Defoe (Tom Mothersdale) and an older Hasan get the message that Maplewood has arrived and later, that Whiteman wants to get in touch.

He leaves the record for Hasan in the pub near Longharvest Lane that she often frequented with other police officers. Unfortunately, that pub is destroyed in the blast in 2023, so the 2053 Hasan has to travel back in time to that year to retrieve the record before it’s too late.

On the day that the blast is meant to go off, older Hasan manages to intercept Elias and her younger self on their way to Elias’ mother’s house. She convinces Sarah Mannix to listen to her and then contacts her younger self via cell phone. Through the phone, older Hasan plays Mannix’s final record to his younger self (omg this is so confusing to write out).

It’s enough to convince teen Elias to do the right thing, namely he tears up the phone number that would have activated the mobile phone trigger in the bomb. Of course, by doing this, Elias wipes himself out of existence since now the older version of himself never exists to go back in time and create the loop. He blinks out of existence while his mother is hugging him, so in many ways, he does finally feel love in his last moments.

Since the bomb never goes off, everything reverts to how it would have gone if Defoe’s body never turned up on the lane in any of the timelines. Hasan now works for a different boss (since David Barber obviously wouldn’t exist either without Mannix) and her colleague that died in the camper explosion is alive again. She spends the day with her son and father.

In 1890, Hillinghead briefly crosses paths with Henry Ashe (George Parker), while in 1941, Whiteman has a run-in with Esther (Chloe Raphael). Even though none of them know each other, there’s still a moment where they share meaningful looks, perhaps recognizing that they found one another in a different life and could reconnect again in this one.

The ending of Bodies shows Hasan taking a taxi to her dad’s birthday party, revealing that her taxi driver is none other than Maplewood, who recognizes Hasan! I was a little confused by that. Why does Maplewood know who Hasan is when all of them have had their memories reverted to pre-series?

Perhaps Gabriel Defoe still discovers time travel in 2053 and Maplewood returns to the past to check on things? She would have been much 30 years younger in 2023 and this Maplewood looks like her older self, so it suggests she’s not from this timeline. I could definitely be wrong though and am looking forward to reading other theories.

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