Time travel is a topic that fascinates us; bending, breaking, and playing with the laws of thermodynamics is something we’ve seen in many productions. The recent Netflix time-travel production Bodies Ending needs something of an explanation because, unlike other productions, the plot is convoluted, and the time travel concept is a bit different.
Unlike Back to The Future, Nolan’s Interstellar, or Tenet, Bodies’s conclusions are impactful (not saying that Nolan or Zemeckis’s work is bad; it is just different). In Bodies, we see a detective and a dude trying to stop a series of explosions in London so they can avoid a new government taking over Britain.
But playing with time when you’re the time traveler takes consequences on the fabric of space and time. The main character’s actions modify the lives of a bunch of people dating back to the 1800s to the present. So, how does Bodies end up? Let’s find out.
Bodies Plot Explained
A cop named Hasan discovers a corpse in a London alley after a boy called Syed tells him there’s a dead dude there. Hasan starts digging, and her prime suspect is the kid who gave her the tip. When Hasan confronts Syed, he commits suicide.
We jump back in time, and in 1890, a Detective named Edmond finds the same corpse, then, in 1941 we also see that a detective called Karl finds the same corpse as well. The 1941 detective finds a photo of a possible suspect, goes after the man, but discovers that the suspect is a nobleman with Knighthood.
We then go back to the future —no pun intended— and find out that its 2053, and there’s another detective, Iris Maplewood.
Commander Mannix or Elias Mannix, Syed’s friend, is in charge of The Executive, which runs New Britain. Since Syed only talks to her and Elias, the detective looks into the boy and finds that he has been following her for a while.
Elias’s life is looked into by Hasan and her boss, DCI Barber, to find out how he is linked to the body they found. While at Hasan’s house, Elias gets arrested. In his story, he talks about a bomb going off that would kill a lot of people.
Hasan finds out that Hillinghead and Whiteman are looking into who killed the body she found on Longharvest Lane. When her coworker tells her that Sir Julian’s fingerprints, who was one of the suspects in the 1890 case, match Elias’ perfectly, she is shocked.
Her goal in meeting Elias’ mother, Sarah is to find out how Elias is related to Julian. To her surprise, she learns that Julian is the son of a Harker family member, who happens to be her boss Barber.
He takes his son to a boat and plays a record that Julian, whose real name is Elias, made asking him to set off the bomb he planted between 1890 and 1941 so that the future will be better.
Elias first decides not to set off the bomb, but when he finds out that his mother, Sarah doesn’t even want to see him, he sets off a second one. Jawad, Hasan’s son, dies in the air blasts.
When Elias takes over as leader of Britain, a new order is set up. In 2053, Maplewood uses blood samples from the body she found to figure out that the person is Gabriel Defoe, a physics professor. She can’t believe she’s seeing Defoe alive in his office while the body she found is being cared for at one of The Executive’s buildings.
Then Defoe takes Maplewood to Hasan. Hasan created Chapel Perilous to stop Elias from going back in time to set up the bombs. This is what she wants to do to save Jawad. Maplewood, on the other hand, turns against them because he thinks they are terrorists.
She tells Elias about the time machine that Defoe built. Elias shows up and goes back to 1890 after telling everyone that he was behind the blasts in 2023 in Maplewood. Defoe follows Elias, but Maplewood shoots him before he can go back in time all the way, and when he comes back in a different year, he is dead. Hasan tells Maplewood about Elias, and Maplewood knows that stopping Elias could save hundreds of thousands of lives.
But first, Hasan and Maplewood go back in time to keep Defoe from dying. To get her brother to help her find him and bring him back to life, she asks her brother to lead them within the years to stop Elias from devastating London and their existence.
Bodies’s Ending Explained
Maplewood travels to 1890 to meet Hillinghead and reveals that his opponent is Elias, a future-born man. She also says he will marry Polly, the police officer’s daughter, to have a son for Elias’ future. The vicious Elias/Julian marrying his daughter infuriates Hillinghead, who attacks him when he visits the police officer. Hillinghead warns Elias that he will die regretting his choices and without love.
Elias travels back in time and devises a complex plan to win his childhood love. Elias has always wanted love since his mother abandoned him to foster care without a father. When his life enters a time loop, this yearning guides him. He found Know You Are Loved, a secret organization. To find love and value, he makes friends and marries a beautiful woman using his future knowledge.
Elias disappears after the 2023 London blasts are stopped. The time loop that sends Elias to 1890 to marry Polly as Julian Harker determines his birth. Elias cannot become New Britain’s commander and The Executive’s leader after the bomb blasts stop, which is necessary for him to travel back in time.
Only after the bombings did he discover the time machine and establish a new authoritarian regime. Elias’s not detonating the bomb prevents him from finding the time machine in 2053.
Elias’ plans are derailed by Hillinghead’s words. He questioned his actions and decisions. After telling Polly he killed her father, his life changes. Elias loses Polly’s love because she mechanically does what he says.
Polly doesn’t show love or care even on his deathbed. He reconsiders setting up the bomb for the 2023 blasts, but Polly makes him record a monologue to convince his younger self to detonate. She wants the world to suffer like she did. Her actions show Elias that killing thousands of innocents doesn’t earn love.
Elias writes a secret record telling his younger self not to detonate the bomb. Whiteman arrives at his house to kill him after receiving the same. Elias asks Whiteman to keep the recording for Hasan. He hides the record in a Whitechapel police pub because he knows Hasan is a cop.
Hasan returns to 2023 to finish Maplewood’s Elias fight. She and Defoe find the record and play it to the younger Elias, who listens and decides not to detonate the bomb. He reunites with his mother and destroys the second detonator key, while Hasans from 2023 and 2053 hug to celebrate preventing the blasts.
Elias doesn’t become New Britain’s commander in the new timeline because the bombings don’t happen, so Maplewood is never hired to investigate Hasan’s Chapel Perilous and find Defoe’s time machine. Maplewood’s 2023 presence may be due to a new time loop.
Defoe’s discovery of the Throat in 2053 can send Maplewood back to 2023. Maplewood has a time machine because they accidentally crossed. Her knowledge of Hasan casts doubt on this.
Since the bomb blasts didn’t happen in 2053, Hasan and Maplewood don’t meet. Maplewood, knowing the detective, suggests a time loop. The loop Hasan thought he broke may not have.
If so, Elias is not the only loop controller, which explains a 2023 building with “KYAL” lights. KYAL should not exist after Elias dies. Another significant agent likely created it, as its presence in the new timeline suggests that either it is part of a new loop or the old loop doesn’t break or end.