*Warning: Full spoilers for Bodies episode 8 ahead.*
Netflix’s latest detective drama Bodies has landed and soared to the top of the streaming service’s most-watched list, but its ending has left a number of questions up in the air.
Based on the graphic novels by Si Spencer, the eight-part series stars Stephen Graham and revolves around four detectives who discover the same, identical body in East London, but across four different time periods.
The four figures turn out to be connected in completely unexpected ways, resulting in a myriad of twists and turns.
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Read on for everything you need to know about the ending of Bodies on Netflix.
Bodies ending explained
The finale episode of Bodies picks up after Iris Maplewood (Shira Haas) throws herself into The Throat.
She wakes up in 1890 flat on the floor in the same position as Gabriel Defoe (Tom Mothersdale), with her SPYNE, the technology that allows her to walk, going from her back. Back in 2053, Shahara Hasan (Amaka Okafor) and Defoe seem to think it hasn't worked, but soon change their minds when they find Maplewood's name carved into the wall in the alley.
We go back to Alfred Hillinghead (Kyle Soller) writing his confession, claiming he is the murderer to save Henry Ashe (George Parker) from the false charges.
Another officer approaches Hillinghead, claiming someone in the cells is calling out his name - someone we quickly realise is Maplewood. Hillinghead hands in his confession and is arrested and thrown in the cells - right next to Maplewood.
Maplewood attempts to convince Hillinghead of the truth, and he's intrigued by her knowledge of the murder. He listens to her account of the story, and she says they cannot let Elias Mannix/Julian Harker (Stephen Graham) succeed with his plan of detonating a bomb in 2023 and killing hundreds of thousands.
Too quickly, the time comes for Hillinghead to be transferred, and we know he's about to be killed on this journey. Maplewood tells him this and begs him to change things.
Sure enough, Harker joins Hillinghead in the carriage on his way to prison. He taunts Hillinghead, but the policeman knows what's coming. He uses Harker's real name - Elias Mannix - and tells him he'll die alone full of regret, just as Maplewood told him. Mannix/Harker leaves Hillinghead to die but is clearly troubled by his words.
Polly informs Mannix/Harker that she's pregnant, but his reaction is muted. When he wakes up in the night, Polly questions him about her father's death. Mannix/Harker admits he killed him and gets violent as he attempts to explain to Polly that he's from the future, and that his future depends on her unborn son.
We see the baby born before we cut to 1941 and the older version of Polly, played by Greta Scacchi, who is preparing to kill Esther (Chloe Raphael). In this version of events, she's cold towards Mannix and, while he begs for her forgiveness, she says she hopes she's the one to kill him.
Mannix is still recording his voice to reassure his younger self, but seems uncertain now, and asks to record something different - to tell himself not to detonate the bomb. Polly refuses and says everything depends on him doing it, telling him to lie if he must.
With Polly present, he records the message to his younger self, encouraging him to use the second detonator. But when Polly leaves, he records one more - telling his younger self that all his previous messages have been a lie.
Mannix ultimately decides not to detonate the bomb, erasing his own existence and changing the lives of each of the detectives along the way.
Why did Elias Mannix disappear in Bodies?
What we'd been seeing before was a time loop - Elias's decision to detonate the bomb triggered a looping version of events where he would grow up in a new world, become Commander Mannix, and go back in time to become Julian Harker, setting the foundations for the world to come, including the birth of his son, Hayden.
By switching his decision and not detonating the bomb, Elias changes everything that happens. He doesn't travel to the past to pose as Harker, he doesn't marry Polly or have his son, and so his own existence is erased. It's a bittersweet ending for the troubled young boy who disappears in his mother's arms, finally knowing the truth of what he was searching for all along - that he was loved.
What happened to Whiteman in Bodies?
Following Esther's death, Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) kills Polly and confronts Mannix/Harker at Harker House. Mannix/Harker gives Whiteman the final record and asks him to keep it safe, telling him to do "one good thing". He pulls the gun to his own head before Whiteman pulls the trigger.
The phone rings and Whiteman answers to Hayden, Polly and Mannix/Harker's son. Hayden enlists the police force to go after Whiteman, and they eventually find him in the coppers' pub, shooting him in an emotional scene - but not before he hides the record.
Speaking about his death scene, Whiteman actor Fortune-Lloyd exclusively told RadioTimes.com: "I have died many times in my career - I've always really enjoyed it! There's something quite satisfying about doing it well.
"I think as kids we tap into something fundamental about what kids like about acting - kids love pretending to be stabbed or writhing in agony in the floor... there's a seriousness about those scenes because you want to get them right and do it safely, but there's also a real glee!"
Following Mannix's decision not to detonate the bomb, we go back to 1941 and see a changed Whiteman. He's still alive - as is Esther, but the pair don't know each other. A thieving Esther runs into him and, instead of handing her in, he tells her to run, letting her get away.
What happened to Hasan in Bodies?
In 2053, things have changed. Hasan finds a note engraved in the wall with her name and the word "pint". She feels her memories of Whiteman changing, and she and Defoe use The Throat to head to pub before it's destroyed in the blast of 2023. She finds the record and heads to the home of Sarah Mannix, Elias's mother. Sarah is shocked at Hasan's visibly older appearance but lets her in.
The younger version of Hasan, who's in the car with a young Elias, receives a call from her older self. Older Hasan tells her younger self about the second detonator. Older Hasan then speaks to Elias over the phone, says he's been lied to, and plays the record from older Mannix.
Young Elias rips up the detonator number and Sarah gives him a hug. Hasan approaches her older self and the pair of them also share a hug. After taking a last look at his mother, young Elias disappears - as does older Hasan.
Hasan actor Okafor opened up to RadioTimes.com about that emotional scene, saying: "It was crazy and weirdly emotional when we were shooting it, actually... it just made me think about the young me. I would love to give my 15-year-old self a hug and just be like, 'It's okay! You're gonna be alright!' There was just something about that, it felt emotional."
She added of playing her older self: "I do need to change my physicality, but I don't want to just be playing some old lady, because I hope I'm still gonna be fit - and she is, she's a badass.
"There was that, but then it needs to be grounded in some sort of truth, so you do move differently. I think, actually, it was more about the psychological shift with Hasan that makes the difference. She's been through so much."
It soon becomes clear that, with Mannix's existence erased, the timeline has changed, and Hasan is back at her house with her father on his birthday - just as she was at the beginning of the series. Her son Jawad calls from his room, and she gives him a hug. She heads out to work to the EDL protest, as she did at the beginning of the series. We then see that Whiteman's life has also changed.
What happened to Hillinghead in Bodies?
As we return to 1890, we see Hillinghead has also changed. In the background, posters advertise Polly Hillinghead's musical show, giving us an insight into her life without Mannix/Harker.
Hillinghead seems changed, too, sharing a knowing look with a passing Ashe despite the pair not knowing each other in this timeline. We see our three detectives - Hillinghead, Whiteman and Hasan - safe and changed for the better with Mannix gone.
Why is Maplewood at the end of Bodies and how did she end up in 2023?
Finally, we catch up with Maplewood - but not in the timeline we might have expected. In 2023, Hasan hails a passing taxi and starts talking about her day to the driver, who's obscured. She says she sometimes feels like the city could erupt, like it's on the edge of something big. In the rearview mirror, Maplewood meets her eyes and tells her: "I know exactly what you mean, Shahara."
The final shot shows London as we know it, except for one thing - the flashing KYAL sign (Know You Are Loved), which we'd only seen before in 2053, suddenly appears, signalling that perhaps not everything is back how it should be...
Giving some insight into that ending, writer Paul Tomalin told RadioTimes.com: "What was interesting rounding each character off was finding a way to do Maplewood, the future, in a way that basically didn't say, 'The future's going to be great, guys.' The future now is so terrifying for us all that it felt smug to show Maplewood there happy.
"It was much more intriguing to take her and put her in the present and figure out why she would be there. Also, her character from 1890 is left in the cell - we don't see what happens to her. There's many tantalising ideas. I just love knowing that because she's the most open-ended ending, she's the one that's going to continue it and figure out how to continue it if it were to happen."
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