‘Bodies’ Episode 8 Recap & Ending Explained: Why Does Iris Come Back To 2023?

Episode 7 of Bodies was a real game-changer. Iris Maplewood finally teams up with Shahara Hasan and Gabriel Defoe to put a stop to Elias Mannix’s horrifying plan to detonate a bomb in 2023, a plan that could kill millions, including Hasan’s son, Jawad. But while they’re working to prevent this disaster, Julian Harker, who’s actually Elias Mannix, is busy pushing forward with his own scheme. He’s dead set on marrying Polly, all in the hope that she’ll give birth to his son, who’s supposed to play an important part in Elias Mannix’s own birth, creating a never-ending time loop. Now, the story continues in the final episode, Know You Are Loved.


Spoilers Ahead

What Does Iris Tell Alfred Hillinghead?

Iris Maplewood thought she could change history by going back to 1880 to foil Elias Mannix’s plans. But somewhere along the line, she forgot the fact that you can’t take anything back to the past. That’s why there was no bullet in Defoe’s body. Iris was fitted with a SPINE, a futuristic prosthetic, that helped her walk freely in 2053, but it was lost during her time travel. So, when she landed in 1880, Iris was crippled once again and unable to walk. She was later arrested and put in a prison cell. 


Iris tries to stop Alfred Hillinghead from turning in his confession by sending a word out from her cell, but it proves ineffective. Fortunately, Hillinghead ends up next to Iris’s prison cell, and they start talking. She shocks him by revealing that Elias Mannix, who’s now living as Julian Harker in Hillinghead’s time, is actually from the future, just like she is. Also, the body they found in the Longharvest Lane is from the future, too. But there’s more to it than that. Iris warns Hillinghead that Elias is planning something terrible that could cost millions of innocent lives in the future. The key to stopping this catastrophe is to prevent Elias from marrying Polly. Iris informs Hillinghead that he’s going to die on his way to Pentonville prison, and the cops will try to pass it off as a suicide. As the cops come to take Hillinghead away, Iris can’t contain herself. She screams at the top of her lungs, nudging him to change Elias’ mind and prevent the disaster that looms on the horizon.

Was Alfred Successful In Changing Harker’s Mind?

Julian Harker halts the convoy, just like before, with the hope of convincing Alfred to let him marry Polly. But this time, there’s a significant twist in the story. To Harker’s utter shock, Alfred reveals that he knows Harker is a time traveler from the future, and even though Harker had made it this far, it wouldn’t change a thing for him. Alfred states that Harker is still going to meet a regrettable end, crushed by the things he should’ve stopped from taking place, like the bombing of London in 2023. After hearing this, Harker is slapped with a mix of emotions—shock, anger, and frustration. He couldn’t believe what he’d just heard. In his frustration, he turns and walks away, and with a nod, he signals his henchman to end Alfred’s life. Even though Alfred dies, in his final moments, he manages to plant some serious doubts in Harker’s mind.


Harker, regardless, decides to go ahead with his plan to marry Polly, but this time, there is zero excitement in it. Alfred’s words keep haunting him, leaving him feeling distant and pretty darn frustrated. But things take a nosedive when Polly, his wife, finally confronts him. She wonders if Harker had anything to do with her father’s death. Harker couldn’t keep up the act any longer and spilled the beans. This flips Polly’s image of Harker upside down. The man she thought was intelligent, gentlemanly, and kind turned out to be the one responsible for her father’s death. Fast forward a few months, and Polly gives birth to their son, Hayden. But she can’t even bring herself to look at him. Polly sticks around in Harker’s house, playing her part in his big plan, but there’s one thing she absolutely refuses to do: love him. She gives Harker the cold shoulder, and the way she looks at him, it’s like she’s ready to claw his eyes out. She even starts blaming herself, convinced that she’s the reason her father was killed. Also, the earrings she once adored now make her wince just by looking at them. What Harker thought would be his utopia ended up becoming his curse.

In the end, Harker finally sees the error in his plan and decides to do something about it. He secretly records a message back in 1941 for his younger self, the one living in the 2023 timeline. In that message, he advises himself straight up not to push the detonator button, the one that could change everything. Then, Harker hands over this recording to Detective Whiteman, who had tracked him to his place. Whiteman had a lot of blood on his hands, having already killed Polly, who was involved in Esther’s death. Whiteman points his gun at Harker, ready to end it all. But Harker gives him the recording and begs him to get it to Shahara Hasan. Surprisingly, Whiteman agrees and accepts the job before gunning down Julian Harker. Later on, Whiteman makes his way to the Silk Pub and is gunned down by Hayden and his crew, seeking revenge for Polly and Harker’s deaths. However, before Whiteman met his fate, he managed to stash the vinyl record behind one of the photo frames on the wall. This little move altered the course of events, as earlier, Whiteman killed Harker without accepting the tape. He was later caught, and he eventually met the hangman’s noose for the murders of Harker and Polly.


Does Shahara Hasan Manage To Stop Elias Mannix In 2023?

With the timeline now changed, Hasan’s memories start to shift, and she realizes that Whiteman had stashed the recording in the Silk Pub. The only hitch is that the pub was blown to bits in the 2023 explosion. Luckily, Hasan still has the Throat, which enables her to time-travel back to 2023, where the pub is still standing. She finds the tape hidden behind one of the photo frames. Hasan wastes no time and rushes straight to Sarah’s house with the recording in hand. Hasan calls her younger version, revealing that Elias has another detonator in place, and all he needs to do is find a phone and dial a certain number. This phone call would trigger the detonator, reducing half of London to ashes.

Hasan didn’t mince words. She tries to convince Elias that pushing that button will haunt him for years, playing on his conscience. She also plays Harker’s last recorded message, where Harker admits Elias will live with regret for setting off the bomb. No matter the year, the timeline, or the circumstances, the pain would always be there, and Elias would have to find a way to live with it. Harker also talks about this dream Elias had. In the dream, Elias was holding a sickly, scared little boy, who was basically a symbol of Elias himself. This child’s death represented Elias losing his own humanity and heading down a dark path. In the end, Elias chooses not to detonate the deadly bomb. Sarah, Elias’s mother, rushes outside to hug her son. Something extraordinary takes place, and Elias vanishes into thin air. But why? The most obvious and simple answer is that the timeline has reset itself, meaning Elias was never even born.

Why Does Iris Come Back To 2023?

Bodies‘s final scene suggests that everything has returned to its proper order, like a full circle, similar to the events of the first episode. We see Detective Whiteman and Detective Alfred Hillinghead carrying out their policing duties. Since Elias was erased from existence, they are not going to find Defoe’s body in Longharvest Lane in their respective timelines. We also follow Hasan as she gets into a taxi, heading to her father’s birthday celebration. To her surprise, the driver turns out to be none other than Iris Maplewood, who is not crippled. But how is this possible? It’s quite the head-scratcher, isn’t it? The way the time ripple works can be pretty mind-bending. So, Hasan managed to convince Elias not to hit the detonator, which saved the day. But it also caused a chain reaction, altering the events. But when events change, it can create new time ripples. Towards the end, we saw that the KYAL organization now exists in 2023, and its very existence might be tied to the newly formed timeline. So, Iris, the one Hasan met, could very well be from a different future. It’s possible that KYAL, which now exists in 2023 under someone else’s leadership, is planning something much more evil than Elias Mannix. Therefore, leading a different Iris to come seeking Hasan’s help so that they can save the world from an impending doom.

Final Words

Bodies is definitely a great show. Despite its somewhat convoluted plot, it does its best to explain all the factors at play. Of course, it leaves a few boxes unchecked to let viewers come up with their own theories, which can be part of the fun. What’s really refreshing is the show’s premise of investigating the same murder across different time zones while contending with an antagonist who’s trying to reshape the world in a way that satisfies his ideology. It’s a unique and uncharted territory that keeps you hooked. One of the show’s strong points is how it brilliantly portrays all these different timelines. You’ve got the futuristic 2053 with talking cars that drive themselves, and then you’re transported to 1940s London in the midst of World War II, where the German forces are wreaking havoc on the city, forcing people to take shelter underground during bombardments.


Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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