‘Bodies’ Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: What Happened To Syed?

Bodies is a British Netflix television series with an intriguing narrative. Created by Paul Tomalin, Bodies is an eight-part time-travel science fiction series. In its first episode, we are introduced to only four timelines, with the common connection to all four timelines being a dead body. The four most competent detectives from the four different timelines are set the task of unraveling the mystery surrounding the corpse. Let’s explore the narrative to find out which timeline the corpse actually belonged to.


Spoilers Ahead

What Happened To Syed?

Detective Hasan was a South Asian woman who lived with her father and her little child. One day, Hasan arrived at a spot to provide emergency attendance to control a riot, but she and her fellow police personnel were forbidden to arrest the protesters unless they directly provoked them. However, in the meantime, Hasan spotted a young South Asian boy who seemed suspicious. But all of a sudden, the electric lamps on the street started to explode. Hasan suspected the young boy and chased him to the dark alleys of Longharvest Lane, where the young boy stopped and pointed his gun at her. A naked dead body was seen lying in front of the boy, but the boy insisted that he had nothing to do with the dead body. Hasan asked the boy to lower the gun, but the boy escaped by threatening her with his gun. Hasan reported to the rest of the team that a dead body with a bullet hole in its eye had been found on Longharvest Lane.


The body was immediately sent for a forensic investigation. The investigating team referred to this anonymous body as a John Doe because they had no information about it. John Doe had a strange tattoo on his wrist and no one in the force could figure out what it meant. It appeared from the outside that John Doe had been shot in the eye, but in the forensic investigation, no bullet was found in his brain, leaving everyone surprised. The South Asian youth, whose name was Syed Tahir, was investigated as a suspect, his face was caught in the CCTV footage before the blackout. The police found that the last person Syed contacted was his sister, Aaliyah.

In the evening, Hasan attended her father’s birthday party, but Inspector Barber came to talk to her regarding Syed’s case. He wanted her to talk to Aaliyah about her brother and what exactly he had said in his last call. Hasan agreed and met Aaliyah on a platform to speak directly to her. Aaliyah revealed that her brother had called her to let her know that he was innocent, but the police were after him. Hasan reassured Aaliyah that she could trust her. She even gave Aaliyah her contact number so that she could let her know if Syed contacted her. Saying goodbye to Aaliyah, when Hasan was returning, she found a young boy in a yellow jacket looking at her. She later met with Barber and gave her team permission to tap her phone.


A few days later, Hasan suddenly received a call from Syed. Syed gently asked her to meet at a mall, but Hasan contacted the police force right away. However, she wanted to meet with Syed alone and take the gun from him before the police arrived, but Syed wasn’t ready to surrender. Instead, knowing that the police had followed Hasan to catch him, he shot himself.  Before dying, he told Hasan, “Know You’re Loved,” prompting Hasan to ponder over the message Syed wanted to give her before dying. Hasan was deeply hurt by this death, especially for Aaliyah, whom she had promised that she wouldn’t bring any harm to Syed. A guilty feeling began to build within Hasan, which she could not easily leave behind. She started delving into the CCTV footage of the mall where she met with Syed and found that before her arrival, Syed was talking to a young boy in a yellow jacket. Hasan recognized that this was the young boy she had previously spotted on the street.

What Happened To Detective Whiteman?

We go back to 1941, during World War II. British intelligence suspected that there was a mole in their department. This mole was Detective Charles Whiteman, whose outwardly charming appearance attracted everyone, but he was a very cunning man who worked for a secret agency. One day, a woman from this secret organization called him to inform him that there was a dead body on Longharvest Lane that he had to dispose of. Whiteman was also told by this lady, “Know You are loved,” which suggests that Syed may have been a member of this organization. Whiteman found the body in the dead of night on Longharvest Lane, but Detective Farrell, who suspected Whiteman of being a snitch, followed him. Although Farrel was able to catch Whiteman in the act, before he could take any action, Farrel lost his life in a terrible streetlamps explosion. Whiteman survived and got out. The next day, Whiteman realized that he had left his lighter inside his car the night before. He arrived at the scene to find that Farrell’s body had been recovered, and the commissioner wanted to investigate his death. He assigned Whiteman to investigate the case. But first and foremost, Whiteman grasped the opportunity to retrieve his lighter. However, after searching the car, he deliberately opened the car’s trunk in order to show the dead body to the commissioner. He thought the commissioner would divert his attention from Farrell’s death to this anonymous man’s murder case, but that didn’t quite happen. Similarly, in the timeline of 1941, the body was investigated. But as Whiteman defied the mysterious woman’s order, it’s hard to tell if she would spare his position in her secret organization.


Why Did Hillinghead Arrest The Journalist?

Another timeline from 1890 is highlighted. In a similar manner, following an electric explosion on the street, Detective Hillinghead found the same body, with a tattoo on the hand and a wound in the eye, in Longharvest Lane. But while investigating, Hillinghead came across a journalist, Henry Ashe, who was photographing the murder scene. The police took Henry’s camera and started beating him, but thanks to Hillinghead, he was saved. Henry introduced himself as a journalist from The Star. He was the one who found and photographed the dead body shortly after the explosion of the streetlamps. Henry was allowed to go home, and his camera was returned to him. Hillinghead sent the body for forensic examination, and through the depiction of these three timelines, we note the differences between the methods of forensics, which have evolved over the years. However, surprisingly, even in this timeline, no bullets were found in the corpse’s brain, which further condenses the mystery.

Hillinghead went to meet Henry Ashe to get his alibi. At Ashe’s house, he found those photos taken by him that day. One of the images clearly showed the reflection of a man in the glass window behind the corpse at Longharvest Lane. This person can be identified as a suspect. However, it was revealed that Henry was actually a homosexual man who had taken some photographs of other gay men engaging in intimate acts. Amidst those pictures, a photograph showed Henry with a man. Hillinghead asked him if this person could provide an alibi for Henry, but Henry responded that if they gave an alibi, they could go to jail. After that, in a weird manner, Henry tried to approach Hillinghead by getting closer to him, but the detective got mad and arrested him. Following his arrest, Henry was forced to give his alibi that the man he was with in the picture was actually the married and closeted homosexual son of Colonel Richard Pearson. Hillinghead suspected that if he tried to charge the colonel’s son, this case would quickly become a high-profile case, which may further raise severe troubles in his life. Hillinghead later showed the photographs recovered from Henry to the forensic investigator, who was startled by the man’s reflection in that image. Hillinghead asked him if he knew the man, but the forensic investigator was so frightened that he decided to walk away. But before leaving, he told Hillinghead to forget about this person if he feared for his life.


At the ending moments of episode 1, the 2053 timeline was shown. Detective Maplewood also witnessed some streetlamps exploding, which prompted her to stop her car. The 2053 technology was extravagant; instead of posters, there were video projections on the street wall, and an Alexa-like AI-generated voice could detect a possible murder nearby. Maplewood was informed by the AI voice, prompting her to rush towards Longharvest Lane, where she found the same deceased man. But as soon as she informed her team about the deceased body, it was revealed that this man was not deceased in this timeline. Probably, he belonged to this timeline and hadn’t been killed yet. Let’s hope that in the next episodes the mystery will be unraveled.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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