Alfred Hillinghead In ‘Bodies,’ Explained: Will Henry Ashe And Hillinghead End Up Together?


We were made privy to a righteous DI named Alfred Hillinghead in the Netflix series Bodies, who was adamant about finding out the truth and solving the murder mystery at any cost. Alfred Hillinghead found the body of Gabriel Defoe in 1890 and started his investigation with the help of his journalist friend, Henry Ashe, and he was not ready to stop before he found the killer. Although there were secrets he wanted to bring to light, there was an aspect of Hillinghead’s life that he wanted to hide from the world. Hillinghead was a homosexual, and we are talking of a day and age where being one was considered to be blasphemous (though not a lot has changed even now). Alfred was as surprised as anyone when he figured out that a naked body had appeared out of nowhere in Longharvest Lane, and he knew that the game was bigger than anyone believed it to be. There were things that he just couldn’t seem to find an explanation for, but still, he kept at it and made a resolve to himself that he was not going to stop unless and until he came to know what exactly was happening. So, let’s find out what conflicts Hillinghead faced in his personal and professional lives and how his actions became a turning point in the scheme of things that ultimately led to breaking the endless loop that had been created by Elias Mannix.

Spoiler Alert

Why did Hillinghead take the blame for Defoe’s murder?

When Ashe clicked a picture of Defoe’s dead body, he found out that there was a reflection of a man that could be seen in the window glass present on the opposite side. Hillinghead figured out that the man had a limp, which is why he was holding a stick in his hand. Additionally, that walking stick was a rather expensive one, and following the lead, Hillingehead and Ashe realized that it was none other than Julian Harker, the influential man who sat at the top of the good chain. Hillighead obviously had no clue that Harker was Elias Mannix, who had traveled back in time from the year 2023, but he did realize that he was involved in some shady business that no one knew about.

Meanwhile, Hillinghead and Ashe got very close to each other, and even after he tried his level best, the former wasn’t able to hide his feelings. Elias Mannix didn’t have anything against Hillinghead, and he wanted to pin all the blame on Henry Ashe. Hillinghead went to Elias’ home, thinking that he could get the better of him, but what he didn’t know was that Elias already knew everything that was going to happen, and so he had clear leverage, which made sure that he was not going to be on the losing side. Elias drugged Hillinghead, and he clicked some compromising pictures of him so that he could coerce him to obey his order and make it look like Henry Ashe was the killer. But Hillinghead knew that his conscience wouldn’t allow him to do that.

Hillinghead had committed adultery, but he couldn’t deny the fact that he did love Ashe. He had tried to hide his feelings from the world and from himself, but he wasn’t able to. He loved a man and knew that society would consider him a sinner, but that didn’t change reality. Hillinghead might have had a lot of flaws, but he wasn’t a dishonest man. Maybe it was the wrong era, but Hillinghead knew how to honor his love, and that wasn’t going to change because his life was put at stake. The man took the blame for the murder of Gabriel Defoe, as he knew that otherwise, Ashe would be sent to jail. Just before the police were going to arrive to take him into custody, Hillinghead informed his wife about what he had done and asked for her forgiveness. He never wanted to hurt her, but the circumstances were such that he couldn’t do anything about it.

Why did Elias marry Hillinghead’s daughter?

In Bodies, there were a lot of things that we couldn’t find an explanation for, be it the sci-fi bit or some decisions that the characters made out of nowhere. We couldn’t understand why, all of a sudden, Elias Mannix decided to marry Polly. Hillinghead told him during his confrontation that it couldn’t have been love since Mannix was a selfish man, and he didn’t care about anyone else other than himself. One loose explanation could be that Mannix would have seen that only if he married Polly, his successors, later in 2023, would wreak havoc on the world. Maybe it was love, or maybe Elias knew that Polly’s presence was crucial for his plan to succeed, but whatever it was, it paid off. Polly became Elias’ trusted ally over the years, as he had won her over by making predictions about the future, which she saw come true, and it was more than enough for her to come on board.

How Did Hillinghead Help Iris Maplewood?

In Bodies season 1’s ending, when Iris Maplewood came back in time, she met Hillinghead, and she told him the kind of destruction Elias Mannix was going to bring upon the world. It was difficult for Hillinghead to believe what Iris was telling him, but she showed him the mark on her wrist and told him things that made him realize that she was speaking the truth. Just before Hillinghead was shot to death, he confronted Elias and told him that he would have a miserable existence and that he would die alone and full of regret. Hillinghead addressed him as Elias, and the latter was shocked since, in 1890, everybody knew him as Julian Harker. That was probably the point where Elias realized that somehow Hillinghead had actually seen the future. That confrontation instilled a seed of doubt inside Elias, and in his last moments, he decided to leave a recording for his younger self, convincing him not to detonate the bomb in the future. When the young version of Elias Mannix actually ended up changing his mind after listening to the recording, a new timeline was created, which in turn caused a ripple effect. A lot of things in the past and the future changed because of that one inaction.

Will Henry Ashe And Hillinghead End Up Together?

In the new timeline, Hillinghead came back to life, and he never met Henry Ashe or discovered the body of Gabriel Defoe. It is a possibility that Hillinghead will have an affair with Ashe in the future, though we don’t think that he would be comfortable telling anyone about it, and surely he wouldn’t reveal it to his family. We do not mean to say that Hillinghead would intentionally cheat on his wife, but his feelings would get the better of him, and he would end up doing something at the moment that he would probably regret later. We believe that if he didn’t know that he was going to be arrested, he wouldn’t have told his wife about his affair even now.

Hillinghead was in denial because, at the end of the day, he was also a part of that society, and he was told that indulging in such activities was immoral. In the new timeline, we saw him going about his business peacefully, though we don’t know for how long that peace was going to last, as Iris Maplewood was somehow in the 2023 timeline, and the company KYAL also existed, which was being run by someone else other than Mannix, and it probably sought to achieve a similar goal of creating a new world in the future.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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