Elias Mannix In ‘Bodies,’ Explained: What Was “Know You Are Loved”? Is Mannix Dead Or Alive?


Bodies, the British crime thriller, shows us how feelings of inadequacy can often rot a soul from within and transform an individual into something so nasty that the world gets petrified of them. Elias Mannix’s life was one of regret, grief, and pain, and the boy had accepted the fact that he probably didn’t deserve to be loved in his life. But then something strange and unnatural happened that changed his life completely, gave him power, and made him realize that he could go back in time, create his own existence, and have things his own way. But there was a catch to it. Mannix had to kill hundreds of people to be loved by the world. So, let’s find out the motives and intentions of Elias Mannix, aka Julian Harker; what makes him take the decision to destroy the world; how DS Shahara Hasan brings about a change of heart in him and makes him stop and also why did he always say the phrase, “know you are loved” once he became the commander in 2053.

Spoiler Alert

Why Did Mannix Want To Destroy The World?

An infinite loop was created when Mannix found Defoe’s time machine called the Throat and decided to come back in time to the year 1889. Mannix took the identity of a wealthy man named Julian Harker, and from thereon, he tampered with the events in such a manner that 15-year-old Elias Mannix burned the world down by detonating a bomb in the year 2023. But in that very moment, when Elias Mannix was going to call on that number that was going to set off the bomb, there were a myriad of feelings that the young boy was experiencing. He had been almost convinced by Hasan not to listen to what the members of the secret society were telling him, but then everything backfired when Sarah decided not to come out and meet her son. Hasan wanted Sarah to meet Mannix because she felt that meeting one’s mother would bring about some change in his mindset and that he would realize that what he was doing, or, we can say, being inflicted to do, was an act of insanity and nothing else. Hasan believed that a mother’s touch, something that Mannix had been deprived of his entire life, could do wonders.

Mannix just wanted to know if someone was out there who cared for him. He wanted to know if he fell down, then someone would be there to pick him up. He had craved for that parental love all his life, and when Hasan was driving him to Sarah’s house, he had that hope that maybe things would get better from there. Mannix had made it very clear that he didn’t want his mother to see him in prison, and so Hasan had decided that she would make him meet Sarah before he was handed over to the authorities. As soon as Sarah said that she didn’t want to come out and meet her son, Mannix just lost control of his emotions, and he called on that number, and the next thing we knew was that the world was broken into pieces.

Sarah was that beacon of hope to which Mannix was clinging, and once that was snatched from him, he made his decision to end everything. That young boy never knew what he had done so wrong, that his mother abandoned him when he was just 5 years old, and his father didn’t even care if he lived or died. He wanted someone to be there for him unconditionally, and later, he accepted the bitter truth that love probably didn’t exist in this world and that they had been fed lies from the very beginning. Only love could have healed the boy and when he didn’t get it, he decided to bring chaos, destroy the foundation of the world, and create a new reality where everybody was told every minute of the day that they were loved.

Why Did Mannix Make People Say “Know You Are Loved”?

We are not given a lot of details about the kind of world Mannix had established after the bomb had destroyed everything, but we did realize that it was Mannix’s utopia, where everybody ended their conversation with the salutation, “Know you are loved.”. This particular phrase said a lot about what kind of ideals Mannix wanted his world to have. But there is a difference between saying something and meaning it. Mannix was living in delusion where he believed, and he wanted others to believe too, that they were loved, though the reality was far from that. This love, too, even if we may call it that, was conditional, as a citizen could only avail of the services of the state and were worthy of being loved only if they accepted certain terms. It seemed like an authoritarian regime where one was not allowed to voice his opinions, in case they were anti-establishment in nature. This world had all the vices that were present in the world before Elias set off the bomb, the only difference being that now they were packaged in a manner, so that on the face of it people felt that they were living in an egalitarian society. There was  prevalent discrimination, the government violated the right to privacy of a person on a daily basis, the people were constantly fed a lie where their commander told them how the blast of 2023, where so many innocent souls lost their lives was the best thing that could have happened to them, and to top it all, if you didn’t agree with the government, you were made to live a deplorable life, which was deprived of any and every benefits provided to the conforming citizens.

Chapel Perilous’ existence was proof that the regime was tyrannical in its ways and means and there were a bunch of people who had to resort to such tactics only to stop the government. Had Elias’ new society actually been a place where everyone was loved, then the channel of communication would have never been closed, and Hasan, Gabriel or be it anybody else would have been given a chance to voice their concerns. Mannix believed that by doing what he was doing, he could end his misery, have no regrets, and live a happy life, but he was delusional to believe that, and it was not until Iris decided to go back in time and alter the events that he accepted reality.

How Did Hasan Make Him Change His Decision?

We are not denying that whatever happened to a young Elias Mannix was wrong, but he became an accomplice of that injustice the moment he decided to detonate the bomb and kill all those innocent people. Hasan always knew that the boy was not a cruel human being, and he wanted to do the right thing, but his emotions and impulses got the better of him at the very last moment. Elias’ entire decision was based on the fact that the world he lived in was worthless, and only if he destroyed everything and started afresh could he change his reality and get the love he had always craved. 

Iris Maplewood had realized, in Bodies, that she had to nip the bud and make sure that a doubt had been created in Mannix’s mind. So, she went back in time and met Hillinghead in the prison and told him who this person, posing to be Julian Harker, actually was. Hillinghead didn’t believe her at first, but then seeing the mark on her wrist, and getting to know about some details that only he had been privy to, he realized that Iris was not lying and bizarrely she was actually from the future. 

From that point in time, everything changed and then Hillinghead went on and told Mannix that he would die alone and full of regret and that he knew nothing about love. Mannix, just before being shot by Whiteman in 1941, recorded a message for his younger self, telling him that whatever he had been told was just a lie. In all the recordings he had left for his younger version, he said that the world he would create would be a much better place as compared to what it is now. But somewhere deep down, Mannix knew that it was all a lie. There was no escape from pain, and it was a harsh reality. When the young Mannix heard himself from the year 1941, he just couldn’t stop his tears and he knew that now he had to make the right choice and not kill the innocent people due to his selfish motives. 

Is Mannix Dead Or Alive?

It was a cathartic moment, and Mannix felt like someone had lifted a huge burden from his shoulders. The boy never detonated the bomb after that, as he had the courage to face reality no matter how brutal it was, and by doing so, he broke the time-loop and saved the lives of hundreds of people. As soon as Mannix took that decision, he vanished from the 2023 timeline, i.e., he ceased to exist. The lives of people who had integrated with him in the past, present, or future also changed as his non-existence in the scheme of things caused a ripple effect and changed the lives of everyone involved. That one small inaction caused huge changes, and as of now, we don’t know if it was for better or worse. Now that Elias has ceased to exist, the Know You Are Loved corporation was also not started by him. Though the company did exist, as we saw at the end of Bodies, someone else was in charge of it in the newly created timeline. If this person, too, turns out to be a megalomaniac, then probably the onus would once again lie on Iris, Hasan, and Defoe to curtail his activities and save the world.

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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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