Karl Weissman In ‘Bodies,’ Explained: Did He Save Esther And Become A Hero?


Bodies, the Netflix sci-fi crime thriller, made us privy to one of the most flamboyant characters in the 1941 timeline, named DS Charlie Whiteman. Charlie’s real name was Karl Weissman, and he was of Jewish origin. Taking into consideration the political environment, he did not feel safe revealing his real identity. There was also a sect of people in London who were averse to people of Jewish origin, and Karl did not want any unnecessary hassle as he had already created a lot of trouble for himself. It was not a hidden fact that Karl was a corrupt man, and he was involved in all sorts of illicit activities. Whatever Karl did, he was good at hiding his tracks, and up until then, his colleagues didn’t have any sort of evidence that could prove his guilt and convict him of some crime. But things changed after Karl incurred heavy losses after he lost in betting, and it was then that he got a call from a mysterious lady who entered into a sort of agreement with him, where they both prospered. For the lady, Karl was an easy target, and she knew that he wouldn’t backstab her as he himself was in a fix and he couldn’t afford the truth coming out to light. Karl had no clue what he had signed up for, and it was only after he decided to disobey the orders of the anonymous woman that he realized how dangerous the people he was dealing with were and to what extent they could go to get what they wanted.

Spoiler Alert

Who Was The Woman Giving Orders To Karl?

Karl used to do whatever the woman told him over the phone; but he had never met her in person and whenever he asked to meet her, she avoided the topic completely. When the dead body of Gabriel Defoe appeared in the year 1941, the woman asked Karl to go and pick it up from the Longharvest Lane and then leave it in Royal Albert Dock. The task was riskier than what Karl had ever gotten, but he knew that he didn’t have an option but to do it. There were already rumors in Karl’s department that somebody was leaking top-secret intel, and just moments before Karl had gotten a call from the lady, he had been summoned by his boss, Calloway, and told him to keep an eye out for any suspect. Karl knew that his colleague, Farell, had suspicions about him, and that is why it was even more dangerous to indulge in any illegal activity. Karl went to pick up the body, and as expected, Farell followed him there. Karl was a lucky man, because as soon as Farell was about to open his car truck and arrest him, there was an airstrike. Farell died on the spot, and as Karl was inside his car, he somehow survived, though he had to leave his vehicle and the dead body inside it there, as people arrived there and he couldn’t risk them seeing him.

The next day, Karl came with Calloway to investigate the scene, and he pinned the blame for the murder on a man named Lee Cozens. Unfortunately for Karl, a small girl named Esther Jankovsky had seen him there, and she came to the Police station with the intention of blackmailing Karl and taking some money from him. It was then that we came to know that the woman who had been giving orders to Karl and making him run errands was Polly, Julian Harker aka Elias Mannix’s wife. Till 1941, Elias Mannix had garnered a lot of followers, and they were making sure that things went according to their plans, and the next generation of believers was ready to carry on the baton and lead the world to its destruction. The Polly we knew was a rational woman, but just like others, she bought into what her husband said and never suspected him of the death of her father because whatever Mannix was prophesied came to be true. They actually believed that Mannix could contact the spirits and see the future, though little did they know that he himself was from the future, which is why he knew everything that was about to happen.

How Did Karl Change After Meeting Esther?

Polly gave Karl the order to immediately kill Esther because she didn’t want any loose links. Karl assured her that the girl would not say anything to the police officers, as he had talked to her, but Polly didn’t agree. Karl knew that unless and until he killed Esther, these people were not going to leave him. So he went to the burial site, fired a couple of rounds, and came back home and informed Polly that the girl was no longer alive. But in reality, he hadn’t killed Esther, as his conscience didn’t allow him to do so. Karl might have been a corrupt man, but there was something about those innocent eyes that just didn’t let him pull the trigger. Karl became protective of the young lady, hid her in his own house, and made sure that nobody came to know about her existence. Karl had never imagined that he would feel this way for anyone, but the little girl had brought a change of heart. Karl was imagining leaving everything and going and settling with Esther in Inverness and living a peaceful life there. He was not only empathetic towards her, but he cared for her and loved her. That girl was somehow able to open a vault of emotions that Karl had kept locked somewhere deep inside his subconscious. Karl lived his life on the edge, but now he was scared for the safety of Esther, and he just wanted her to live the life she deserved and not meet her fateful end just because she was present at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Are Karl And Esther Still Alive?

Esther was poisoned and killed by Polly when Karl was just about to board a train with her for Inverness. Karl felt distraught, and he found out where Polly and Harker lived, went there, shot them point blank, took revenge for the death of the only person he cared for, and surrendered to the police. But when Iris Maplewood went back in time and, through Hillinghead, planted that seed of doubt in Mannix, then the events got altered a little bit. In this altered reality, just when Whiteman was about to kill Mannix, the latter gave him a recording and asked him to make sure that it was kept safely until a woman named Shahara Hasan found it. There was a sort of earnestness that Whiteman saw in the eyes of the old man, and so he agreed to do what he said. Whiteman, here too, killed Mannix, but this time because the latter asked him to. Whiteman then went to The Silk and hid the recording, which was later found by Hasan, who had come back in time from 2053 to the year 2023.

The events of the future and the past once again changed at the end of Bodies season 1, when Mannix decided not to blast the bomb. As a result of Mannix’s inaction, Gabriel Defoe’s dead boy was not found in any of the timelines, and so Esther never caught Whiteman red-handed. They did cross paths with each other and had a Deja Vu kind of moment, but apart from that, nothing happened between them. So yes, Karl Whiteman and Esther Jankovsky were both alive, and they led their lives as they were destined to.

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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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