‘Bodies’ Time-Travel And Time-Loop, Explained: What Was The ‘The Throat?


Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner and Haolu Wang, Bodies had four different timelines running side by side, and that is why we felt that it was important to list down the events linearly and understand how one thing led to another and how Elias Mannix was able to create an infinite loop that caused the destruction of the world. The same pattern had been repeating since the year 1890, and Gabriel Defoe, the science genius who had created the time machine named the Throat, had been able to figure out that if they could stop Mannix from entering into the time machine in the year 2053, then he wouldn’t be able to go back in time and kickstart that chain of events that would lead his younger version to blowing up that bomb, and then later becoming the commander of his new utopian reality. Defoe was not fighting this war alone, as DS Shahara Hasan, who was now heading a rebel group by the name of Chapel Perilous, was helping him in whatever way she could. Hasan was there when the bomb exploded, and she witnessed the widespread destruction it had ended up causing. Both Defoe and Hasan knew that Iris Maplewood had a crucial role to play in the scheme of things, but they had realized that she was a staunch loyalist, and it would be a very difficult task to convince her to go against the regime. So, let’s find out how Elias Mannix created his loop of destruction and what happened after Hasan, Defoe, Iris, Hillinghead, and Whiteman, through their combined efforts, were able to break it.

Spoiler Alert

How did Elias Mannix go back in time to 2053?

After the bomb blast of 2023, a young Mannix had risen in the ranks and eventually became the commander of the new world. Probably after Mannix had assumed power, he would have gotten to know about the machine (The Throat) created by Gabriel Defoe, and he would have come to the conclusion that he could use it to go back in time and initiate the loop. Gabriel Defoe knew the consequences of tampering with time, and he would have been informed about the kind of havoc that Mannix had caused in 2023 by Hasan and other survivors. So, together with the members of Chapel Perilous, he had hidden the time machine in an underground hideout, and at the same time, they were trying to figure out what Iris Maplewood had to do with the entire ordeal. Still, Mannix was able to use the machine to go back to 1889 with Iris’ help. But soon, after Mannix departed, Iris realized her mistake, and first she saved Defoe, and then she herself went back after Mannix to try to course-correct the events.

How did Mannix initiate his cult in 1890?

In this timeline, Mannix did three major things: firstly, he set up a community of believers and followers who were going to help his cause and carry forward his agenda; secondly, he killed DI Edmond Hillinghead and then married his daughter Polly. During this era, Mannix earned a name for himself by giving seance to the elites of society, and he earned so much profit that he was able to open his own bank in the city. One very interesting thing that happened here was that when Mannix came from the year 2053, he assumed the identity of a war veteran who went by the name of Julian Harker, who was the son of a wealthy woman named Lady Agatha Harker. Agatha was grieving for her son when Mannix arrived, but on seeing him, she realized that he was somebody else trying to pose as her ward. However, Agatha did not inform the authorities about him because Mannix was able to influence her through his words. He told her that he could fill the void that her son had left in her life, and additionally, he would make sure that the Harker name once again rose to prominence.

What happened between Whiteman and Mannix in 1941?

It was DS Charlie Whiteman, whose real name was Karl Wiessman, who had found the body of Defoe in this timeline, and he was asked by Polly to deliver it to a specified location. Karl wasn’t able to do that the first time, as he was followed by Officer Farrell, who always had doubts about the former being a mole working inside the police force. Polly and Mannix had come to know about certain gambling debts and illegal activities that Whiteman had been involved in, and they had realized that they could use the leverage to make him act according to their orders. Things were going fine until Whiteman came in contact with a girl named Esther Jankovosky, who had seen him with Defoe’s dead body. Polly and Mannix both knew that the girl could reveal their secret, so they ordered Whiteman to kill her. Whiteman might have been a corrupt man, but his conscience didn’t allow him to kill such a small girl. He had already killed a man named Lee Cozens for the murder, but now he had decided that he wouldn’t accept the orders of these faceless individuals. Whiteman tries to go to Inverness with Esther, but Polly gets the better of him and kills the little girl. In the end, Whiteman killed both Polly and Mannix, and he was caught by CI Hayden, Mannix’s son, and later given capital punishment.

How did Elias Mannix complete the loop in 2023?

Though Julian Harker and Polly had been killed by Whiteman in 1941 itself, their heirs had survived and carried forward their legacy until Elias Mannix was born sometime in the 2000s to a woman named Sarah and DCI Jack Barber, who happened to be the colleague of Shahara Hasan. Sarah was a drug addict, and Barber had left her probably before Mannix was born. So Elias Mannix was adopted by Andrew and Elaine Morley, who were themselves part of the secret society created by Julian Harker back in 1890. Hasan, after her interaction with the young Mannix in Bodies, realized that the boy craved love and did not want to detonate the bomb and be responsible for the deaths of so many people. She knew that if somehow she was able to make him meet his mother, Sarah, then he might realize that he was not alone in this world and that there were people who cared about him. But Sarah, at the last moment, refused to come out, which in turn triggered Mannix, who called on the number given to him by the cult members, detonated the bomb, and completed a full circle.

Did Elias Mannix detonate the bomb in 2023?

What we have mentioned above are the events that took place in the original timeline before Iris Maplewood came back in time and talked to Hillinghead, which changed the course of events that were supposed to happen. Iris went back to the year 1890, and she made sure that Hillinghead knew who this person called Julian Harker was and what he was up to. Hillinghead, in his last moments, said things that stirred Mannix’s conscience, and he started to feel that what he was doing was extremely barbaric and selfish. Just before being shot by Whiteman, in this new reality, Mannix recorded a message trying to tell his younger version not to detonate the bomb. Years later, that tape, which was hidden in a cafe called The Silk, was procured by Hasan in the year 2023, who had traveled to the past from the year 2053. A paradox was created on multiple levels when Hasan from 2053 came to meet her younger version in the year 2023. The Hasan from the future made Mannix hear that tape, which was recorded by him only in the year 1941. The young Elias Mannix had a change of heart, and he did not detonate the bomb. 

The characters in the past and the future were all affected by this altercation. In 1890, since no dead body was found, Hillinghead and Ashe did not talk, though they glanced at each other and felt a sort of connection. In 1941, Whiteman bumped into Esther, who was still pretty much alive, and she never blackmailed Whiteman, as the body of Gabriel Defoe never appeared. In the year 2023, Syed Tahir, the boy who was chased by Shahara Hasan, never appears, and probably even Chapel Perilous would never come into existence, as Hasan was not burning with vengeance to avenge the death of her son. So, the bomb did not go off, which in turn brought normalcy to the world, but Maplewood’s presence in the 2023 timeline, about which we got to know at the end of Bodies, made us realize that probably the peace would once again be disrupted 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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