Like all the best cliffhangers, the dramatic finale to Doctor Who: Flux episode 4 concealed as much as it revealed – here’s what it meant.
This article contains spoilers for Doctor Who: Flux episode 4.
Doctor Who: Flux The cliffhanger finale of episode 4 apparently saw the Doctor transformed into a crying angel, but in reality, she appears to have been transported to meet the Division. Doctor who Season 13 has a narrative approach unlike anything seen on the show since it was relaunched in 2005. It’s a unique six-episode story, with each episode ending in dramatic suspense. And the suspense for Doctor Who: Flux Episode 4 is easily the most effective to date.
Packed with classic horror tropes, Episode 4 sees the return of the Weeping Angels. The Doctor learns that at least one group of Weeping Angels works for Doctor whoDivision, the group he also worked for in his forgotten past. A rebellious crying angel has brought the Doctor to Earth to strike a deal: he knows that the only thing the Division wants more than itself is the Doctor, and has agreed to hand her over. Unknowingly, standing on a ship of the Weeping Angels, the Doctor appears to transform into a Weeping Angel. Current Doctor who Showrunner Chris Chibnall is a fan of the classic series, where cliffhangers were the norm, and here he managed to pull off what can be considered one of the best in the show’s history.
The best cliffhangers, however, depend on misdirection. According to the mischievous weeping angel, the Doctor has been «called to the division,“Which means that she is not transforming into a crying angel at all, but is being transported back to Division headquarters. Doctor Who: Flux Episode 4 had already revealed that the Weeping Angels’ technology is made up of the same living stone as the creatures themselves – the Doctor is apparently standing on the hull of his stone ship. Given that this is the case, it is reasonable to assume that the Doctor has been covered with stone so that she can be transported back to Division headquarters; there is a flash of energy the moment the credits start to appear, suggesting a transmission – Doctor whothe version of a Star Trek transporter – has been activated, or some timeskip system has.
The Weeping Angels had come to Earth hoping to capture one of their own kind, meaning that whatever technology they use to travel through time and space would be calibrated for their stone forms. Logically, then, they would have to cover the Doctor with this living stone, giving him the attributes of a weeping angel, for it to work. This clearly explains the suspense, bridging the dialogue and dramatic ending scenes, as well as setting the continuation of the Doctor’s arc in episode 5.
Pleasantly, BBC marketing has learned from previous Doctor who mistakes. The cliffhangers of the first two episodes were effectively ruined because the trailers that aired immediately afterwards showed that all the heroes would survive, and even shed important clues as to how. In the case of Doctor Who: Flux Episode 4, however, the trailer reveals nothing about the fate of the Doctor; there is a brief glimpse of the TARDIS, but no sign of its owner. However, there is a shot of a mysterious flash of light approaching an apparently Gallifreyan-designed space station, and since the Division began with the Time Lords, this is likely their base of operations. I wish, Doctor Who: Flux Episode 5 will see the Doctor face the Division and learn something from his forgotten past.
Doctor Who: Flux launches new episodes on Sundays on BBC and BBC America.