First thing's first: minor Fringe spoilers are ahead. That said, don't be too disappointed if they happen to be a bit vague. On with the show ...
Recently, select members of the press had the opportunity to preview the first of what will be the final three episodes of Fringe. The episode, titled "The Boy Must Live", upon viewing is an obvious pre-cursor to the two-part finale that will air January 18th on FOX. "The Boy Must Live", itself, will air January 11th.
At this early stage, with a full 11 days before the episode even airs, it's hard to decide what to discuss and what to keep secret, mostly because I think many of the events in the episode have already been foreshadowed to a great degree throughout the final season arc. Let's just address some of the high points that might be of concern to the hardcore Fringe fans out there.
1) It's an ending worth waiting for. "The Boy Must Live" provides a great deal of connective tissue to much earlier happenings in the Fringe-verse, giving this season a bit more canonical weight. One of the biggest complaints from fans is that the final season has felt far removed from the rest of the series. You will judge for yourself how successful the efforts are, but for this Fringe fan I came out of "The Boy Must Live" believing the writers still felt a sense of connection to the overall picture.
2) Minds will be blown. In terms of mythological revewals, "The Boy Must Live" takes the cap off a lot of geysers of exposition; particularly concerning the Observers. The final word on why the Observers are how they are, why there aren't many female observers, and much more can be found in this episode. Exposition might be a dirty word, but in this case it works just fine considering the limited amount of time we have left.
3) It's about time. The end game will finally be known in its completion. September AKA Donald will play a major role in the Observer 'solution', and the level at which he is involved in it takes on surprisingly personal dimensions. Fans of September will most definitely be getting a big paycheck in this episode. There are some elements concerning the plan to rid the world of the observers that won't make everyone happy though...
4) And, It's about sacrifice. The plan to rid the world of the observers requires that one of the core Fringe crew sacrifice his or her life. Exactly how is not known, but by the end of "The Boy Must Live" you will know who it is, and it will be shockingly apropos. I do think, and hope, that the Fringe crew has taken the edge off this moment considering that Olivia had to be shot in the head to resolve season 4, and lived to fight another day. Also since the plan does involve time travel to a certain degree, it seems likely that if the Fringe team are successful then this sacrifice could be 'undone'.
Don't forget to stay tuned to TVRage throughout the next couple of weeks as more media from "The Boy Must Live" becomes available.