This is a tale of two entities struggling for survival.
The first is humanity, which comes to be embodied in the form of John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell). Murdoch flees, resists and fights because he refuses to adapt to what a higher power has decreed. In this case it means becoming somebody else without previous notice at the struck of the clock. If he loses his memories, he’s lost who he really is and has therefore surrendered his humanity. Were that to occur, for all intents and purposes John Murdoch would be dead.
The other entity is that which is found inside the Others.
An alien species of some kind, they employ humans as guinea pigs not out of evil, but necessity. It is not much different than human scientists using monkeys in their experiments-the majority of scientists do not despise apes, but would gladly lose one or two if it would help people in any way.
That is why the climactic and spectacular showdown between Murdoch and Mr. Book (Ian Richardson) has a certain air of sadness. Mr. Book is, in effect, the only one who can stave off extinction for his entire race; Murdoch is the only one of his kind who can bring some sort of humanity back into this world.
That is also why at the end, I experienced no thrill at having witnessed a hero saving the day.
I simply nodded in admiration.