Episode 6 of The Last Das of Ptolemy Grey returns to the past, as we see Ptolemy watching in horror as hungry flames lick up the side of a large building. Inside the fire happens to be Maude Petit, and her mother screams that her “baby is inside.” Ptolemy scrambles forward, turning into the old man once more during this dream sequence. He scoops her up and takes her out, pointing out that she’s safe now.
What does Ptolemy do before meeting Alfred?
Fast forward to the present and Ptolemy stumbles out from the bedroom. He discusses with Robyn how his mind is starting to frazzle, going on to mention the fire but side-stepping around Maude’s death. He doesn’t dwell on it. However, he soon answers the phone to Shirley, agreeing to go for lunch with her. This is cutting it fine with meeting Alfred though, so he decides to delay it by a day. “Bye Shirley.” Ptolemy says to himself, which almost feels like an acknowledgement of his condition starting to rear its ugly head.
Robyn heads out with Roger for the afternoon, while Ptolemy fills his morning up with some art at the local gallery. This really does feel like the beginning of the end, with Ptolemy soaking in the sights and sounds after being driven around by Hernandez. After dropping him off, he encourages Hernandez to stick around and blow the horn 5 minutes after Alfred has been inside.
Who killed Reggie?
Dressed in that familiar purple suit, Ptolemy grabs his gun and the tape recorder, returning to those moments at the start of season 1. After leaving Robyn a message, Alfred shows up, sitting opposite Ptolemy and taking a swig from the bottle. Ptolemy challenges him, pointing out nonchalantly that there could be poison in the whisky. That is, until Ptolemy takes a sip himself, demanding the truth about Reggie. The thing is, the tape recorder is still running as Ptolemy promises two coins every month… in exchange for the truth. And bang, there it is.
Alfred admits that he killed Reggie, including taking Reggie’s wife and destroying his life. When Ptolemy brandishes his gun, Alfred charges at him, prompting the old man to fire. Moments involving Sensia echo back in this moment, as he sees all the ghosts from the past in that hallway as Alfred staggers outside, clutching his bloody stomach. The carnage spills into the street.
Alfred collapses, that familiar woman from across the street robs him of his jewelry, while police soon show and force Ptolemy to drop his gun.
Six Months Later
In doing so, we cut forward six months. Ptolemy Grey awakens in a psychiatric hospital, chuckling that he’s beaten the devil. All the old faces are there, including Coydog and Reggie, who show up in ghostly forms.
In his absence, Ptolemy’s family gathers and begin to question Ptolemy Grey’s final wishes. Robyn is called out for potentially perverting the system, given her closeness with Ptolemy, but there’s a video message from a very stable Ptolemy to combat against all of their concerns. On camera for all to see, he confirms Robyn is the one he wants in charge of the money and that he’s sane of mind. There’s also a little jab at Hilly here too, pointing out he’s set aside some money for when he goes to prison.
Why does Ptolemy think he’s saved Maude from the fire?
Robyn has no intention of having this much money, contemplating putting it all into a trust fund.
After the hearing, she heads in to see Ptolemy who’s deteriorating fast. He’s erratic, constantly mentioning the devil and also how he saved Maude. But how? Well, Ptolemy’s memory of her death has been eating away at him for a while and after all these years of torment, Maude is now safe, having “swallowed up the flames that burned her.” A further flashback to Coydog reinforcing the positive message that Maude is smiling back at him somewhere, ends this series.
Does Alfred die?
Yes, Alfred dies in hospital after the fatal gunshot. Moishe manages to convince the police not to arrest Ptolemy right away, hence why he’s in hospital. Moishe managed to obtain a paper to delay the arrest, wanting to wait until Ptolemy is better before taking him away. The irony here is that we know Ptolemy probably never will, so he’s unlikely to be charged and put behind bars.
The Episode Review
So The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey ends with the final chapter not quite serving as the tearjerker it could have been. Having not read the book I can’t comment how accurate this story has been adapted but it almost feels like the quaint, reflective ending could have been more emotional akin to something like Big Fish had the writers decided to go that route.
However, Samuel L Jackson has been fantastic in this role and the show has done an excellent job developing his character and producing a really solid character-driven journey for him to ease into. The exploration of the elderly and our attitudes toward mental health are both themes that have been examined under close scrutiny here and the show has done a pretty good job at this.
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey could have done with some tightening up around the middle, but beyond that this has been a thoroughly enjoyable drama and well worth a watch.