The following will contain spoilers for the first episodes 1 and 2 of Apple TV’s The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. For a recap/review of last week’s episodes, click here.
Following two incredibly gripping and personal episodes, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey‘s third installment takes viewers on a different sort of journey. A journey to the past through the lens of the titular character. However, the story begins peeling back the layers of recuperating with the loss of one’s memory and shifts into a sci-fi thriller featuring medical wonders of the future. Beginning with a flashback to Ptolemy’s childhood, the seeds are planted for an epic treasure hunt. Being 93-years-old, Ptolemy grew up in a different, more hate-filled, and violent era.
His mentor, known simply as Coydog, explains his belief system to the impressionable boy. With the hand of the white man always threatening to come down with force, Coydog sees the potential of Ptolemy. Coydog reveals he stole a prized possession from a wealthy white man in the neighborhood, he hides it in a place only Ptolemy can find. His goal is for Ptolemy to take the prize, sell it, and create new opportunities for the Black community. Thankfully, he reveals this secret to the child just in time as Coydog is quickly captured, attacked, and seemingly lynched right before the boy’s eyes.
When the story returns to the present, the magical and nurturing relationship between Ptolemy (Samuel L. Jackson) and Robyn (Dominique Fishback) is once again on full display. The dynamic chemistry between the two actors is once again the highlight of episode three with a desire to do right by each other and protect what they have providing tender and heartfelt moments throughout. The treatment administered by Dr. Rubin (Walter Goggins), which unlocks every memory and strength (think Bradley Cooper in Limitless) gives Ptolemy newfound energy when he wakes up. He showers, shaves, and begins sauntering around with that trademark swagger that Jackson is known for. Much to the delight, and underlying concern, of Robyn.
The treatment is a two-parter. The first shot only lasts 12 hours. The second, which only lasts a few weeks, needs to be administered quickly before the detrimental side effects take shape. With Ptolemy decides to do with the time is both charming and heartbreaking. After flirting with a sweet, old woman. The treatment takes Ptolemy back to his courtship with his late wife, Sensia (Cynthia Kaye McWilliams). The de-aged Jackson is able to shine as a young man seeking a pretty young woman. These moments give viewers a look at the joy Ptolemy felt throughout his life. Therefore, painting a clearer picture of the man whose final days are being witnessed.
However, Sensia is currently in a relationship with a hot-headed man constantly wielding a gun. Sensia proves her grit by firing the fun and scaring the man off, beginning her life with Ptolemy off with a literal bang. The love shared by Ptolemy and Sensia is off the charts and, despite a large gap in age, Jackson and McWilliams work well together and create a believable tale of courtship and early lust. Continuing a trend that the incomparable Jackson can have chemistry with just about anyone he’s sharing a screen with. However, the memory not only reminds Ptolemy of the good times shared with his wife, but it also reminds him where Coydog’s treasure is hidden.
READ: ‘The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey’ Episodes 1-2 Recap/Review: “The Relentless Allure of the Past”
The latest edition of the new drama from Apple TV+ expands what the storytellers are going for. The first two episodes show an old man, desperately clinging to what few memories he has left. The third provides further context as to why those memories are so important. With the adventure truly beginning to take shape, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey has a lot of ground to cover. The task is to make this murder mystery/treasure hunt reach a satisfying conclusion before time runs out on Ptolemy’s temporary miracle cure. It’ll be interesting to see if they are able to stick the landing in the next few weeks. – Christian Hubbard
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey streams Fridays on Apple TV+.
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