Our list of the best quotes from Apple TV+ limited series, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (2022), based on the novel of the same name by Walter Mosley. The story centers on Ptolemy Grey (Samuel L. Jackson), an ailing man who is forgotten by his family, his friends, and by even himself. Left without his trusted caretaker and on the brink of sinking even deeper into a lonely dementia, Ptolemy is assigned to the care of orphaned teenager Robyn (Dominique Fishback). However, Ptolemy experiences a seismic shift when he’s given the opportunity to briefly regain his memories, and uses this fleeting lucidity to solve his nephew’s death and come to terms with his past.
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1. Reggie'Family the most important thing you got.' - Ptolemy Grey (The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey) Click To Tweet
Ptolemy Grey: [recording himself] Robyn. I want you to know that my whole family is depending on you. They mad right now because I put you in charge of my affairs. But in the long run, they’re going to be better off because of your strength. I’m sorry for what’s about to happen here today. But I got to set things right.
Coydog: Boy, you stop playing around. Do what you promised.
Ptolemy Grey: I forgot.
Coydog: Forgot? I didn’t give my life for you to forget.
Ptolemy Grey: Who that?
Reggie Lloyd: [at door] It’s me.
Ptolemy Grey: Me? I’m me. Is you that woman who want to rob me?
Reggie Lloyd: No. I’m that man that’s telling you that I’m here and that it’s me, Reggie.
Reggie Lloyd: So how I’m going to prove to you that I’m me?
Ptolemy Grey: Well, what I always tell Reggie he got to do?
Reggie Lloyd: I got to take care of my kids. I got to go to the doctor if I run a fever. And then, I got to put in at least ten dollars in the bank every time I get paid.
Ptolemy Grey: Well, anybody know that. What I tell Reggie about drinking?
Reggie Lloyd: You say, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Because when you do, you like to get mad!”
Ptolemy Grey: [laughs] That s**t don’t sound nothing like me.
Reggie Lloyd: Why you got the alarm clock in the icebox, Papa Grey?
Ptolemy Grey: I wanted to know what the temperature was, so I was…
Reggie Lloyd: I think this would do you better by your sleeping table. What you think?
Ptolemy Grey: Yeah.
Robyn: [after Niecie asks her to find somewhere else to stay] But I didn’t do nothing wrong.
Niecie: I know. It ain’t about what you did. It’s about what you ain’t woman enough to see yet. It’s our duty to make sure these Black men don’t go crazy. Right or wrong, it’s what we got to do.
Ptolemy Grey: Toilet broke. And the sink’s stopped up.
Robyn: Then how you go to the bathroom?
Ptolemy Grey: I do number two when Reggie come take me to the diner. And number one in an old bean can, and pour it in the kitchen sink and run the faucet after.
Robyn: In the kitchen?
Robyn: [to Ptolemy, referring to the toilet] You listen! That don’t get dealt with, I’m going to be haunted, you understand? Haunted.
Ptolemy Grey: Every time Reggie say he going to clean up here, he end up throwing away all my best things. My best things.
Robyn: Oh, yeah? Like what?
Robyn: You infested, you hear? All these piles, all these boxes, breeding ground. We going to have to put a stop to all that.
Ptolemy Grey: Right now?
3. Sensia'You can't have everything. You got to accept that, and settle on what you need.' - Sensia (The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey) Click To Tweet
Ptolemy Grey: [as he’s dreaming about Coydog] My mind ain’t supposed to be back here no more. I’m cured.
Coydog: Now you stop talking that foolishness and let’s go.
Ptolemy Grey: No, Coydog. My mind ain’t like this no more. I took the devil’s poison, and now I remember the past instead of it remembering me.
Coydog: So you remember it all?
Ptolemy Grey: Yeah.
Coydog: Then what was it I tasked you to do?
Ptolemy Grey: Why won’t you just tell me what it is I don’t recollect?
Coydog: Well, don’t you think I would if I could?
Ptolemy Grey: Why can’t you?
Coydog: Because this ain’t my dream.
'Remember, the devil come knocking, you better answer, or he'll burn your house down.' - Ptolemy Grey (The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey) Click To Tweet
Coydog: They made all men equal, except for if they had Black skin. They took all the freedom, and love, and hope out of every Black soul they touched, and they made it all into a black heart that Clive Miller keep to himself.
Pity: It’s really a heart?
Coydog: Well, that’s what I calls it. It’s treasure, Pity. It’s treasure made off the suffering of Black folks.
Coydog: See, Clive going to know I took his treasure, so I got to run. And, Pity, it’s you who going to have to take what I stole and use it to help our people.
4. Coydog'You cannot tell a man from his color, his clothes, nor his nationality, nor his God. You can only know a man from what he has in his heart.' - Syed Mousa (The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey) Click To Tweet
Robyn: [referring to the doubloons] Alright, so you said there was fourteen, and I only see two.
Ptolemy Grey: You know, Sensia, she liked pretty things. You know, jewelry, that little comb you like. And, oh, I’d say a hundred or so silk dresses.
Robyn: Of course you went and spent this money on impressing her.
Ptolemy Grey: Celebrating her.
Ptolemy Grey: [referring to paying for Sensia’s medical insurance bills] And that’s when I started cashing in the coins. Even though I knew that wasn’t what Coydog wanted.
Robyn: But he’s been dead for like a hundred years. What could he want?
Ptolemy Grey: Me to spend that money to save our people.
Robyn: What? Like Black people?
'Sin is a long road that run from downtown hell to uptown heaven, and your sins determine where you stand on that road. But ain't no person all good or all bad. Except God and the devil.' - Ptolemy Grey Click To Tweet
Robyn: So, how’s a kid supposed to be responsible for all that?
Ptolemy Grey: Well, I spent most of my life trying to figure that out. Then Sensia come along. I’d do anything in the world for that woman. But in the end, I failed her and Coy. This my last chance to do what I promised.
Ptolemy Grey: I was just thinking, that this sofa, ain’t no place for a young girl to be sleeping.
Robyn: It ain’t that bad.
Ptolemy Grey: You didn’t like it when you first come here.
Robyn: Yeah, well, a lot has changed since then.
Ptolemy Grey: You ain’t like my a** that much either.
Robyn: Oh, that’s not true. At least not no more.
5. Nina'You got to let the river take its course. We all in that river. And the river know right where it's going.' - Ptolemy Grey (The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey) Click To Tweet
Ptolemy Grey: You could’ve stayed over at Roger’s if you wanted to.
Robyn: No, I should’ve been here. I shouldn’t have left you alone. And I’m sorry.
Ptolemy Grey: No need for sorrow. Nothing wrong with being young and in love.
Robyn: In love?
Ptolemy Grey: I see how that boy look at you.
Robyn: Me and Roger barely know each other.
Ptolemy Grey: Four-thirty in the morning say different.
Ptolemy Grey: Well, one of these days, you’ll look back on this, and you’ll see different.
Robyn: Well, I’m old enough to know what love is, so.
Ptolemy Grey: Really? And who taught you that?
Robyn: You. I love you, Ptolemy. I do. And I bet that if I was twenty years older, and you were fifty years younger, I could see us being together, you and me.
Ptolemy Grey: You the first woman that ever loved me. Loved me un…
Ptolemy Grey: Yeah, that. Unconditional. Yeah. And that’s the kind of love I hope I remember when I slip back.
Ptolemy Grey: You need to be running toward your future, grabbing hold of whatever’s out there in the world for you. It’s good to be young. And something to be said for being old too.
Robyn: Oh, yeah? What’s so good about it, old man?
Ptolemy Grey: Well, old folk know where s**t come from and why it’s there.
Robyn: And what else?
Ptolemy Grey: Old folks ain’t scared of life, because they got one foot in the grave.
6. Ptolemy'One thing you got to remember is that we born dying. Every gasp we take is one gasp closer to eternity. If you deny that, then life lose all its purpose.' - Coydog (The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey) Click To Tweet
Robyn: You feel hot.
Ptolemy Grey: Ah, been running through fire. Tar paper shack up in flames. My little girlfriend, Maude Petit, was in there, about to burn up. I run in and saved her.
Robyn: Oh, that sound like a good dream this time.
Ptolemy Grey: I don’t know if I’d call it that, but it was a long time coming.
Robyn: Yeah, well, whatever it was, you seem nice and calm. That’s new.
Ptolemy Grey: [points to his head] Yeah, well, not up here.
Ptolemy Grey: I remember fifty-four, fifty-five years ago, I was reading this comic book about Thor, Norse god of thunder. His old man, Odin, had a chair, a throne. Throne was named Hlidskjalf. And when Odin sat on that throne, he could see everything, everywhere, all at once. That’s how I feel up here.
'You got to take life with death if you want to have any chance to be a man.' - Coydog (The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey) Click To Tweet
Ptolemy Grey: [over phone] What can I do for you, Ms. Wring?
Shirley Wring: You can say “yes”.
Ptolemy Grey: Yes.
Shirley Wring: Don’t you even want to know what you saying yes about?
Ptolemy Grey: Sure I do. But if I say yes now, or after, it won’t make no difference.
Shirley Wring: You kind of crazy, ain’t you, Ptolemy Grey?
Ptolemy Grey: I am, but it’s the crazy what keeps me going.
Ptolemy Grey: Well, I was thinking maybe after lunch, I’d come home, do a little entertaining.
Robyn: Define “entertaining”.
Ptolemy Grey: Man got to have some secrets, ain’t he?
Robyn: Alright. Well, you keep all your secrets.