The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (2022) s01e05 Episode Script


1 I thought we was going night fishing for some catfish, Coydog.
We is, boy.
I gotta say hi to my girlfriend first.
Which one? Miss Charlotte or Miss Ruby? Miss Mary.
Well, why we got to say hi to her before we go fishing? Well, I promised I would help her pay her rent.
Come on, boy.
Hey, hey! You know what the preacher say about sin? Yeah.
Well, this is it! Hey, Coydog! Hey! - It's been a while.
- Ooh, yeah.
I've been doing some logging up in Van Cleve while my still leaks its bourbon.
Oh, mm-hmm.
Isn't he a little young to be in here at night, Mr.
McCann? No, uh-uh.
I'm seven years old.
Big boy.
Oh, is that so? I took him for a couple of days 'cause his mama had to go to New Orleans to look after her father.
And who you here to see? Miss Mary, to help her pay her rent.
Oh! Uh, Miss Mary! Yes, Miss Delia.
McCann here to "help you pay your rent.
" I'm coming.
You wanna go take a bath, big boy? - Yes, ma'am.
- Come with me.
- You mind Miss Delia now, boy.
- All right.
Good time tonight! - Matrice.
- Yes, Miss D.
Could you please bring a couple of buckets of hot water for the tub? But nobody taking a bath until late.
It's for our royal highness.
Come on.
Let's get you ready.
Is the water hot enough for you, big boy? Uh-huh.
How come you got your bathtub out in the big room? Well, it used to be upstairs, but then Miss Loretta moved in, and there wasn't room up there no more.
Anyways, down here is closer to the hot water.
Oh, okay.
You are just the sweetest child.
I wanna take you home with me.
Every time.
Every time.
Come on, now.
Somebody gotta lose.
Goddamn cheaters! Come here, motherfucker! Stop that! Break those men up! There ain't no fightin' in here! You're mine, son of a bitch! You gonna cheat again? - Don't you hurt him! That's my man! - I'll fucking kill you.
Come here, baby.
Hey, Pitypapa.
You in there? Mm-hmm.
Come on in.
You fixing to shoot me? Oh, no, no, no.
I I took this here out for myself.
Mmm, mmm, mmm.
Look at you.
So, you been out with your new friend? Yes.
Then why not shoot myself, huh? I mean, you all I ever had, and now that's over.
So, you set on dying? I can't think of nothing else to do.
Why you got to do anything? Because you the onliest woman I ever loved.
And I came home, didn't I? You can't lose me.
You gonna always be my only man.
But if you wanna die, then let me shoot you myself.
'Cause right after that, I'll put the bullet in my own heart.
- Mmm.
- Mmm.
Uncle, wh Why What What you What you doing up so late? Unwin Lomax.
Who? Unwin Lomax beat down Arthur Meany, and Miss Molly stabbed him and killed him.
A nightmare? Didn't start out that way.
I was in the tub.
Miss Matrice was heating up the bathwater.
The hot water was taking off the chill.
And everybody was laughing and smiling and… I don't think I ever felt safer.
But, as usual, it ain't last.
I'm sorry I'm so late.
But when I called you earlier, you said everything was okay.
It is.
This whiskey here just to help me get back to sleep.
You could've stayed over at Roger's if you wanted to.
No, I should've been here.
I shouldn't have left you alone.
And I'm sorry.
No need for sorrow.
Nothing wrong with being young and in love.
In love? - I see how that boy look at you.
- Aw.
Oh, me and Roger barely know each other.
Uh, 4:30 in the morning say different.
No, we was just Oh, whatever.
We was hanging.
He good to you? Yes.
Well, you willing, he able.
Mmm, I am pleading the fifth on that one.
Well, one of these days, you'll look back on this, and you'll you'll You'll see different.
Well, I'm old enough to know what love is, so… Really? And who taught you that? You.
I-I love you, Ptolemy.
I do.
And I bet that if I was 20 years older, and you were 50 years younger, I could I could see us being together, you and me.
You ever You ever felt like that about somebody? Hmm.
Uh, my first little girlfriend, Maude, I guess.
And you know how I feel about Sensia.
But you You the You the first woman that ever loved me.
Loved me un un Uh, unconditional? Yeah, that.
And that's the kind of love I I hope I remember when I slip back.
Okay, but you 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.
Oh, yeah? What's so good about it, old man? Well, old folk know where shit come from and why it's there.
And what else? Old folks ain't scared of life, 'cause they got one foot in the grave.
Look here.
You need to get some sleep.
We got a big day tomorrow.
I got some new folks I want you to meet and learn some old tricks.
- Want a little drink before you go in? - Oh, no.
You know you should not be drinking that much.
You know you can't save me neither.
Yeah, but it don't mean I can't try.
Good night.
Good night.
Sleep tight.
Don't let the bed bugs bite.
They do, they gonna get drunk.
- Who the fuck is this? - This, uh, Ptolemy Grey for Nina.
You know what fucking time it is? Oh, I'm I'm I'm sorry about that, but I-I got something important I want to say to her.
- Hello? - Papa Grey? Yeah, that's me.
It's Nina.
Nina Lloyd.
How you get my number so fast? It's on my phone.
What? Yo Your phone know who call you? All phones do.
What? They do? Listen, um, I'm sorry about Alfred.
He gets protective of people calling me.
Oh, that's your boyfriend? No, not at all.
Just Just a friend of the family, you know, helping out.
Did Niecie call you, tell you about the eulogy I'm having for Reggie? She did, but, um Listen, I don't think I can come.
It's still hard, you know? Yeah, I know.
Like a Like a wound won't heal.
Well, listen, the repast start at three o'clock.
If If you can meet me at 2:00, I I promise I won't take up much of your time.
I just wanna give you some money.
I don't understand.
What What money? The money I was saving for Reggie, your husband.
It's enough to take care of you and the kids for a couple months.
- Two o'clock, you say? - Mm-hmm, yeah.
Two o'clock.
Uh Hmm.
Oh, I knew I'd catch you out here reading a book.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
- Can you get us a bus schedule? - Mmm.
No, I-I-I asked could you get us a bus schedule.
Yeah, that's what I'm doing, Uncle.
You finna call the bus company? No.
I'ma download it.
- Say what? - Download.
Like, the Internet.
Ever heard of it? Yeah, I done heard of it, but I ain't never used it.
Okay, let me show you.
Where you going? - Uh, we're gonna go to Buckhead.
- Okay.
That's it, right there.
Number 44.
Look just like it used to look.
Now we gotta hope he still in here.
- All right.
Well, come on.
- I'm coming.
I'm coming.
Um, excuse me.
You need the exercise.
All the way up there? You can do it.
Come on.
Look at you.
- Ooh, child.
- You did it.
- My legs hurt.
- I knew you could.
- Mm-hmm.
- Yes, I did.
We here to see Mr.
- Do you have an appointment? - No.
What's your business with Mr.
Abromovitz? He's still a lawyer, ain't he? Yes, he is, but you can't just walk in here off the street Moishe! Moishe! You back there? Sir.
Sir, I will call the police.
- Moi - Is there a problem? Junior? Mr.
Grey? Where your dad at? He died abou uh, 15 years ago.
Oh, he was a young man.
We Well, he was 69 at the time.
Oh, come here.
I-I can't believe it's you.
This truly is a welcome surprise.
You looking good.
And this woman I was gardening for accused me of stealing from her.
- Mmm.
- They put me in jail and everything.
I got one of them, uh uh uh Court-appointed lawyers.
Son of a bitch wanted me to plead guilty.
Told the judge and everything.
Well, luckily for Mr.
Grey, my father was there to represent my uncle Shmuel for embezzlement.
He heard Mr.
Grey arguing with his lawyer.
Uh, Gerald Watts.
Wow, Mr.
My father asked Mr.
Grey if he'd like a different attorney.
What about your uncle? Shmuel? No, he was guilty.
Only thing they had to settle on was the amount of the fine.
So So, what is it they thought you stole? - A statuette by, um - Degas who they said made it.
But Moishe Senior stayed on the case for ten months.
He finally got one of the woman's nieces to admit the woman, Sadie Holman, had stole it her own damn self… - What? - …and was selling it on the sly.
What, so so she went to jail? No.
No, my father just got her to drop the charges.
But she was guilty.
Well, some people, even criminals, are unlikely to ever see a conviction, much less the inside of a jail.
So, what can I do for you? Ah! Can you make me a will? Of course.
Are there many heirs? A few, but I want Robyn here to be in charge of who gets what, when.
- Wait.
Me? - Mm-hmm.
Is this a considerable sum? It is, but your daddy knew all about it.
Uh, when going over a will, it is my practice to discuss the particulars with the testator alone.
I'm sure you understand.
Yeah, I'm gonna be right outside.
What is this young woman to you? Robyn come into my life when I needed someone to care for me very, very badly.
I was in bad shape, Mo.
She pulled me out of a deep, deep hole.
And I I sorta adopted her.
But I trust Robyn with my life, way more than I trust my own kinfolk.
I understand your feelings for this girl, but do others share your conviction? Namely, your family? W-What are the chances they'll contest? One hundred percent.
I got a niece who got a no-account-ass son.
I got another great-grandnephew that got killed, left two children and a wife, which I ain't sure about.
But I do know that anything I leave to them, they gonna piss away.
- You're sure about this? - Mm-hmm.
Yeah, they don't know how to handle money like that.
So, I'ma leave some specific instructions with Robyn, but they still gonna say I was outta my mind.
You seem of sound mind to me.
And a trust could be set up that would satisfy the courts, if not any expectations on your family's part.
Good! That's what I want.
All right.
Now, there's one more thing that you can help me with.
Place still look the same.
What's in this here box is all about you.
Gentlemen, your keys.
Coydog, found the treasure.
The Brasher Doubloon.
My father's records indicate that Mr.
Grey declared this coin 40 years ago.
As his property.
He paid the taxes, even though we advised against it.
Uh, the current worth? 17.
29 million.
- Dollars? - Yes.
And there are seven other less valuable coins in another box, and the same keys work on that.
Let's not worry about them right now.
B-But W-We're gonna get the ball rolling by cashing this here one in and turning that into a a trust account that Robyn here manage.
No, no, no.
We need to talk about this.
Don't worry.
Don't worry about it.
Don't worry about that? Don't I get a say? Uh Of course you do.
Then, thank you, but no thank you.
Why are you asking him? Look, you ain't gotta do nothing just yet.
Yeah, but what if I still feel the same way later? As disappointing as that may be to Mr.
Grey, I assure you, the trust will remain in good hands.
How How so? Well, if you refuse custodianship, the responsibility will simply fall to me.
If she refuse.
How is this any different than what you already doing with my alligator bag money? That money's in the bank, and you hold the card.
Look, I know it's a lot of money.
It's a fucking fortune.
I can't be messing with that.
But it's all in my will.
Everything you need to do is right there.
It'd be just like I'm there with you.
Yeah, but you won't be.
Look, everybody gonna get their piece.
You gonna get a chunk, then a salary to write checks every month.
Shirley Wring, Billy's friends, they gonna get something.
It's It's It's like you gonna be taking care of everybody.
How you expecting me to do all that? I couldn't even barely understand a word the lawyers was talkin' about.
You smarter than anybody in that room.
Plus, you know, Moishe know everything.
And I'm just supposed to trust him? If you don't, get a second opinion.
Third if you want.
You're not hearing me.
I don't want the money.
I don't want any of it.
You didn't wanna come to a house smell like shit, bugs treading all over everything, talking to a crazy old man didn't know his ass from a hole in the ground neither, but you did.
And you did it 'cause you was the only one could do it.
I did it 'cause I had to.
I ain't had nowhere else to go.
And I cleaned up this mess 'cause I didn't wanna stay in it.
I didn't do it 'cause I'm some kind of saint, and still you keep on You keep on - Keep on Keep on what? - Seeing me for something that I'm not! - I see you for who you is! - No, you don't! Everything I've done, it's been about you.
Not Not about me or how how I feel.
'Cause if you If you really saw me, you would see that I'm 17 years old, and I'm not ready.
You doing to me what Coydog did to you.
- That's why I know how you feel.
- Then why you making me do it? You free to do whatever you want, okay? I'm just asking for your consideration.
Just consider, just maybe, just maybe, I know what I'm talking about.
What's up? Come on.
- Robyn! - Robyn! - Hi! - Hey.
- Hey, Pitypapa.
- I'm sorry.
Uh, Nina here? She a little bit late.
So, we gonna have it in here in the living room? Well, not as many people gonna come as last time.
So I thought, yeah.
- You got some food? - Out back.
What happened to you, Pitypapa? I mean, you not as feeble-minded as you was, but you're not the same man you were before neither.
I ain't? No.
- Hey! - Mommy! Oh, my God! You guys look so nice.
What's wrong? Artie took my doll and pulled her pigtails.
Arthur, did you do that to your sister's dolls? Yeah, but she threw my play gun on the ground.
- Nuh-uh.
- All right, okay.
- Okay.
- Mm-hmm.
You did.
I think the only way to settle this is to see which one of you can eat the most ice cream, huh? - Yeah.
- I'll take 'em to the store.
- Get you some ice cream.
- Thanks, Robyn.
You coming? No, baby.
I'm gonna stay here and talk to Papa Grey.
Please? Then we're gonna all eat together, okay? Okay! Beautiful children.
They're my heart.
Uh, you mind if we go in the back and talk? - No, go ahead.
- Okay.
Come on.
Uh, um I understand this Last time we was here, this this room here was hell.
- Yeah.
- But, come on.
Come on in.
That was the the first time you and me actually met each other too.
Yeah, it's not like I never wanted to.
It's just that, um… Well, Reggie, he didn't want me coming over.
Said he didn't want me to see you in the condition you was in.
- I figured as much.
- Yeah.
I still feel like I got to know you.
That's how much you was in Reggie's heart.
You know, he told me all about you.
He told me about all the things you taught him over the years.
You know, he still has Well, had those, um, children books you gave him when he was little.
Said whenever you'd come over to babysit, he'd pull 'em out, and you'd read 'em to him.
Till he got big enough, and I made him read 'em to me.
Yeah, he was sweet like that.
Uh This here, this is $5,000.
It's for you and the children.
Reggie loved them babies.
Last thing he said to me was it was Latisha's birthday.
He had to rush home to get some party favors.
Look, I I know it's hard for you to be here… but I would really appreciate it if you would stay and hear what I had to say.
It's as much for you and them children as it is for Reggie.
But I understand if you can't.
No, I-I'll I'll stay.
Thank you.
No, thank you.
- Appreciate it.
- Yeah.
I guess you better get on back.
- Thanks.
- Mm-hmm.
We got a whole thing of chocolate.
- I like the chocolate.
- Who likes chocolate? - Me.
- Not me.
Well if you don't, then I'll eat the whole thing.
Eat the whole thing by yourself? - Yep.
- That's crazy.
- Give this to your mama.
- I'm gonna get a stomachache.
Ha! Am I too late? Oh, no.
It It ain't even started yet.
Do you wanna go for a walk? - Sure.
- Okay.
You know Papa Grey is sick, right? I thought he was better with the new meds and all.
Oh, well, that was just a temporary fix.
Ain't nothing the doctors can do? No, but we already knew it was coming.
So… Don't seem fair.
Well, shit ain't ever fair.
It's just real.
People suffer, and then they die, and then nobody give a fuck.
My mother had cancer.
She hurt so bad that if you just breathe on her sometimes, she'd cry out in pain.
My father walk in the room, and she'd look at him, scared he might touch her or say something too loud.
One day, she waved to him to come close.
And when he did, she begged him to kill her.
Begged him.
You see? That's terrible.
Here you are with the person you love the most, and the best thing that you could do for 'em is kill 'em? How's that right? I don't know.
You know, I saw something in my father sitting next to my mother.
What was that? She could ask him anything because they were everything to one another.
We should all be so lucky to find a love like that, that deep.
I know I wouldn't mind knowing something like that.
I mean, not saying us.
Not yet.
You can't be serious.
Is it so crazy? The thought of me and you being together? Wait.
Together how? Like, you love me so much you wanna kill me, together? I just wanna know what this is.
Listen, I like you, and you sweet.
And it's been fun, but I got a lot of stuff I gotta do.
Well, what you grinning about? My father asked my mother to marry him six times before she said "yes.
" I mean, I'm not saying that's us.
I'm just saying.
You stupid.
Come on.
Uh, Miss Barnet.
What are you doing here? Mr.
He, uh He invited me.
He said that I might be interested in what he had to say.
I'm just as surprised as anybody.
Oh, um, this is Dr.
He's Uncle's memory doctor.
- Lovely to meet you.
- How you doing? Good.
He has a name.
It's Roger.
- Roger.
- Roger.
Yeah, nice to meet you.
- Uncle.
- Hey.
Hey, Satan.
Hello, Mr.
How are you? Every day I got a clear thought, testament to you.
- Ha.
- Thanks for coming.
Yes, okay.
- Um, hello.
- Hi.
Okay, um, thank you, everyone, for finding it in your hearts to be here again.
Last time we were together, my uncle, Pitypapa, Mr.
Ptolemy Grey, wasn't feeling very well.
But now he's better, and he wanted to say what he didn't get a chance to.
Now, I think we owe it, not just to Pitypapa, but to Reggie, to lend an ear to his favorite uncle, something Reggie himself loved to do.
Uh, go ahead.
- Hey, y'all.
- Hey, Mr.
The onliest reason I'm standing here is 'cause of my great-grandnephew, Reggie Lloyd.
Reggie took care of me when nobody else could stand the stink in my house or the stench from my body.
He was one of those great Black men that lived in our neighborhoods that looked out for old folks and children.
He was a good man who stayed in a place too long.
I have never been that kind of man.
I was married to a woman named Sensia Howard.
Uh, folks said she was no good.
She run the streets.
She spent my money.
She didn't give a damn about nobody but herself.
She didn't care about me and nobody else.
Niecie, your mama told me I should leave her 'cause I deserved a woman better than that.
But your mother wasn't at my house the night Doris Hind came to my door.
Hi, Miss Wring.
Doris was a heartbroken young woman whose mama had just died.
Her mother, Cora Patterson, told her on her deathbed that she was my child.
Cora had been my girl for a while, but I left her when Sensia came into my life.
But I could see Doris was mine.
But I ain't hug her.
I ain't throw open my doors and say, "Come on in!" I said… "I'm sorry, but your mother must have been mistaken.
" Mmm.
And I closed the door in her face.
As she went down the stairs, she ran into Sensia.
And my bride could see me in her face.
She put her arms around that blubbering girl and brought her back upstairs.
Sensia loved her where I couldn't.
I just resented her and her interruption into our lives, and I showed it.
Doris hated me till her dying day.
She was 42 years old.
But I didn't go to her funeral 'cause I didn't even know she was dead for a few years.
But I didn't call y'all here to talk about my troubles.
But I tell you about Doris for a reason.
It is a great injustice that I stand here while Reggie lay in the cold ground.
He was a good man who deserved a good life.
He deserved the loving wife and children.
He ain't deserve the fate he got.
I owe Reggie my life.
And that is a deep debt that I intend to pay in full.
So, I called y'all here to bear witness that I, Ptolemy Roberts Grey, will do everything I can to make sure Reggie's bloodline has every chance in a world where folk don't give a damn whether we live or die.
If these children grow up to be half the man their daddy was, then everybody here'll be in a a wor Everybody here'll live Everybody here will Will live in a world that Everybody's life i-in… …in the world We'll We'll live in a world that will be a better better place to live in.
Thank y'all.
Let's eat.
You all right? No, but that's as it should be.
That girl, Doris.
My daughter, Doris? Your daughter, Doris.
In all that time, you ain't never try to make things right with her? Not once? No.
What happened to her? How she die? She, um She committed suicide.
You hate me now? You know better than to ask me that.
You know, Roger decided to get serious with me and started talking about us like we a thing.
Well, you is, ain't you? I do not want to hear that.
Tell him about your money? What money? Oh, so you done made up your mind about that.
Can we please not talk about this right now? I still got faith you gonna come around.
Look at 'em.
Where their mama at? Hey! I'll see if I can find her.
You got a dress on.
Nina? - Papa Grey.
- What you doing out here by yourself? Everybody in the back where the food's at.
Yeah, I was just I was just thinking.
I wanna thank you for staying.
I hope I said a few things right.
More than a few.
You could hear it, you know? How much you really loved him.
Well, I wasn't the onliest one.
Far from it.
He really loved you too.
I hope you know that.
I do.
Matter of fact, he loved you so much that when he found out another man had his eye on you, he decided he was gonna move you down to Texas.
I'm sorry.
What? One of the last things he told me.
What did you say? What you think I should've said? - I don't know.
- Mmm.
You know, I I went down there where Reggie got murdered, and I found the woman who seen what happened.
She said the man what did it was brown-skinned with short, spiky hair and had a scar over his eye.
Did she hear a name? I don't see Reggie's truck parked out front here.
Drive yourself over here? Uh, no.
Oh, so you was dropped off then.
- Yeah.
- Hmm.
Family friend, Alfred? I'm going inside.
Did you tell Alfred that Reggie was planning on moving you and the kids to Texas? I didn't tell anybody about Reggie's plans for us.
Was Alfred with you the night Reggie was killed? I'm a good woman, Mr.
A mother.
Was Alfred with you when that bullet tore through Reggie's brain? I'm a good woman! What was Alfred in prison for? What? Who told you that? That ain't no answer.
What do you want me to say? Did you tell him Reggie was trying to take you away? - No, I - What he say? You got to stay? What he tell you? That you was his woman? That you wasn't going no goddamn where? That you belong to him? - Did you know? - No! Well, did you suspect? - I asked him.
- And what he say? He slapped me.
Knocked me down.
And that's the man you wanna cling to? I was 13 years old.
I'd just turned 13 when me and Alfred met, and he What am I supposed to say to a man like that, huh? I loved Reggie.
I did.
I do, but… but with Alfred, it's just I just I can't explain it.
Whatever the truth is, I swear I didn't know.
So, what am I supposed to do? My uncle Coydog used to say, "You got to let the river take its course.
" Well, what does that mean? I don't know.
I used to ask him the same thing.
He said, "We all in that river, boy.
" "And the river know right where it's going.
" Hey.
Thanks for coming.
- Are you okay? - Mm-hmm.
I liked what you had to say in your speech.
Sounds like you've come to terms with some truths in your life.
I don't know about that.
Well, at least it seems like you're ready to admit that I was right.
You're a good man.
- A good man? - Mm-hmm.
Yeah, here I am sitting here holding your hand like we got a future when the doctor done told me my days is numbered.
You think an old woman like me doesn't know that any day might be her last one? It's been really great meeting you.
I'll let you go talk to your guest.
I'll be back.
Um… I don't think I've ever been to an event where I was the only white guy there.
What you said in there was, um Was very moving.
It was painfully honest.
You did seem to drift there, though, for a minute or two.
Yeah, I'm I'm coming to the end.
Tell me something, Ptolemy.
Why did you invite me here? Well, the old folks used to say, "You got to give the devil his due.
" And you are sacrificing my life.
Your sacrifice will save millions of lives up the line, Ptolemy.
Will it? I used to think I had to save all the Black folks in America 'cause of something a great man stole.
- But you changed your mind? - No.
I have figured out, though, that what he wanted me to do was to to empower the peoples.
To pass on the blessing more and more until everybody was lifted… …lifted up.
Excuse me.
- Excuse me.
- Alfred Gulla.
What the fuck is wrong with you, old man? I went to that place where my nephew was cut down.
I met a woman who said a brown man with spiky hair with a scar over his eye killed Reggie.
Oh, don't worry.
I ain't told nobody.
And the police, they don't give a damn.
All right.
So, what you want then? I gave your girlfriend some money.
Why don't you take a look at that.
Come on by my place.
Maybe we can make a deal.
What kind of deal? I need to know that Reggie's children gonna have a good life.
And part of that means that you can't be in the picture.
Can't have them babies being raised by the man what killed their daddy.
- The boy is mine.
- That what she told you? The best parts of that boy come from the good in my nephew.
You a crazy old fool.
That may be.
But I'm willing to pay you good money to stay away from Nina and them children.
- How much money? - Five times what I give her.
What make you think I'ma give up my woman for money? Nigga, please.
You want the money.
I'll be at my apartment two o'clock tomorrow afternoon.

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