"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Friday, March 25, 2022

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey 4: Ptolemy's Fate

It was good to see Ptolemy in top intellectual form throughout the whole episode #4 of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey on Apple TV+.   This ranged from putting the cops who came knocking of the door of his apartment in their place, to coming to terms with Hilly, to pretty much figuring out who killed his nephew.

With only two more episodes to go of this fine series, the big question remains of how long will Ptolemy stay in possession of his razor-sharp mind, and his intellectual capacities even better than just restored.  Dr. Rubin aka Satan says he honestly doesn't know, because Ptolemy was so strong, so receptive to the restorative treatment, in the first place.

We should also bear in the mind that we see Ptolemy about to end his life in the very first scene of the series.  But, of course, that's a far cry from his actually taking his own life, rather than his being obliged to be a helpless witness to his own deterioration.  I'm ever the optimist, so here's what I'm hoping to see (I haven't read Walter Mosley's novel, so I don't know how that ended):

I'd like to see Ptolemy, with his still superior intelligence, figure out how he can make his enormous intellectual improvement permanent.  Is that too much to ask?  We live in a world in which our fictions more often than not have unhappy endings.  But Ptolemy realizing what he can do to extend the ascendance of his mind is not implausible.

I'm also wondering what else Dr. Rubin might have up his sleeve.  Has he been 100% truthful with Ptolemy?  We have no reason to think that he has not, at least so far.  I think he would certainly be amenable if Ptolemy were to come up with some ideas about how to extend his mental surge.

I'll see you here next week, with some thoughts on how Ptolemy's path progresses.

See also The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey 1-3: In Flowers for Algernon Territory

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