In Netflix’s ‘The Bequeathed,’ a Korean crime-drive drama show, the narrative delves into the complications that a family inheritance brings to the life of a woman who never realized her lineage’s history. Yoon Seo-ha learns about the existence of her uncle, Myung-gil, on the same day that the police notify her about the old man’s unfortunate and mysterious death. Although the same puts her, his only known relative, next in line to inherit the family burial grounds, Myung-gil’s funeral introduces her to her half-brother, Kim Young-ho, with an equal claim on the land. However, death and misfortune don’t desert the Yoon family after the initial loss, following Seo-ha as the plague.
Thus, a string of crimes puts the family and its much-desirable burial grounds on local Detectives Choi Sung-Jun and Park Sang-Min’s radar, compelling them to wonder what exactly is the connection between the Yoon family’s past and the present deaths. SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Bequeathed Recap
The story begins with Myung-gil, a 75-year-old man, who dies in the fields of Jinseong-Ri village on his way home. Since the man leaves no descendants of his own behind, the cops reach out to his brother’s daughter, Yoon Seo-ha, a college art instructor. Seo-ha, who is already dealing with her own issues, namely a seemingly dead-end career and a cheating husband, never knew her uncle. Her father, Myung-ho, left Seo-ha and her mother when his daughter was young. As such, she has little knowledge about her paternal lineage.
Nevertheless, Seo-ha drives to the village with her husband, Yang Jae-seok. At the morgue, Seo-ha learns that she will be inheriting her family’s generational burial grounds as the next of kin. Although the Namil Police Department is handling Myung-gil’s death as a homicide due to the fatal amount of Thallium found in his system, they quickly clear Seo-ha of any suspicions, allowing her claim over the land.
Afterward, at Myung-gil’s funeral, which the village Chief helps Seo-ha set up, Seo-ha’s distant half-brother, Kim Young-ho, makes an appearance. His emotionally erratic behavior leaves an awful impression as he takes his exit kicking and screaming after trying to cling to Seo-ha, a sister he’s never met before. Yet, considering he has an equal right on the family’s burial grounds, Seo-ha would have to accept him in her orbit for a while.
Meanwhile, tensions run high at the Police Department between Detective Choi and Captain Park, whose hierarchical roles were reversed not too long ago. Things worsen when Choi manages to solve Myung-gil’s murder all on his own, figuring out that the Chief and Jijo construction guys planned the man’s murder since he refused to sell his land. The same threw a wrench in their development plans, giving them the perfect motive. Still, Choi decides to give Park the credit, compelling the latter to feel pitied.
Simultaneously, Seo-ha and Jae-seok’s marriage comes to a heel after she confronts him about his infidelity and toxic behavior. However, the man insists he’s not leaving without getting his share of her family’s inheritance. Consequently, Seo-ha leaves him alone on the roadside, where a hunting rifle-bearing killer finds him and murders him. Once the police learn about the murder, they bring in numerous people for questioning, including Seo-ha.
Although Seo-ha gets cleared, she insists the Police should look into Young-ho. Nonetheless, since he had an alibi, the police had no reason to question him. The same changes when Seo-ha reveals her, and later, Young-ho’s father has a hunting rifle that matches the make and model of Jae-seok’s murder weapon. Yet, her half-brother insists he doesn’t have the Rifle.
As a result, Seo-ha gets in contact with PI Kang Hong-sik to sleuth around her brother’s house in search of the gun. Furthermore, Kang also tells her about a potential building-for-sale that she could buy after selling her family’s land. Consequently, Seo-ha connects with Tae-seong, a shady businessman desperate for the woman to sell her land. Yet, Kang’s association with Seo-ha lands him as another victim after his illegal investigation at Young-ho’s house gets him killed by the same mysterious rifle wielder.
The following day, Park arrests Seo-ha and Young-ho after the latter tries to chase his sister in an attempt to speak with her. Furthermore, their connection with Kang lands them as possible suspects in being instrumental to his death. Even though Young-ho insists on his innocence, Park loses his temper and puts his career on the line to procure a warrant to search his house. In the end, Park finds no evidence connecting Young-ho to the murders. Nevertheless, Choi’s investigation of the other part of town reaps some information about the Yoons’ past that might just answer everything.
The Bequeathed Ending: Who Is Behind The Killings? Why Are They Killing Seo-ha’s Family?
The killer responsible for Jae-seok and Kang’s deaths has a particular MO wherein they kill their victims via shotgun and drag their bodies away from the murder scene. As a result, when the morgue receives Jae-seok’s body, they discover a blood sample on it that has the potential to belong to the killer. While Park leads his wild goose chase, Choi investigates Young-ho’s past and finds an invaluable lead when the coroner informs him about the blood sample’s DNA result.
As it would turn out, the blood is a match to Young-ho’s maternal and Seo-ha’s paternal lineages. Thus, whoever the killer is has convoluted connections to the Yoon family. Consequently, after working through their issues, Choi and Park end up working together to figure out the Yoons’ mysterious past. The same leads them to the doorsteps of two sisters who used to be the Yoons’ neighbors.
According to the neighbors, the Yoons have always been a point of gossip due to their youngest daughter, Myung-hee. Born with a cleft palate, Myung-hee underwent severe bullying in her childhood, and her older brother, Myung-ho, remained her only friend. However, their relationship was too close for comfort, leading to gossip and speculation. Worse yet, the neighbor saw a pregnant Myung-hee right before she and Myung-ho were banished from their home.
By then, Myung-ho had married and fathered Seo-ha. Still, he chose to leave his family for his sister and her son, incriminating himself in the process. For the same reason, the family often tried to put Myung-ho through exorcisms, believing him to be under an evil spirit’s possession to commit a sin as heinous as incest. Nevertheless, Myung-ho and Myung-hee maintained they were in love until the woman mysteriously disappeared. As a result, Myung-ho left Seo-ha forever to parent Young-ho, his and Myung-hee’s child.
Nonetheless, Young-ho was never allowed to hold his parents’ Yoon name. For the same reason, he didn’t have a claim on the family’s burial grounds until he came forward as Myung-ho’s child. Myung-hee already watched one of her loved ones, Myung-ho, get robbed of the land’s ownership due to his deviant dalliance. As such, she wasn’t going to let her son suffer the same fate. For the same reason, she emerges from the shadows every once in a while to ensure no one else can have a claim on the land.
Thus, Myung-hee killed Jae-seok, who was planning to exploit his marital status to gain access to the land. Likewise, she killed Kang because the PI’s investigation brought him too close to the truth. Lastly, with Seo-ha as the only person opposing Young-ho’s claim over the land, Myung-hee goes after her.
Does Myung-hee Kill Seo-ha? Who Inherits The Land?
While the Detectives conduct their investigation on Myung-hee and her torrid past, two different crimes unfold back in town. Young-ho’s cryptic and concerning behavior, drawing broody glances, and blood-drawn talismans on apartment doors lead Seo-ha to suspect him of greater crimes. She believes her brother wants the family land for himself and is ready to kill for it. A part of her distrust stems from her inherent dislike for Young-ho since her father left her to look after him.
Therefore, after Kang’s death, Seo-ha resorts to immoral methods. Kang’s friend, Tae-seong, the karaoke bar owner looking to sell his business, is in desperate need of money. The man is marrying off his daughter and has promised a big wedding gift to his in-laws. As such, he’s planning on tricking Seo-ha into paying a high price for his property. Nonetheless, until Seo-ha’s burial ground dispute settles, she won’t have any money to do business with him.
For the same reason, he offers to solve Seo-ha’s issue by “persuading” Young-ho to sign over his rights to the land. Once Seo-ha greenlights his idea, Tae-seong uses his contacts to kidnap Young-ho and force him to sign the contracts. Nevertheless, Young-ho refuses to go down without a fight. Although he can’t overpower Tae-seong’s goons, Young-ho becomes a threat once he glimpses Tae-seong’s face. Therefore, he can’t allow Young-ho to live any longer since the man can ID him to the police.
Consequently, Tae-seong informs Seo-ha that he plans to solve her issue by simply killing her half-brother. A frantic Seo-ha tries to track them down to rescue Young-ho, but Myung-hee catches up to her, finally ready to kill her and secure a good life for her son. The woman abducts Seo-ha, taking her to a mountaintop, where she practices her shamanism. While there, she tells Seo-ha the truth about Young-ho’s ancestry, much to the horror of the other woman.
However, Seo-ha manages to stop Myung-hee from shooting her by bringing up her son’s predicament. Afterward, the older woman forces Seo-ha to get Tae-seong’s location so that she can save her son. Meanwhile, Tae-seong plans to kill Seo-ha alongside her brother to save his own skin.
The same culminates in a final showdown between Tae-seong and Myung-hee while his goons entomb Young-ho and Seo-ha inside a burning kiln. Ultimately, the timely arrival of Choi and Park allows Myung-hee enough time to claw her son out of the kiln. Eventually, Myung-hee manages to de-brick the kiln enough to allow Seo-ha’s escape, who drags her half-brother’s body with her.
In the end, the three Yoons sit outside the burning building while the police round up Tae-seong and his gang. Myung-hee gives up on her plan to kill Seo-ha due to her son’s obvious compulsion to protect his family. Still, she can’t allow the police to find her since it would bring Young-ho’s parentage to light. Since Myung-hee grew up as a social outcast, she doesn’t wish the same to happen to her boy. As a result, she walks into the burning building and commits suicide.
Months later, Seo-ha remains the rightful owner of the Yoons’ burial grounds. Although she isn’t in touch with Young-ho, the two don’t sport any bad blood between them. Furthermore, she has decided not to sell the land and hold onto her family’s history. Ultimately, she buries Myung-hee’s remains alongside Myung-ho in the burial ground, sealing her family’s crooked secrets with the siblings.
Does Choi Quit The Police Force?
While the Yoon family drama remains the show’s narrative center, Choi’s storyline unfolds as a subplot simultaneously. The man used to be a Captain in the Police Department. However, a series of unfortunate events led to his demotion. First, the detective’s wife died of an undetected ailment, for which the man ended up blaming his young son, Jun-hyung, in the heat of the moment. As a result, his son grows up to become a delinquent, hanging around with troublesome kids.
One night, Jun-hyung tricked his father into entering an abandoned apartment complex. Only unbeknownst to him, Park ends up taking his father’s place. Thus, on a dare, Jun-hyung stabbed Park, thinking he was his father. In the aftermath, Park severely injured one of his legs, requiring a cane to walk, while Jun-hyung received a five-year sentence.
For the same reason, a certain tension persists between Choi and Park. Even though the former is the better detective between the two, he can’t bring himself to remain ahead of Park since he feels guilty for his predicament. As such, after news arrives of department lay-offs due to lack of funding, Choi decides to quit so that their superiors won’t fire Park. Therefore, Choi works on the Yoons’ case as his last.
In the end, Choi ends up retiring from the force for good. In the years that his son has been in prison, the man hasn’t been able to gather the courage to visit him once. Consequently, Park, who has visited Jun-hyung since his attack, convinces Choi to shed his pride and guilt and fulfill his parental duties. Therefore, after his resignation, Choi visits his son, planning to play a more active role in his life.