The Bequeathed: Why did Myung-hee Kill Herself?

As the Korean crime show, ‘The Bequeathed,’ wraps up its storyline with the shared reveal of the killer and the dark Yoon family secret, it leaves the protagonist Seo-ha in a drastically different place in her life. The young, aspiring art professor started the story with a thankless job and unfaithful marriage. Yet, the weeks following her mysterious uncle, Myung-gil’s death leaves her widowed and in possession of a lucrative family inheritance, tying her to her absent father’s history in good ways and bad. However, her newfound half-brother, Young-ho, only finds tragedy in the end as his mother, Myung-hee, is revealed to be the elusive killer.

Nonetheless, instead of facing the consequences of her homicidal actions, Myung-hee chooses to run into a burning building, committing suicide. For the same reason, viewers might wonder what was the woman’s motives behind choosing death when a kinder alternative could have waited for her even with the inevitable murder convictions. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Myung-hee’s Bismirched Past

In order to understand Myung-hee’s ultimate actions prior to her death, one must understand her torrid past first. Myung-hee was born with a cleft palate— a condition that resulted in gross public bullying from her peers in her childhood. Consequently, the girl grew up as a victim of extreme social isolation with no friends. Instead, the girl only ever had her older brother, Myung-ho, who was kind to her.

However, as the two siblings grew older, their feelings toward one other became perverse as they started acting under the notion that they were in love. The deliberately sinful development in their relationship paved the way for more gossip around town, further alienating Myung-hee. Therefore, things reached a tipping point for the woman when she fell pregnant with her brother’s baby. Although the family gave the baby away to an orphanage, Myung-hee and Myung-ho refused to give up on their relationship.

By then, Myung-ho had already married and given birth to a daughter, Seo-ha. Therefore, the family tried to have him exorcised through shamanism in an attempt to exorcise his unholy inclinations. During this time, Myung-hee herself left her parent’s house to parent her child in a Shaman temple, hoping to ignite some untapped power within her offspring to no avail.

Eventually, Myung-ho chose to abandon his existing family to start a new one with Myung-hee and their incestuous child. Although they lived together as a family for a while, their situation soon became unpleasant due to the nature of their relationship. As such, Myung-hee returned to her village to live in the mountains, where she practiced shamanism while Myung-ho tried to give Young-ho a normal childhood.

Young-ho and the Yoon Family Plot

Despite being absent from Young-ho’s life for a substantial amount of time, Myung-hee continued to love and care for her child. Due to his lineage, Young-ho wasn’t allowed to wear the Yoon family name and had to hold onto Kim as his last name. While the same prevented others from learning about Young-ho’s parentage, helping him evade social ridicule, it also meant he wasn’t considered a rightful Yoon.

For the same reason, Young-ho didn’t have an outright claim over the Yoon family burial ground, a generational inheritance that marked the family’s expansion and history. Similarly, Young-ho’s father, Myung-ho, was also removed from the land’s inheritance due to his relationship with Myung-ho. As a result, the land went to Myung-gil, the younger brother, rather than Myung-ho, the oldest.

Since Myung-hee hadn’t been able to help Myung-ho get his rightful inheritance, she didn’t want to see the same fate await her child. For the same reason, Myung-hee convinced Myung-gil to add Young-ho as a successor in the family’ record. Unfortunately, the old man fell victim to corporate assassination and met his end the same day. Thus, the land went to Seo-ha, leaving Young-ho in a complicated position. Although he had a right to the land as Myung-ho’s other kid, he couldn’t win a case for it without revealing his complete parentage.

For the same reason, Myung-hee embarked on her homicidal journey to ensure Seo-ha and her family died, and Young-ho inherited the Yoon burial ground without any trouble. However, her plans fail when her identity reveals itself, and she’s moments away from arrest. As soon as Myung-hee left the shadows, it became easy for the cops to convict her of her crimes.

However, should that happen, Young-ho’s reality as a child of incest will come out in the open. Thus, in the event of Myung-hee’s arrest, the boy will be in for a world of social bullying and ridicule since he would be labeled the son of a murderer and an incester. Since Myung-hee had personal experience about how awful life could be as a social outcast, she didn’t want the same for her son. Therefore, she chooses to run into the burning building to ensure Young-ho’s secret dies with her.

Read More: Is Netflix’s The Bequeathed Inspired by a True Story?