The Bequeathed is a new six-episode Korean thriller series streaming now on Netflix. If you're into these short mystery shows then The Bequeathed should be right up your alley as a compact story with a definitive ending that will keep you on your toes all the way through the final scenes.
Starring JUNG_E actress Kim Hyun-joo, The Bequeathed follows a faculty instuctor who finds her entire world turned upside down when she discovers she has inherited a significant piece of land from an uncle she never even knew she had. Keep reading to check out our complete recap guide breaking down every episode of the series.
Episode 1 recap
Beginning ominously with a man dropping dead from poisoning, The Bequeathed wastes no time thrusting into its central mystery. After the mysterious man dies, we're introduced to our main players, such as Yoon Seo-ha (Kim Hyun-joo). Seo-ha is an underappreciated instructor and ghostwriter for her boss/professor Kim Chang-seok.
She's in an unhappy marriage to Yang Jae-seok (Park Sung-hun) and has hired a private investigator to look into him because she suspects he's cheating. Not long after getting a photographic update from the investigator seemingly confirming that Jae-seok is having an affair, Seo-ha receives a strange phone call informing her that her uncle, the man we saw in the opening Yoon Myung-gil, has died.
The problem is, Seo-ha doesn't recall having an uncle at all. Apparently, she's his only living relative as the younger brother of her late father who she was estranged from.
Detective Choi Sung-jun (Park Hee-soon) and Captain Park Sang-min (Park Byung-eun) are assigned to the case, which is being treated as a homicide since Myung-gil was found with a bottle containing poison beside him. Detective Choi and Park clearly have a long history between them as Park isn't happy when Choi takes the initiative to start poking around the village where Myung-gil lived before getting the go-ahead.
It sounds like Choi used to be Park's superior and now their roles have swapped and Choi is having a hard time adapting to that. While investigating Myung-gil's home, he meets one of his neighbors and finds a contract related to a joint consent form to build a golf course.
Seo-ha and Jae-seok are called into the police station to identify Myung-gil's body and that's when we learn the reason she was contacted. As his only living relative, Seo-ha has inherited his land, a large burial ground. On their way out, they're accosted by a creepy, weirdly pushy guy who says he's the chief of the village where Seo-ha's uncle lived. He wants her to sign over the land to him and let him take care of all the funeral costs and everything. Suspicious.
Well, things get even stranger during the funeral service when they're interrupted by Kim Young-ho (Ryu Kyung-soo), a man claiming to be Seo-ha's half-brother. He assaults her at the funeral, stating that he is the one who should be getting the land bequeathed by their uncle and not her.
We pivot to a flashback of Seo-ha as a child. She and her mother didn't have much money and in this scene, her mom tries to convince a young Seo-ha to accept her new boyfriend, who her mom claims is rich and will take them to live with him in a nice city apartment. Seo-ha runs from the house and goes to see what her father is up to. She watches him playing with his son, who I'm assuming is a young Young-ho.
Meanwhile, Detectives Choi and Park are running separate investigations, much to Park's annoyance since Choi is going rogue and doing his own thing. We learn that Young-ho is indeed a 99.9% match to Myung-gil's DNA, so it looks like he is really Seo-ha's brother and the two of them are the only people alive with the right to claim the burial plot. Making matters more complicated, it's confirmed that Myung-gil was poisoned, likely over a length of time in small doses.
Detective Choi looks inside some construction buildings near the village and finds bags of the poison, thallium, used, hidden among other wreckage related to the golf course in development. It starts to become clear what probably happened. The sketchy village chief brings a constuction owner to meet with Seo-ha as they push her to sell them the land.
It sounds like they were really close to making the golf course happen, which would have been a very profitable source of commerce for the village, but Myung-gil refused to sell his land, so they killed him. Now they want Seo-ha to hurry up and sign it over to them.
Speaking of poor Seo-ha, she hits another patch of bad luck that night as she and her husband attend an event for her professor's birthday. Or, at least, that's what she thinks it is. In reality, Professor Kim promotes her colleague, Professor Han, to the full-time position, a job Seo-ha was told she would get after helping her boss with his book. Afterward, he patronizes her by claiming that the next time a full-time position opens up, it'll be hers.
With assistance from some of Choi's findings, Detective Park puts two-and-two together regarding the golf course development motive leading to Myung-gil's death. They call in the sketchy village chief, Yuk Sang-soo, in for questioning. Sang-soo throws his friend, Kim Kwang-soo under the bus.
Apparently Kwang-soo was his college friend who owns Jijo Construction, the company that would be behind the golf course. Kwang-soo promised to cut Sang-soo in on the profits if he could convince people in the village to sell the land needed, but Myung-gil refused to budge and so he claims Kwang-soo orchestrated the whole poisoning scheme.
Believing the golf course is basically a done deal after they convince Seo-ha to sign it over, Kwang-soo goes out to celebrate at a karaoke bar and that's where the cops catch up to him and put him under arrest.
After the disastrous dinner with Professor Kim, tensions are high on the car ride home between Seo-ha and Jae-seok. She confronts him over the cheating and demands a divorce, but now that Seo-ha might get rich from her uncle's land, Jae-seok refuses. They get into a nasty fight that results in Seo-ha kicking her husband out of the car so he can find another ride home. But he doesn't get very far.
Someone pulls a gun on Jae-seok and murders him, leaving his body to be discovered in the icy ravine by a construction worker the following morning.
Episode 2 recap
The second episode of The Bequeathed provides us with some important context to the complex relationship between the show's two main cops, Detective Choi and Captain Park. Through flashback, we learn that one night while the two were working late, Detective Choi left early thanks to seniority. While driving, Park noticed that Choi had left his phone in the car and received text messages from his son claiming he'd been kidnapped along with photographic proof.
But when Park shows up at a deserted warehouse, he got jumped by several delinquents who forced his "son" to stab him brutally, resulting in Park's limp. Unbeknownst to them, the guy they captured was not Detective Choi, meaning Choi's son had fallen in with a bad crowd and the injury meant for his own father went to his partner, hence the difficulties between them now. Choi's son has apparently since been arrested and is in custody somewhere.
Seo-ha is taken into the police station for questioning regarding her husband's murder. She's understandably upset, but does tell them the truth, including that she had a private investigator looking into him regarding his cheating. Seo-ha thinks that Young-ho is a likely suspect, but the cops think he's innocent because he already has an alibi. Jae-seok was killed with a hunting rifle and a nearby shell reveals the murder weapon was around 30 years old.
Tensions are exasperated at the police station and between Detective Choi and Detective Park because of rumors that the department might be downsizing. Many think Detective Park will get fired since Choi still does most of the heavylifting and detective work.
Park overhears some of this and confronts Choi over his latest police report, which paints Park in a very good light and makes it seem like he led the investigation that helped them figure out the golf course development and motive for Myung-gil's murder. Park is upset that Choi would make it up since its really patronizing and condescending. With his pride wounded, he demands Choi rewrite the entire thing and tell the truth this time.
Seo-ha meets up with her private investigator again and he lets her know he has a friend who wants to sell a building he owns. It might be good for Seo-ha to move out of her place because she's already being plagued by nightmares related to Jae-seok's death and when she gets the money from selling the land, she could maybe afford it. She agrees to take a meeting with the owner who is eager to sell because he needs the money to pay for his daughter's wedding, so he's also in a rush to get rid of the place.
When Seo-ha returns home, she's left with a terrifying surprise. Throughout the episode, we see Young-ho doing strange rituals and visiting his father's grave. He then uses chicken blood to paint a big talisman on Seo-ha's door and she's understandably frightened. The episode also ends with Seo-ha recalling a time when she witnessed her father participating in a shamanistic ritual and throwing a fit during it, wrecking everything in sight while her mother tried to shield her from view. Apparently, Young-ho uses some of his dad's same practices.
Episode 3 recap
At the start of the third episode, Seo-ha and Young-ho are both being questioned once again, this time regarding the bloody talisman on Seo-ha's door. Young-ho apparently thought he was doing it out of kindness, that all the bad luck she's had lately is due to negative energy and he painted the talisman to ward it off, unaware that it might make her scared.
While talking to the cops, Seo-ha also remembers that her father used to own a hunting rifle and perhaps Young-ho saw it and used it to kill her husband. Remember how the murder weapon used was over 30 years old? Well, that timeline fits and Detective Choi takes notice of that. Maybe Young-ho really did have something to do with the murder.
Speaking of Detective Choi, he's started to believe that Young-ho and Seo-ha's father might have been involved in some kind of shamanistic cult. It would explain where Young-ho learned how to create talismans like the one he drew on Seo-ha's door. He speaks with Young-ho about this and records their conversation.
Again we return to that flashback to the shaman ritual that left Seo-ha's father, Myung-ho, enraged. Seo-ha's mom pleads with Myung-ho to stop because he shouldn't let his daughter see him behaving that way. Myung-ho then walks off as a young Seo-ha cries for him.
At school, Seo-ha gets even more bad news as she sees Professor Kim's new book, the one she ghostwrote, all stacked up outside of the school. Someone outed her as the ghostwriter on the public school forum and Professor Kim is pissed. Seo-ha blames Professor Han, who claims she had nothing to do with it. Later, Detective Choi confronts her to see what else she remembers about her dad and Seo-ha says not much. He records their conversation, too.
That night, Seo-ha tracks down the professor as he's out drinking and hanging out with friends. He tries to make a move on her and Han witnesses the whole thing. Of course she takes that moment to further humiliate Seo-ha, claiming maybe that's why she ghostwrote the book because she's his mistress. It's so tacky. Han is like "I'm just worried about your reputation!" while pulling her mean girl antics. Well, Seo-ha reaches a breaking point and follows Han into the room, throwing a drink in her face and destroying the room in similar fashion to what her father did during the ritual.
In the episode's final act, we follow-up with the private investigator again. The landlord of the building Seo-ha is looking into is concerned that she isn't moving fast enough to buy the land and he urges the investigator to look into Young-ho so there isn't any further holdup as they don't want the land to go up for auction. The private investigator goes snooping around Young-ho's house and finds some more shaman stuff. On his way out, he gets attacked and murdered with a gun, just like Jae-seok. whoever killed him appears to use similar shaman practices to Young-ho, but is it him doing it?
Episode 4 recap
We catch up with Young-ho, who quickly realizes that someone has been snooping around his house. For now, if he did kill the investigator, it doesn't look like he was aware that the man had been in his place. Young-ho is following orders from his late father, laying down in his room and pleading with his photograph. He needs the burial land or he says the killings will continue.
Then he finds a note that says "Yoon Seo-ha and Kang Hong-sik will die." I believe the latter name is the private investigator, so clearly whoever wrote that note is a serious threat and they mean business. It really doesn't seem like Young-ho is the culprit and is more likely a red herring.
Detective Choi continues trying to follow up on the talisman and goes to a temple of sorts that's covered with debris, wreckage, and what appears to be a few bloodstains. While snooping, a woman catches Choi and pulls a gun on him.
We catch up with Seo-ha who has been trying to get in touch with her investigator. Since he's dead, he's obviously not answering his texts but then someone does reply and asks Seo-ha to meet him in person, considering it's the murderer likely in possession of the phone, that clearly means Seo-ha is in danger. Young-ho follows her to try and warn her and Detective Park instructs one of his cops to tail Young-ho, so it's quite the chase playing out.
Seo-ha still doesn't trust her half-brother and refuses to pull over for him, thinking he's going to harm her. Young-ho manages to cut her off by blocking her car with his and frantically trying to warn her about what's coming, but then the cop catches up and arrests him as he begs Seo-ha to give up the burial ground if she wants to live.
Hong-sik's body is discovered shortly after, left to burn inside his car. People start suspecting a serial killer might be at work, especially with so many deaths in a short time in a place where homicide is rare.
Despite pulling a gun on him, the woman at the temple is willing to chat with Detective Choi. She is somewhat perplexed by the photo Choi shows her of the talisman painted on Seo-ha's door. She says the talisman is very old-fashioned and more similar to something her godmother, the former temple owner, would have drawn.
Young-ho starts to lose it under pressure as Captain Park interrogates him. He says Seo-ha's life force is being drained. Their interrogation is cut short when the reports come back on Hong-sik. They found his phone and the texts between him and Seo-ha where she was trying to get him to dig up dirt on Young-ho. Now she's back in for questioning, too, since she was the last person he was texting, even partially blaming Seo-ha for his death since she's why he was at Young-ho's house.
The fact that the cops haven't done anything to investigate Young-ho is infuriating to Seo-ha. She thinks that Young-ho is behind everything and the cop doesn't help since he tells her they don't have enough evidence to put him away. Things grow heated between Captain Park and Young-ho as Park insists that Young-ho did it and Young-ho remains adamant that he didn't.
Detective Choi is accompanied to the hospital to visit the former temple owner, the current woman's godmother. She immediately dismisses the talisman in the photo, saying it's drawn all wrong and then starts talking to Choi as if he's someone from the past, someone who sounds like Seo-ha and Young-ho's father Myung-ho.
Choi suspects Myung-ho brought young Young-ho to the temple to learn the shaman practices, but the woman says Young-ho didn't have the gift or natural talent.
Captain Park and his guys return to Young-ho's house in search of the missing rifle/murder weapon. Park finds Young-ho's eerie shaman room devoted to his father and is disturbed by the images and shamanistic items he finds in the room. Park gets a call from the precinct. They traced calls from Hong-sik and Young-ho's former locations, they never overlap. Moreover, they can't find any evidence, nonetheless the murder weapon, in Young-ho's house.
At this point, they really have nothing but circumstantial evidence and Captain Park is in a tight spot. He calls Seo-ha and asks her to file a complaint against her brother regarding the talisman so they can hold him longer and find real evidence. Seo-ha says she will not file a complaint. Just in time for Park to get a nasty text from his chief who is pissed that Park came up empty-handed. He demands they release Young-ho now.
Here's where things get tricky. Detective Choi gets a call from the medical director from the morgue who tells him he ran some more DNA tests, this time from a new bloodstain he got off of Jae-seok's body (not Jae-seok's DNA, but the killer's). He runs it against Young-ho and Seo-ha's DNA, all three's paternal lineage lines up, meaning the person who the third bloodstain belongs to is Seo-ha's paternal relative and Young-ho's maternal relative.
Don't worry, Detective Choi is just as confused as I was trying to figure this out. Also, the source of this new bloodstain is a female with type A blood. The doctor advises that Choi look into Seo-ha and Young-ho again to make sure they don't have any other possible family. Don't worry, this gets explained a lot more in the following episodes so just hang in there.
And just like the other episodes, this one ends with a shock as a group of masked guys kidnap Young-ho right out of his car while he's stopped at a red light.
Episode 5 recap
We return to the flashback of a young Seo-ha visiting her father's house to see him with his son, Young-ho. They exchange words with Seo-ha telling her dad that her mom and her are doing fine without him, better than ever. He asks her not to come back.
Seo-ha is in a hot spot now with the landlord, Choi Tae-seong, regarding the building, especially since the cops don't have actual evidence to keep Young-ho behind bars. Tae-seong is pissed because he firmly believes Young-ho is the man behind murdering Hong-sik and Seo-ha's husband Jae-seok, and now he's going to steal Seo-ha's inheritance since he's determined to follow through all the way to court. During this conversation, we see Seo-ha receive the phone call from Captain Park asking her to file a complaint against Young-ho and she declines to do so.
Tae-seong offers to his let his "lawyer" friend get everything settled so they can put Young-ho behind bars and get this deal moving. Seo-ha agrees to let him handle it and later Tae-seong tells her that everything is under control. She just needs to get herself an alibi. I guess we know who kidnapped Young-ho! Speaking of, we get a glimpse of him in the car and the guys holding him captive put plastic wrap around his face to knock him out.
At the precinct, Captain Park tries to fall on his sword and resign after believing he fumbled the case. But his chief informs him that Detective Choi has already chosen to leave after the case is wrapped up. Detective Choi arrives shortly after to ask why Young-ho was released with no security since now he knows he's not the murderer and both Young-ho and Seo-ha are in danger.
The lawyer who has kidnapped Young-ho bring him to an office where they try to force him into signing a form to drop the lawsuit regarding the inheritance but he refuses, adamant that it is his land. Young-ho goes ballistic and fights back ferociously against his captors, even biting the lawyer's nose. Then he jumps out the window and crash lands right in front of Tae-seong's car, who has just arrived to check on everything.
Well, now things just got even more complicated. Young-ho is seriously injured and Tae-seong calls Seo-ha to suggest a change of plans. What if they just finish him off? Make it clean. If Young-ho disappears all of their problems will be solved. Seo-ha panics since she didn't want them to kill him, just scare him into signing the contract.
Detective Choi and Captain Park get into a fight at the precinct because Park feels like Choi is treating him like a charity case by resigning. Park also feels like he's never even really been the "captain," that everyone respects Choi more and it's even worse since Park blames Choi for him being injured since it was his son who did it.
Even though Park thinks he's a waste of space and a failure, it's ironically Choi who thinks it's his fault because he blamed his son for his wife's death when he was a kid. She went into hypoglycemic shock and he didn't know because he had his headphones on in the other room. Choi thought his son would realize he didn't mean what he said, but over time it just got worse and created a rift between them.
After that little aside, we return to the main case as Choi gets a call from an officer saying they found Young-ho's car with the windows smashed in. Choi fills in Park on the DNA findings, explaining how he's not sure what it means just yet but believes Young-ho's mom is still out there somewhere.
Park gets an address from Myung-gil's file related to one of his family members. They find people who knew Myung-gil's family, including Myung-ho and make a sinister reveal. It sounds like Myung-ho and his young sister, Myung-hee, had a child together, born of incest and that child might be Young-ho. It's why Myung-ho left his wife and daughter (Seo-ha) to move into a house together with his sister as they were shunned by their village.
Because of what he did, Myung-ho was consistently brought in for shamanistic rituals as the people of the village believed he was possessed by an evil spirit, hence the flashbacks we saw to him being part of the ritual. Myung-hee later took Young-ho to a different temple and told them he had the gift so that they could stay there and she could raise him far away from other people. Of course, as was revealed in an earlier episode, Young-ho had no such gift so he was often bullied and confused growing up.
Similarly, so was Myung-hee because she had a cleft palate when she was younger, though she did eventually get it fixed. That reminds Detective Choi of the woman he met way back in the opening of the first episode, the woman who said she was Myung-gil's "neighbor." That woman was really Myung-hee and she's the one behind all the murders! And it explains the mysterious DNA sample.
The episode ends with Myung-hee catching up to Seo-ha, injecting her with something and taking her captive.
Episode 6 recap
Upon learning the truth about the lady in the village, Detective Choi and Captain Park go visit Sung-soo, the guy who originally tried pressuring Seo-ha into giving up her land for the golf course development. They ask him what he knows about the woman. Sung-soo tells them that there was a shaman near the village that people would go visit, maybe that's her.
And indeed, that does seem to be the case as we then see Myung-hee inside of her little set-up doing a ritual as she looks at Seo-ha's unconscious body. Of course, when Seo-ha wakes up, she's freaked out by everything, especially as she's zip-tied and Myung-hee prepares to kill her with the hunting rifle. Myung-hee reveals who she is to Seo-ha while crying and saying she wished it didn't have to be like this. But Seo-ha is confused. If Myung-hee is her father's sister, why didn't she just come forward to get the land? Well, because of their incestual child.
Myung-hee says she doesn't have much time left and only wants Young-ho to get the land. Once Seo-ha learns the truth of Young-ho's birth she starts calling her aunt disgusting. Probably not smart to insult the lady holding the gun. Myung-hee slaps her and says she should feel blessed since she brought Seo-ha there to save her soul before killing her.
The officers find Myung-hee's home, but not her little cave where she took Seo-ha. Choi and Park realize that Myung-hee's goal is to allow Young-ho to flourish and become a man and take the land back, but she's been doing all this stuff to hide her secret and keep it hidden. Just before she can kill Seo-ha, Seo-ha tells her that if she doesn't contact someone, Young-ho will be killed.
We pivot to Tae-seong and his men as they prepare to finish off Young-ho. She tries to get him to tell her where Young-ho is and threatens to call the cops if they don't release him while Myung-hee listens to the phone call. Tae-seong doesn't want her to contact the police so he gives Seo-ha the address and they leave to get him. Well now Tae-seong is pissed that his plans have gotten all messed up and intends to kill both Young-ho and Seo-ha, by putting them in a kiln and burning them alive.
Circling back to Detective Choi and Captain Park, they start to wonder if Seo-ha is behind Young-ho's kidnapping since she did hire a private investigator before. The detectives contact Seo-ha and realize she's likely with Myung-hee. They pretend to be the kidnappers so she'll answer the call and tell them the address, unaware she's talking to the police. On the drive to the location, Park reveals that he has actually visited Choi's son in prison and advises Choi to visit him someday since he never has.
Myung-hee drops Seo-ha off outside the building after knocking her out so they take her inside. Tae-seong and his men put Young-ho and Seo-ha inside of the kiln and start bricking it up to roast them while Myung-hee sneaks around looking for a way in to save her son. Myung-hee starts a fire outside as the men start up the kiln.
Young-ho bites through his restraints and tries to save himself and his sister before falling unconcious again while Myung-hee busts in with her gun and starts chipping away at the clay sealing them inside the kiln, unaware a guy is behind her who knocks her out with a vase. Tae-seong takes Myung-hee's gun and shoots her in the leg. Seo-ha wakes up inside the kiln in a panic and tries to wake Young-ho up.
Detective Choi and Captain Park arrive and their sirens signal their arrival to Tae-seong. He orders his men to set the entire place on fire and burn it all down. While the place burns, Myung-hee breaks through the bricks and Seo-ha and Young-ho are able to get out, though Myung-hee only cares about her son. Her wound makes it impossible for her to free her son so Seo-ha assists her despite the fact Myung-hee had been trying to kill her. With both women working together, they're able to escort the unconscious Young-ho outside of the burning building.
Choi and Park's back-up arrives in time to arrest Tae-seong and the rest of his lackeys. In the skirmish, Captain Park gets shot and tells Choi to go ahead and get Seo-ha and Young-ho, but also as of that moment, they'll think of his injury as from this specific gunshot and not from what happened with Choi's son, so they can finally move forward.
Once outside of the building, Young-ho does wake up, just in time to watch as his mother, Myung-hee, returns inside the burning building to commit suicide. After everything, Seo-ha finally gets the chance to move on and she opens a new art studio. Later, Detective Choi visits her to let her know the kidnapping charges against the mobsters are being dropped, meaning she's in the clear, too. Young-ho didn't want her to get charged so he denied being kidnapped. That said, she and Young-ho haven't really kept in contact, though Seo-ha says she's not avoiding him.
Detective Choi finally visits his son in prison and they seem to take baby steps toward making amends in their relationship, especially since Choi has since left the police and intends to use his time to visit his son a lot.
As for the burial grounds, Seo-ha has inherited it and for now, intends to keep it as it is instead of selling it. She has Myung-hee's remains buried there beside her mother and father and when asked how Myung-hee is related, she says, "they're just... family."