Detective Choi and Captain Park had the most interesting relationship in The Bequeathed. It was based on guilt and insecurity, and it took a long time for the friendship to shine through this mess. Choi had lost his wife due to her medical condition, and when he initially found her body, he blamed his son because he had his headphones in and could not hear his mother calling for help. Choi had since regretted his outburst, but he never spoke about it openly with his son. He just assumed that the regret was communicated to Jun Hyung since he was his son, and they lived in close quarters. That was the mistake Choi made, which started an avalanche of mistakes for the rest of his time in the police force.
Jun Hyung started hanging out with some other delinquents, and it is easy to understand that he couldn’t get rid of them because, at that time, they must have been the only friends or support system he had, no matter how toxic they were. When his friends found out that his father was a police officer, they bullied him to do something about it, namely, to attack him. A guess is that Jun Hyung spoke to them about his father blaming him for his mother’s death, and this was the group’s way of pushing Jun Hyung for revenge. Unluckily, though, the officer who had come to the scene that day was Park, and Jun Hyung ended up stabbing his leg instead.
Choi was devastated by his son’s behavior, and when he was being taken away, he confronted him, only to receive an unrepentant smile in return. It is not that Jun Hyung enjoyed what he had done, but he was too much under the influence of his bullies to show the remorse he felt, and this felt like more of a natural reaction to show the man whom he hated at that moment. Choi understood that. He did not blame his son for this crime, but once again, he made the mistake of not saying this to him. Once Jun Hyung was in juvenile detention, he probably got the help he needed, or maybe the distance from the toxic people cleared his head. That means that the only thing Jun Hyung was left with was guilt. His mother’s death was not his fault, but how could he not feel guilty? Stabbing Park’s leg was his fault to an extent, but it would take a long time for him to understand that it did not define his life. Choi reaching out to his son would be an important step in the journey, but it had yet to be taken. Choi did not see his son, not because of anger but because of his own guilt. He recognized his part in not embracing his son and apologized for his harsh words, but he did not know how to step out of that, especially now that the debt had extended to his friend.
Captain Park had to walk with a limp for the rest of his life. Choi felt sorry for him and felt that it was indirectly his fault for letting that happen. That is why he perhaps stepped back from being a captain himself when he was clearly the better detective. The rest of the officers listened to him because he had a knack for cracking the cases, but on paper, Park was the captain. Park had previously been Choi’s subordinate, but after the incident, he became the captain, and he was aware that it wasn’t because of his own merits. This burning insecurity removed any traces of friendship that had once been between them. Choi did not think anything of helping him. It was well known that he was the brains behind every investigation, while the credit went to Park. This may have initially been alright with Park, but it was getting to him because the reflection of his own failures was getting bigger. That is why he was so desperate to find clues against Young Ho and was clutching at straws when it came to it. There was no competition between the men because Choi did not want credit. However, for Choi, this sacrifice was a way of putting off confronting the real problem, which was his own guilt.
When Park came to know that Choi had offered to step down, he was furious because he did not need to be taken care of this way or pitied for his condition. Strictly speaking, Park was on duty when he had been injured. Would Choi have made similar sacrifices if the attacker had been someone other than his son? Choi’s unnecessary guilt and sacrifice further fueled Park’s insecurity until the men came to blows one day, and Choi opened up his heart to him. Things were relatively fine between them from then on, and Park told him to meet his son and not repeat his mistakes. This meant that Park had long forgiven Jun Hyung and had even visited him in prison, something his own father had failed to do.
Maybe Myung Hee’s case was also an eye-opener for Choi. He saw a mother who loved her child but couldn’t do anything for him because of her shame. She wanted the best for him, but at the end of the day, her son did not care about wealth or societal approval but about her company. Similarly, Jun Hyung needed his father’s love and support more than anything. Forgiveness of society and other people would come later, but it was his family that he needed by his side to tell him that he was not alone and that there were people who loved him. The rest could be dealt with later.
At the end of The Bequeathed, Choi quits his job to make time for his family and to effectively lift any restrictions in the way of his son’s ability to live a guilt-free life. As for Park, he is still the Captain, and someday in the future, he will either learn to do his job properly or quit for something he may finally be good at.