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Legacy Recap

"I will never leave you," my husband whispered as he climbed into bed last night.

After Jin's death and the subsequent funeral, his house sits quietly. The boy, Bao Bao, watches as his grandmother Ma weeps in the kitchen. He hears Bao Bao move and turns as the boy ducks out of sight. When Ma's back is turned, Bao Bao looks around the corner and makes faces at her. Ma mutters Jin's name and looks at a portrait of him, and Bao Bao runs off.

Jin's widow, Angela, is sitting on her bed watching TV. Bao Bao peers in at her and then crawls in. Angela has gone into the bathroom and is looking at herself in the mirror. She takes off her wedding ring and washes her hands... unaware that Jin's ghost is behind her. Bao Bao sees him and hides under the bed. The ghost disappears before Angela can see him, but then he pulls her necklace back, choking her. She collapses to the ground, choking, the ghost invisible to her. Jin's ghost turns and looks at Bao Bao, who is watching him choke his mother.

The door slides shut and Angela screams. After a moment Ma arrives and opens the door. There's no sign of the ghost.

The next day, Angela and Ma sit on the floor in front of Jin's funeral shrine. Ma gives the shrine Jin's favorite--chicken--to make him feel better. Angela tells her that Ma doesn't have to do it, and Ma tells her that if she really cared about Jin then he wouldn’t still be hurting her. Angela realizes that Ma knew what Jin was doing when he was alive and says that she slipped in the bathroom.

That night, Angela goes to the shrine and asks the portrait of Jin if Ma is right and he's still there. She fingers her throat and then goes to bed. Bao Bao goes into Angela's room and stands next to her bed, watching his mother sleep. The next morning, Bao Bao wakes up from sleeping next to his mother and sees Jin looking at them. Jin ducks down out of sight, crawls beneath the covers, and moves toward them. Bao Bao screams, jumps out of bed, and crawls beneath it. Angela falls on the floor, tangled in the sheets, and breaks into tears as her son watches her. Bao Bao goes over and hugs her.

Later, Ma brings a man, Harold, in and thanks him for agreeing to help them. Angela comes out and Ma introduces Harold. Harold explains that Ma invited him there to deal with Jin's ghost, and she believes that his spirit has been corrupted and is trying to hurt Angela. Angela wonders if he's taking advantage of Ma's grief, and Ma insists that she's right. She insists that Jin's ghost isn't at rest and is hurting Angela, but Angela doesn't believe in abusive ghost. Harold asks her if she's felt safe since Jin passed away.

Angela is unable to answer, and Harold prepares to exorcise the ghost. He explains that "ghosts" are the unresolved emotions of people: concentrated anger. Harold senses Jin's spirit, breaks a framed photo of him, and tells Bao Bao that Jin wants them to acknowledge his pain. Angela and Ma can't see Bao Bao, and Harold realizes that Bao Bao is a ghost. Jin comes toward Harold and the lights go out. When the lights come on, Harold is dead.

The furniture shakes and Jin peers at Bao Bao. Bao Bao yells at his mother and grandmother to run, but the door won't open. They go upstairs, Bao Bao with them, but the doors slam shut before they can go into the rooms. Angela and Ma finally reach the bedroom and slam the door shut, and the room shakes around them. Ma tells Angela to apologize, and Angela wonders what she did and insists that she loved Jin. She yells that Jin abused her all her life, and his family and friends looked the other way. Angela says that she'd rather die than face more of his abuse, and the shaking stops.

The bedroom door opens and the lights go out. An invisible Jin slaps Angela repeatedly and then chokes her, as Bao Bao hides beneath the bed. Ma begs her son to stop and then goes to Angela when he releases her. Bao Bao sees Jin peering at him under the bed, smiling, and Bao Bao crawls out and yells that he hates him. Jin is knocked back out of the room and the door slams shut.

Bao Bao goes out into the hallway where Jin is waiting. The boy says that he hates Jin and walks toward him.

In the bedroom, the knickknacks fly off the shelves. Ma helps Angela into the bathroom and closes the door, and Ma admits that she doesn't know what to do. She apologizes to Angela for never saying anything about Jin's abuses, and admits that she raised a monster. Angela tells her that Jin only abused her when he was drinking, and she misses him. She says that Ma didn’t want to think badly of her son, and Ma tells her that she's part of her family and she let Angela face Jin alone.

The bathroom door opens apparently by itself, and Ma begs Jin to leave. She tells Jin to hurt her if he needs to hurt anyone, and says that her husband hurt Jin when he was a boy and Ma as well. Ma admits that she was ashamed, and wouldn't accept that Jin was just like his father. She takes off a locket and opens it to reveal Jin as a child--Bao Bao—and explains that she carries it to remind herself of her little boy that she loved before the fear and pain. Bao Bao takes Jin's hand, and Bao Bao fades away. Jin becomes human-looking, and Ma says that it stops there. She tells Jin to take her if he has to take anyone, but she and Angela won't carry Jin's burden anymore.

The bathroom lights come on, and Ma tells Angela that they need to go. They leave, and Jin picks up the discarded locket and looks at it.

Later, Ma and Angela come back. Jin stands in the living room, unseen, and Angela says that things have changed. Ma hopes that Jin has moved on and Angela suggests that they move on as well. Eventually they move out of the house, leaving Jin behind. They look behind at the house, and Ma tells Angela that it's just a house and they'll find another. Jin stands at the window and watches them go.

"I will never leave you," my husband whispered as he climbed into bed last night.

I woke up gasping as the suit he was buried in twisted around my neck.

Written by Gadfly on Aug 16, 2019