WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 7 of Higurashi: When They Cry - Sotsu, "Curse Revealing - Part 1," now streaming on Funimation.
Teppei’s change of heart was one of Higurashi Gou’s biggest surprises. Higurashi places a strong emphasis on redemption, but Teppei’s actions have made him one of the series’ most hated characters for years. Sadly, it seems like this change of heart came much too late. As it stands, in Higurashi Sotsu, Teppei looks to be yet another of Satoko’s pawns in her battle of wills with Rika.
As shown in the “Cotton-Revealing” arc, Satoko has begun spending time with her uncle in secret. Though she seemed to be unsure of Teppei in Gou, it seems as though she’s adjusted to interacting with him following his attitude change.
In Episode 7 of Sotsu, after the baseball game, Satoko goes to play Mahjong with her uncle and his friends. The group seems to enjoy spending time with Satoko, with Teppei openly doting on his niece. But though Satoko tolerates her uncle’s attempts at familiarity, she is still fairly cold towards him overall. Their dynamic is completely different now compared to how it was in the original series, with Teppei constantly trying to appease Satoko rather than try to intimidate her.
To his credit, Teppei is making a genuine attempt at bettering himself and reconnecting with his niece. For instance, rather than continue to spend time with his friends, Teppei sends them home in order to walk Satoko back to Hinamizawa. When the two are alone, Satoko sets her plan into action and asks him to move back to the village with her.
When the two arrive back in Hinamizawa, Satoko acts as though she’s being ostracized by the villagers. She even goes so far as to suggest that some of the villagers are throwing rocks at her in the street. Teppei is livid that Satoko is being mistreated and vows to protect her. This really shows just how much he’s changed from an ordinary thug to a much more conscientious and empathetic individual.
Eua, meanwhile, takes great pleasure in watching the events unfold, noting that Satoko will be putting herself through an incredible strain throughout the remainder of the Sotsu fragment. Despite her indifference in her interactions with him, Satoko does seem to still have some emotional baggage when it comes to her uncle.
Unsurprisingly, Satoko’s new plan seems to revolve around turning her uncle against the villagers. That probably means some of the trauma she displayed in Gou was faked in order to sell her story. Though disappointing, this isn’t too hard to believe given her actions so far. Unlike the first two Higurashi loops, it doesn’t seem as though Satoko had to inject Teppei. But with four more episodes to this new arc, plenty of things can come to light.