WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 8 of Higurashi: When They Cry - Sotsu, "Curse Revealing - Part 2," now streaming on Funimation.
Satoko has seemingly been in complete control throughout Higurashi Sotsu’s run so far, pulling the strings and managing to stay several steps ahead of Rika. While Episode 8 builds off this pattern, a call-back to one of the most memorable scenes from the “Curse-Deceiving” arc sheds light on a potentially major scenario that’s set to unfold.
Satoko’s plan to pit Teppei and the villagers against one another continues to progress, with Satoko playing both sides perfectly. Once again, Satoko seems to take a great deal of pleasure in manipulating those around her. She’s completely disconnected from everyone around her, with her desire to “beat” Rika having completely taken over.
Teppei’s character growth in this new series has been one of its highlights, and the inevitable failure of this fragment really makes you sympathize with him. While it may have initially seemed as though Teppei’s reconciliation with Satoko was motivated by selfishness, he’s proven himself to be genuinely caring and protective of his niece in recent episodes. Sadly, this also makes him the perfect pawn on Satoko’s game board.
What makes Teppei different from Satoko’s victims in previous loops is that he hasn’t -- at least not yet -- been injected with H173. Teppei and Ooishi seem to be the ones who go berserk at the end of the “Curse-Deceiving” arc, so it could be that Satoko injects one of them soon enough. It could also be that someone else, like Eua, manipulated the events. As with everything else from Gou, fans will need to wait for Sotsu to give them a clearer picture.
Satoko’s breakdown in the “Curse-Deceiving” arc was one of its many memorable moments in Higurashi. The subsequent revelation that Satoko herself was a looper in the “Cat-Deceiving” arc left many sure that her breakdown was nothing more than deceptive theatrics. Sotsu briefly touches upon this scene, with Eua providing some much-needed context.
The scene plays out from Eua’s perspective. Watching from the Sea of Fragments, Eua declares that Satoko’s reliance on being pitied and her manipulation of those around her has turned her into a witch.
This is massive, not just for Higurashi but for the potential of an Umineko connection as well. Fans have been making connections between Satoko and Lambdadelta for a good while. Satoko’s newfound looping abilities appeared to ensure that this would be the case, and this latest tease only cements that idea.
Before her breakdown in Episode 8, Satoko grabs her head in pain as her eyes flicker from her normal purple to her demonic red looper ones. Exactly what this means is still unclear, but it's possible that Satoko is losing her humanity and, as Eua alluded to, turning into a witch. What followed could very well have been Satoko trying to salvage the situation, or else her human side feeling remorse for her misdeeds.
The “Curse-Revealing” arc is finally answering some of the questions the “Curse-Deceiving” arc raised in Gou, bringing with it some jaw-dropping twists. Things have been going Satoko’s way for too long, and it seems that she’s finally going to be facing some adversity. How all this will affect her, Rika and the outcome of their battle of wills remains to be seen; fans should definitely expect the next couple of episodes to bring even more surprises to the table.