WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 24 of Higurashi: When They Cry - Gou, "Village Destroying - Part 7," now streaming on Funimation.
Higurashi: Gou comes to an end with what seems to be the final episode of the “Village Destroying” arc. While Episode 24 feels more like a recap of things that have long since been implied, it does set up a second season, Sotsu, set to release sometime in July.
While in the Sea of Fragments in the episode, Satoko and Eua discuss Teppei’s change of heart. Eua takes credit for his desire to reform, attributing it to her power and reminding Satoko that people’s memories will accumulate with each loop. As she decides to make use of Teppei in her schemes, Satoko then turns her attention to Miyo.
Miyo, much like Teppei, experiences vivid nightmares of her demise in other fragments, which causes her to rethink the ongoing conspiracy surrounding the village. Unlike what happened with Teppei, fans were already aware of Miyo’s irregularities in these new loops. This episode just adds more context as to why rather than introduce anything all that new.
In an undisclosed fragment, Rika accompanies Satoko to the Irie Clinic during one of her check-ups. Miyo gives Satoko an inkblot test and tells her that her condition is improving. She also reveals that she plans on quitting her job at the clinic. When Satoko asks why Miyo seems to allude to her inevitable betrayal and acknowledges that she’s being taken advantage of.
Satoko likens Miyo’s futility to ingredients in soup stock, claiming that while most people throw them away, the ingredients can still be used after they’ve served their initial purpose. This analogy seems to mirror how Satoko has been manipulating those around her when orchestrating the tragedies in the new loops and goes to show just how far gone she seems to be at this point.
At the Watanagashi Festival, Satoko overlooks Miyo confessing to Jirou while she makes him aware of the conspiracy surrounding the village. Miyo’s unit is apprehended, and the tragedy is stopped prematurely, as has been the case in the new fragments so far. Back at the clinic, Miyo opens an electronically locked case containing multiple syringes and capsules of H173 and puts one of the capsules back in. Satoko then sneaks into the room and brute forces the lock open by resetting time until she can finally guess the right combination. She then takes out a syringe and capsule, before finally taking her leave.
Satoko once again consults with Eua in the Sea of Fragments, with the latter noting that Satoko has assured the means to control the tragedies in each loop. Satoko seems content with trying things over as often as she needs to, and doesn’t seem to feel any guilt for her actions in these alternate realities. In her mind, what happens in old fragments won’t matter once she reaches her ideal world. Thinking that her victory is assured Satoko opens her arms and madly calls out to Rika, with a disturbing smile forming around her face.
The “Village Destroying” arc is now over, and with it so is Gou. Given how much ground there still is to cover, the second season’s announcement isn't much of a surprise. Although somewhat slow-paced and doesn't provide much useful new information, Gou’s finale lets fans fill in some of the remaining blanks. Episode 17’s twist ending still has yet to be addressed and seems to be a likely starting point for when the anime decides to continue moving the narrative forward in Sotsu.