In Higurashi: Gou Episode 20, Satoko’s attempt to rekindle her friendship with Rika gets her in big trouble.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 20 of Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou, “Village Destroying – Part 3,” now streaming on Funimation.
As Higurashi: Gou nears its conclusion, it doesn’t look to be holding anything back. Satoko and Rika’s inevitable falling out has been playing out in slow motion over the last few episodes, but Episode 20 hints at a potentially disastrous confrontation between the two in the not-so-distant future.
The unraveling of their friendship continues from the episode’s start, when, at St. Lucia, Rika scolds Satoko over her laidback attitude and insists that she act as she’s expected to as a student of the academy. Satoko brushes her warning off so Rika’s new clique, taking issue with her curtness, attempts to reprimand her, but Satoko, uninterested in speaking to anyone other than Rika, takes her leave. As her new friends criticize her, Rika tries to sell them on Satoko’s good qualities, attributing her recent behavior to frustration over poor grades.
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Wishing to remind Rika of the fun they used to have together, Satoko then decides to play a prank by dropping metal wash bins on her. This is the same sort of prank she used to do when they were younger. However, it goes awry and ends up injuring a member of Rika’s entourage. Rika notices Satoko watching from a distance and gives her a disapproving look before Satoko takes off. Rika denies any knowledge of who perpetrated the prank when questioned by her teacher, but a member of Rika’s clique pieces things together and tattles.
As punishment, Satoko is held in a detainment center below school grounds. While there, Satoko’s teacher reveals that she was caught due to a student informing her of Satoko’s proficiency in setting traps, which leads Satoko to suspect Rika. The underground prison awakens Satoko’s past traumas and she tearfully laments her decision to accept Rika’s request back in the bookstore all those years ago.
Rika takes notice of Satoko’s empty seat in class but continues to occupy herself with tea parties and conversations with her new friends. After an undisclosed amount of time, Satoko is released and informed that she will be in the remedial class in her second year. Knowing that she’ll be further separated from Rika, Satoko grows more discouraged.
Mion contacts Satoko with the intention of having her and Rika return to Hinamizawa for a club reunion. As the two wait for her outside the school gate, they say nothing to each other but try to act normal once Mion picks them up. The arrival of Keiichi, Mion and Rena, now in university, causes Rika to temporarily revert back to her old personality when interacting with the old club members — something Satoko takes notice of and seems disappointed by. Mion offers to take them all to Angel Mort afterward to meet Shion for dinner but, feeling homesick, Satoko asks to be left alone to walk around Hinamizawa. Rika tries to assure her that they’ll see each other at the restaurant later on, but Satoko can only give her a forced smile in response. Once she’s finished seeing them off, Satoko’s face drops as she begins to make her way through town.
Satoko and Rika’s inevitable falling out seems to come closer and closer to fruition with every episode of Higurashi: Gou‘s “Village Destroying” arc. It’s clear by now that Rika has outgrown Satoko in their time at St. Lucia, unintentionally isolating her in a hostile environment as a result. Satoko’s assumption that Rika was the one who pinned the wash bin prank on her has undoubtedly damaged their already brittle friendship. With the relationship so on edge, Satoko is certain to snap soon.
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