And here this show comes with an episode that to be honest… I only expected to arrive around the penultimate episode or something. Now, that means that if this show knows what it’s doing, it can get an amazing climax out of that, when awesome episodes like this are used as build-up episodes.
The creators really didn’t try to drag out Sayaka’s descend into madness. It’s just been an episode and a half, and she already exhausted her soul gem. So yeah, she’s probably going to remain as a witch starting from the next episode. My guess would be that that’s the point where the creators are really going to go all out on Madoka and Homura. The part in which Madoka nearly gave in to QB (or should I say InQBtor) was really powerful. Now it’s up to the creators to build further upon that.
One point of criticism: here we have the childhood friends that you forgot about cliche again. Very weird place to show such a cliche, but it should be fine if it is indeed central to Homura’s character and her motivation.
Rating: *** (Awesome)