Dear Shaft: thank you for actually finishing this episode in time and not pulling another Bakemonogatari. Having to wait a month for the final two episodes still is pretty doable. Episode 11 was a rock-solid build-up that was quite worth the wait.
With just about every other character out of the picture now, this episode indeed focused on Madoka, Homura and Kyuubei, but also surprisingly Madoka’s mother also played a large role here. It was really building up to the inevitable: Madoka becoming a mahou shoujo. Or at least, that was very heavily implied at the end of this episode. Overall, while it would have been nice for Madoka to actually refuse Kyuubei throughout the entire series, I can see why she did it: as long as that Walpurgis night can only be defeated by Madoka in her Mahou Shoujo-form, this time-loop will continue on endlessly.
Just, what was the point of that one monologue of Kyuubei? The one where he started talking about the past of the mahou shoujo, where he started talking how many famous girls in history were actually mahou shoujo who were plunged into despair, and how without them we’d still live in caves? That just makes no sense and is completely out of context here.
Now, as for the ending: right now things are heading in exactly the way that has been built up by the previous episodes. At the moment, we’ve reached the inescapable situation where Madoka will destroy the world once she defeats the Walpurgis Night (after all: superpowered Madoka will make for a very exciting final battle). It really seems to be heading towards a loophole ending: the creators try to bend around their own rules in order to find a loophole out of its chaos. It probably will be with casualties, but at least the world will be saved. These kinds of endings really depend on a) how good that loophole is, and b) how exciting the final battle is. Madoka definitely deserves a good closure.
Rating: ** (Excellent)