By episode’s end, Madoka and Sayaka understand a lot more about how a Maho Shojo operates, and so do we. We also learn that Homura wanted to snuff out Kyubei so he(she?) wouldn’t create more competition for her. Maho Shojo may all be hunting witches, but inherent rewards can make the competition fierce.
Mami expertly shows them both the tools of the trade (soul gems, grief seeds) and how to find and destroy a witch. The abstract, surreal, downright unsettling way in which witches are depicted is particularly well done here: the different animation doesn’t come off as a gimmick, but rather a strange and alien world a witch creates to discombobulate and weaken their opponent. Still, this particular witch, while powerful, isn’t a match for Mami’s awesome rifles. Everything about their duel oozes style, originality…and confidence.
So Sayaka and Madoka need to come up with an ultimate wish that will be fulfilled by Kyubei in exchange for risking their lives to the witch hunt. They live great lives, so it isn’t immediately apparent what to wish for. After witnessing Mami in action, however, Madoka essentially wishes to be like her: someone “useful” who is strong enough to protect the innocent. Rating: 3.5