Now this is how you do a character episode! In terms of doing the character justice, I personally feel that this attempt was the best one thus far. They have pretty much nailed it and got Makoto down to pat - the shounen heroine repressing the unfulfilled little girl who is begging to manifest herself. To be quite honest, I was expecting an action sequence to be thrown in for good measure as well, since they got the guy who animated the Lord Genome fight in Gurren Lagann to work on this episode. In retrospect, I guess that episode 8 sort of covered that already and they wanted to highlight the other side of Makoto rarely seen.
More so than that, Broducer was quite the smooth operator this episode too. As you already know, iDOLM@STER isn't all dancing and singing as there are visual novel elements to it as well. Just look at all the 'choices' that he made; standing up for Makoto against 961, protecting her from the goons with his own face, winning her heart over with the most perfect set of words to the conversation towards the end. This flawless navigation of 'choices' is also known as a Perfect Communication in the game, which is pretty much the equivalent of raising flags. Seventeen episodes worth of experience must have finally paid off. That or he had a walkthrough in hand
You know, after this episode, I have been wondering why Broducer is uncomfortable with Mikimiki's Honey antics, but he has close to no qualms about Makoto clinging onto his arm and clearly going on a date with her. Is Broducer still treating Makoto like one of the guys or perhaps he is more comfortable in the company of men