Luffy's arrival on the platform with Ace in the previous episode was
definitely an achievement and a half as he's been struggling for an age
(to us) to get there through numerous fights and lots of carnage going
on around him. Appropriately enough, this episode kicks off with a lot
of cheers, a lot of very upbeat music that can make you all tingly and
giddy and a ton of smiles as you see Ace burning a hole of fire through
the smoke to return to his compatriots with Luffy and Mister Three in
tow. It's a great sight to see them bursting out of it and with the way
the music swells to the emotions of all watching, it's definitely the
culmination of a lot of things for many different people.
While they're out of the frying pan, they're definitely not out of the fire as there's still a whole lot of action and fighting going on around them. Ace's power does change things a little bit since he can be pretty flashy and big with it as the Navy men gear up to fight back against them, but you can feel that once again, the tide of the moment has turned against them and that the Whitebeards and others are feeling much more confident about their position, even with the losses they've suffered. Having the two brothers fight side by side and being as full on happy as they are about it, and to see Ace simply not hanging his head in shame over needing to be rescued, is definitely a fantastic moment. He's been held back of his own will for so long now that when he's free to cut loose, and he has to in order to make all the sacrifices mean something, he does so with a grinning abandon that seems like it's his true calling.