The end of the Amazon Lily arc of One Piece comes down from the frenzied action of the last few episodes to make way for One Piece's patented flashback-driven drama.
The pacing of the episode is a bit slow, but the revelations about Boa Hancock's painful past provide important revelations about the depths of the cruelty of the Celestial Dragons (Tenryuubito) and how that has ruined the lives of many characters, from the easygoing Hachi and his fellow Sun Pirates to the deeply scarred Boa sisters.
The great music keeps the dramatic scenes moving, with tragic violin themes and ominous horns carrying an episode that is essentially Luffy sitting in a room with a girl who talks for 15 minutes. The story itself continues One Piece's strong run of fascinating arcs and characters that started with the Enies Lobby arc, and sets up Luffy's departure for Impel Down well.
I can't wait for the next episode to air this Saturday - the Impel Down arc is going to be unbelievably epic, if the manga is any indication!