One Piece has certainly had its fair share of slow episodes as of late, though some of them have been decent in parts, but it's not unexpected considering that they're trying to slow things down a bit between arcs out of necessity with where the manga is. As previously stated, I would have preferred that they spent more time with each of the Straw Hats than they did in order to give us a real look at them for awhile rather than those short ones, but there may be a method to their madness in barreling through them as they appear to have done.
Over the course of the Impel Down arc, the focus was entirely on Luffy getting in to free Ace. With him not reaching him and Ace being taken out before he could get there, we didn't get all that much time with Ace overall. There were some good scenes to be had by him as we got some glimmerings of what he was going through, but by and large Ace has been the strong and silent type as he awaits what will happen, at least that's how it looks. Much of the world seems to be in a similar mindset as we get a bit of a tour of the world to see how everyone is anticipating what will happen, whether it will be all out war if Whitebeard appears or if the execution will go off without a hitch and nothing will happen at all.
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