The first half felt incredibly stretched.
Hody calling on the individuals who signed the petition was also weird, how do they know who is who? (well, assuming not everyone starts to cry immediatly, revealing that he/she just got sentenced to death).
I actually didn't mind that scene. Hody knows who they are because he was reading their signatures on the fliers the citizens all sent in. It made sense to me. And even if a bit forced, if I were in their shoes, I would be scared if the guy called out my name like that. I felt it added a bit a bit to the menacing scene.
Though Hody's plan in general was incredibly cliche, something very unlike Oda. I honestly wonder if he was going through a stressful time during this point in the arc, because so many things were very predictable. While I didn't mind Hody's
! lack of any motivation whatsoever and being a "tool for racism", I kind of feel like the writing for it was a bit weak. Oda is a genius, but even geniuses need to be called out when they make mistakes.
He was in chains, no? I have more of a problem with Brook getting oneshotted by fodder.
I'm talking about in the flashback when the Fishmen tossed Zoro and Usopp up out of the water before the chains were applied. I understand Zoro was weakened by not being able to breath and whatnot, which is understandable, but the Zoro I have come to respect would never let such a thing stop him. This is the man who fought Arlong with a life-threatening wound from Mihawk, the man who was willing to cut his own legs off to escape solid wax, the man who was willing to give his life to Kuma to save Luffy. I'm not one to like nitpickers against the anime, as you all probably know by now, but this one scene just felt very weak and OOC to me.
Now that you mention it, Brook getting taken down by fodder was annoying as well. If the writers for this episode gave this better thought, they should have used the fact Brook is a Devil Fruit user to make the scene more believable. Them hitting Brook WHILE in the water would make much more sense. If this scene happened pre-time skip I would buy it, but not now when Brook is clearly able to hold his own
! against a more menacing opponent.