The show picks up where we left off previously. While it sort of explains why Gin did what he did. It still leaves a lot in the air. Though I can understand waiting on this because of the coming battle between Ichigo and Aizen.
Although the rest of the show is really used to fluff Ichigo's new powers. They are trying to build up in one episode what they tore down in multiple. They took multiple episodes to pull down Ichigo's character using fear and suddenly use the "quick" button again to gain a leap in power. Much like what happened when Ichigo learned his Bankai.
I enjoy this show a lot, and like this episode a lot. But all these convenient power upgrades at the last second...come on. It has become a crutch.
By the way, Ichigo looks like he lost a few years in the void. Way too Emo.