Spoiler Level: High
Bit of a mixed bag this episode. I thought the elements with the Carnival of Crime going back to actually being a Carnival of Crime were good, and wish there had actually been more of that part of the story. But I tend to find them to be some of the more interesting characters in the show in general. I had felt Max's one-eighty degree transition from hardened criminal to super hero mentor was a bit too extreme, and between last episode and this episode it feels more believable that he hasn't completely gone straight.
The main story itself was pretty good; The Cape hoping to drive a wedge between Chess and Scales, in the hope that Scales will expose Chess and clear The Cape's name. It's a good plan, but if it worked that well the storyline would be over already, so of course it's not that easy.
Which makes me wonder: if this show lasts long enough, will they have Chess be defeated at the end of the season and then introduce a new villain next year? Or will they fall into the Heroes trap of feeling you have to always use the same villain? I hope not-- with only 4 episodes under their belt, they've already built up a good rogue's gallery for The Cape. I think they could let this story arc with Chess play out, and then next season pick Scales or Greggor the Great to move into the spotlight as the main villain. Hopefully they'll learn from Heroes' mistakes.
Now for the bad: I'm pretty easy going when it comes to bad special effects, but wow that fight on the top of the train was pretty poorly green-screened. And having the ARK Cop that ticked off Scales at the beginning of the episode wind up being unconscious in the caboose with him at the end just felt forced. Did we even see that there was a cop in there to begin with at all? I certainly don't remember it.
And lastly, apparently the original title for this episode was "Scales on a Train," which is a bazillion times cooler than just "Scales." So y'know, minus several points for missing out on a great opportunity there.
So all in all, I'd give this episode a 7.5 out of 10.