The story opens with Holmes sitting before a police court explaining how a case went wrong.
We are given the case not only in the court proceedings but also as flash-backs. It is not till the story has moved along a bit that we learn Detective Bell has been shoot, apparently because of the way Holmes handled the investigation.
Although the show lacked in Sherlockian references and any remarkably new deductive and observational performances, I think the story line and the theme involved was very well linked to things that have often been discussed in the Canon.
The police court is trying to examine whether or not Holmes, and by virtue of her involvement with Holmes, Watson often skirt the boundaries of acceptable police practice during their investigations helping the NYPD.
It is a situation that has often been discussed at Scion meetings, and although 'Elementary' probably takes the law breaking a little further than the Canon does, it is not without precedence.
At first Holmes is reluctant to admit or accept the fact that his procedures are responsible for Bell's possible career ending injuries. He pointedly twists the truth when asked how he sometimes gets his information, thinking the end justifies the means.
But be the end of the episode, with help from Watson and the court, Holmes realizes his methods do not always have the most advantages endings for all involved.
At the end, Holmes also comes to realize his actions could end, if not friendship, a very good working relationship with Bell.
Although I found the case itself uninteresting, and to much like previous cases, I thought the handling of the main theme of the episode was done very well.
Holmes comes to realize all that he has to lose by his behavior; Watson, Watson's lose of a job working as a NYPD consultant, Bell's life and friendship, and his chance to keep working for the NYPD.
Although the show does not completely resolve whether or not Holmes will change his habits it does suggest that he is now questioning those habits.
I think it was very well done.
Sherlockian connections I made:
Holmes 'flourishings' of the recounting of the case would suggest how, in the Canon, Holmes thinks Watson embellishes the cases to much and strays from the facts.
Holmes comment about Bell being 'deviation from the norm' is a probably a nod to the Canonical Holmes saying Lestrade is 'the best of a bad lot'.
Once again, a reference to Holmes' knowledge of chemicals.
His need to distract himself when stumped on a case.
Yorkshire pudding could be a reference to Holmes' origins being up north and not London.
(And as a Yorkshireman, to see them just thrown away caused the loss of one pipe in my ratings.)
So, being fair, and because they threw away the Yorkshire puddings, I give this episode