Once again it has been proven that the point the actual case has less to do with making the show good than does the character stories.
The cases lack any "wow!" factor or any idication that Holmes will or can spot clues that no one else is likely to see.
The solution of this case basically involved following a paper trail and making an observation at the scene of the crime (the first bombing) that should now be standard procedure at any public crime scene (spotting a suspicious individual at a bombing or arson).
After all, that is what Sherlock Holmes is all about; spotting things others will miss.
It may be a sign of the times that coming up with Holmesian traits in the modern era is too difficult to incorporate into 'Elementary', so that the characters around Holmes become more important than the personality of Holmes. Miller's Holmes still lacks the ability to convince us that he can be good representing an image of Sherlock Holmes. While we all have our own images of Holmes, there are certain individual traits we expect Holmes to have.
While we may have given up on that ever happening in 'Elementary' it doesn't mean we still can't have some Canonical fun with the show.
A new face was introduced this season in the character of Shinwell Johnson (actor Nelson Ellis). Bearing many similarities to the Caonical Shinwell, former criminal, willing to do the dirty work, informer, etc., he should be a welcome addition to the show. Just like in the Canon, at least in this episode, Shinwells involvement keeps him clear of actually having to deal with the police.
Also explored in this episode is Watson's possible need to be involved with something other than Sherlock Holmes. Canonically we see Watson okay with following Holmes around for a while after his return to London. His healing process needs a distraction. Than eventually he needs something more. He needs once again to be involved with something that makes him feel helpful before it's to late to help. Let's face it, some of the best lines and/or scenes in the Canon involve Watson being summoned to or dropping by Baker St. I don't think we come away from the Canon thinking of the relationship between Holmes and Watson as co-dependent (at least I don't), and perhaps 'Elementary' is making that even more clear than 'Sherlock', but the seperation of the two will become important at some time.
Lucy Liu's Watson has also reached that point. While Miller's Holmes tries to convince her she is doing good, she needs more than just helping to clean up a mess after a crime.
Part of that it seems maybe to involve Shinwell Johnson and his relationship with Joan and her once again helping someone heal. I doubt that we will see Joan moving out and moving on to other things besides detective work any time soon, but maybe we will she her taking up other pursuits.
While once again I find the exploration of character backstories the most interesting thing about 'Elementary', it's lack of any really good Holmes habits or interesting case keeps this episode in too comfortable a routine for me to give it more than
But I do believe it was a good start for the season.