(CNN)The following contains spoilers about the "Gotham" series finale.
"Gotham" was created with a Batman-shaped donut hole at its center -- a Fox drama constructed around the city Bruce Wayne calls home, only years before he became the Dark Knight. So there was something intriguing but forced about the April 25 series finale, which jumped ahead into "Batman Begins" territory, while still playing coy about its most famous character.
In hindsight, the penultimate hour, in which young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) leaves Gotham would have been a sufficient and more appropriate sendoff. As it was, the finale tried to have it both ways, as Batman largely remained an off-screen presence, in an episode -- titled "The Beginning" -- that somewhat awkwardly leapt a decade into the future.
"I will return when I know I'm able to protect the people I love," the young Wayne vowed. "When Gotham needs me, I will return."