WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Titans Season 2 episode "FauxHawk," streaming now on DC Universe.
Even before Dick Grayson dramatically burned his Robin costume in the seventh episode of Titans' first season, fans have been champing at the bit for Batman's former sidekick to complete his transformation into Nightwing. The series has spent the past couple of episodes providing a ham-fisted origin for the new identity, and Warner Bros. on Thursday staged the costume's official unveiling. But in this week's episode, we learn who makes Dick's -- and, apparently, Bruce Wayne's -- costumes, and it isn't Lucius Fox. However, that revelation raises more questions than it answers.
Following his Houdini-like escape from the Kane County Correctional Facility in the previous episode, Dick (Brenton Thwaites), wearing the preferred disguise of every superhero on the run, makes a beeline for the home of Adeline Wilson (Mayko Nguyen), to confirm his suspicions that Jericho (Chella Man) is "alive," but trapped within the mind of his father, Slade Wilson (Esai Morales). He then heads to Stu's Handmade Shoes, which, it turns out, is neither actually a shoe store nor, as the aggrieved Stu contends, a fruitcake shop.
No, in the tradition of the Kingsman franchise, Stu's Handmade Shoes is merely a front for another sort of custom work: vigilante armor.
Stu, who's well-acquainted with Dick Grayson and "Master Bruce," is what one might charitably called snippy, after the former Robin destroyed his hand-crafted costume. We can presume, as Dick burned the suit at night, somewhere in Ohio, that it contained sensors alerting Stu and his associates to its fate. Speaking in a sort of code one might expect of amateur drug dealers, Stu informs Dick that he's no longer in the "shoe" trade but instead specializes in fruitcakes. Dick quickly picks up on the new terminology, and requests a new fruitcake, and throws in an apology, only to be rebuffed. "Fruitcake is my life," Stu insists, "my passion. If you don't like my work ..."
One dramatically torched fruitcake and another apology later, Stu informs him, "Master Wayne said you'd be coming." What's more, he provided Stu with instructions on what kind of costume he would require.
Let's pause here to ask a couple of key questions: Where is Stu's Handmade Shoes? Because of his work with Bruce and Dick, we might presume Stu is based in Gotham, or at least near it. However, Dick was last seen at Adeline Wilson's home in fictional Kane, Nevada, where we might assume he borrowed (or boosted) a car. Did a fugitive wanted by the FBI drive cross-country, or is Stu situation somewhere out West? Secondly, how did Bruce know Dick would be paying a visit? Yes, he was aware that Dick was in prison, and even orchestrated that implausible meeting in Elko, Nevada, in an effort to reassemble the Titans and free his one-time protege. But Dick deduced Jericho is still alive, in some form, with the help of the hallucinatory Bruce who serves as his dancing, mocking conscience. While Bruce was brought up to date on the apparent abduction of Gar and Conner, he isn't aware of the Deathstroke/Jericho thread, or that Dick would be in need of a new, Nightwing-themed costume.
(Also: Seriously, everyone in Titans' universe knows Bruce Wayne is Batman.)
Stu's Handmade Shoes doesn't require any hidden doors or secret passages; one simply steps behind the counter and down a couple of steps to a sleek, modern workshop where his staff performs its magic, presumably for more than the just the Bat-family. But for Dick Stu & Co. have created "a Nomex, triple-weave Kevlar shell, electrically insulated and light-sensitive." It's crafted differently from the Robin costume, so that Dick can better utilize his "circus skills." "'Move more, get his less,' Stu explains. "That was our mantra."
We barely see the costume in the episode as the mannequin turns on its carousel (Warner Bros.' reveal gives you the goods), but it meets with the approval of a beaming Dick Grayson: "Stu, Lily, you've outdone yourselves."
It's perhaps no surprise that we'll have to wait until the Season 2 finale to actually see Dick as Nightwing, in an episode titled, yes, "Nightwing." There, he will lead the fight not only against Deathstroke, but also the forces of Cadmus. Still, the costume itself will no doubt be the main attraction.
Streaming now on DC Universe, Titans Season 2 stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson, Anna Diop as Kory Anders, Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth, Ryan Potter as Garfield Logan, Curran Walters as Jason Todd and Conor Leslie as Donna Troy, with Minka Kelly as Dawn Granger, Alan Ritchson as Hank Hall, Joshua Orpin as Superboy, Chelsea Zhang as Rose Wilson, Chella Man as Jericho, Drew Van Acker as Aqualad, Esai Morales as Deathstroke and Iain Glen as Bruce Wayne.