'Titans' Sets Up Dick Grayson's Nightwing Turn in "Asylum"

Titans sets up Dick Grayson's transition from Robin to Nightwing in an unexpected way during this [...]

Titans sets up Dick Grayson's transition from Robin to Nightwing in an unexpected way during this week's episode of Titans.

The episode, among other things, depicts the adult Dick sharing the screen with his younger self from the flashback sequences, and it's that dynamic that sets up the next stage of his evolution as a hero.

Spoilers ahead for "Asylum," this week's episode of Titans.

During the episode, the Titans are captured and tortured while attempting to save Raven's birth mother from the cult that has been chasing them all series. The torture undergone by each Titan is customized to their personality and abilities, so Dick's is psychological in nature, as he is drugged and rendered helpless, his brain going down a rabbit hole.

There, he is confronted and beaten by his younger self. After awakening in his Robin costume, young Dick tells him that Robin was supposed to "fix" everything, but that Dick managed to corrupt the identity and ruin it all.

This follows the thread of Dick being incredibly psychologically fragile so far in the series, allowing his issues with Batman and feelings of loss over his parents to come out in dialogue during fight scenes.

(Photo: DC Entertainment)

Ultimately, after the team escapes together, Kory torches the facility where they were being held. After the explosion, Dick finds his Robin costume sitting in a field, burning. He stands there watching it burn for a moment, before being called to leave by Kory.

This is a bit different from how it played out in the comics, where Dick essentially made the choice because he felt he had "aged out of" being Robin. In Titans, the idea of his costume being burned and Bruce having already taken on Jason Todd as a sidekick feels a bit more like the decision was taken out of his hands, although obviously that is not the case, since Bruce did not ask him to surrender the suit and Dick has been uncomfortable in the Robin role since the pilot.

Titans airs on Friday mornings on DC Universe. The next episode, "Donna Troy," will see a costume-less Dick investigating his teammates's secret origins with a little help from his old friend Donna.