Scott Pilgrim Takes Off: That Episode 1 twist explained

Lucy-Jo Finnighan
First evil ex Matthew Patel in Scott Pilgrim Takes OffNetflix

Scott Pilgrim massively subverts its source material in the very first episode, and we’ll explain just how here.

Scott Pilgrim is back, and this time, in animated form, as Scott Pilgrim Takes Off lands on Netflix today, directed by BenDavid Grabinski along with writer and original creator Bryan O’Malley.

The synopsis of the anime is as follows: “After meeting the woman of his dreams, a charming musician finds himself contending with an army of her ex-boyfriends.” Sounds pretty similar to the movie, right?

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But episode 1 is pretty shocking, to say the least, as it subverts all expectations we could have had about this new series. We’ll explain, but first: MAJOR SPOILER WARNING FOR EPISODE 1!

The series’ titles foreshadow the Episode 1 twist

To be honest, we should have all seen this coming. The series literally references that he “Takes Off,” and the first episode is even called “Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life.”

Because here’s the twist: Scott Pilgrim appears to die in Episode 1.

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The anime first seems like it’s going to follow the same plot as the movie: Scott’s life is a mess, he’s sort of dating Knives, he starts dating Ramona, and for such a crime he gets attacked by Matthew Patel, the first of Ramona’s Seven Evil Exes.

We then expect the fight to follow that pattern, that Scott will win, thus beginning his journey of fighting for Ramona. However, this doesn’t happen. Instead, Matthew Patel appears to defeat Scott Pilgrim.

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Scott pulls a lot of the moves we see in the movie, but when Patel goes to take a major punch, Scott’s blocking doesn’t work. There’s a flash, and Scott disappears, leaving only a handful of coins in his wake. And thus, Episode 1 ends.

And this isn’t just a one-time gag; the entire cast of characters is shocked that Scott was so easily defeated, and his death hangs over the next episode.

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This twist surprisingly doesn’t pose much of an issue

As we state in our 4-star review of the anime, “It’s a shocking revelation, to say the least, and it’ll definitely help justify the series’ existence when viewers ask what was the point of retelling this story. By thoroughly subverting what we know about this franchise, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is able to hook us in, whether we’ve seen the movie or not.

“And while shocking, it’s surprising how it actually isn’t that much of a problem. Michael Cera will always be a great Scott Pilgrim, but because he is unable to fully perform his… Michael Cera-isms, in animated form, it probably is for the best that the character was taken out. This choice may anger some fans, but arguably each new adaptation should explore other aspects of a franchise, and that’s what this anime does.”

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Now, we won’t spoil anything more in the article – except that Patel gets to show off more of his skills later – but rest assured this is not the end of the twists and turns this series has to offer, so get watching before you’re spoiled about something else!

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is now available to stream on Netflix. Check out our other coverage of the series below:

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About The Author

Lucy-Jo is a Movies and TV Writer at Dexerto, and has previously written for Screen Rant and Girls on Tops. After earning a Master's Degree in Film and Literature, Lucy-Jo now loves covering films, TV shows, and anime, especially if it's something by Mike Flanagan, or anything drenched in camp. You can contact her at lucyjo.finnighan@dexerto.com