Editor’s note: The below contains spoilers for the finale of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.
The Big Picture
- Scott Pilgrim fakes his own death to prevent his older self from interfering with his relationship with Ramona and is kidnapped by his older self.
- Scott and Ramona discover that they cannot kiss due to a force field, potentially caused by one of Ramona’s evil exes.
- Ramona and Scott face a powerful even older version of Scott, but through self-acceptance and learning from their mistakes, they defeat him and finally share a kiss.
Loosely based on the cult comic book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley and the even culter 2010 movie directed by Edgar Wright, both titled Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Netflix’s new anime series Scott Pilgrim Takes Off isn’t exactly what fans expected. The beloved tale of the young Toronto amateur indie rocker facing off against the seven evil exes of the girl of his dreams was deeply altered not just to better reflect the spirit of the 2020s, but also to tell a completely different story. Instead of fighting men and women from Ramona Flowers’ (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) past, this new version of Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) loses in his first battle against Ex #1, Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha) and dies, leaving behind just a few pennies, as if in a videogame. Or does he? The series’ plot has Ramona believing that the guy she went on just one date with isn’t actually dead, but has indeed been kidnapped by one of her evil exes.
Ramona is right, of course, but just up to a point. Scott’s true kidnapper isn’t someone that she has dated before, but a much more mysterious force. To figure out who that person might be, she spends five of the eight episodes of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off questioning and battling the likes of Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh), and Roxie Richter (Mae Whitman) — all people that she has dumped at some point in her life. In Episode 7, “2 Scott 2 Pilgrim,” the reality of what actually happened to Scott comes to light.
To be fair, it’s probably more honest to call Scott Pilgrim Takes Off‘s finale a two-parter. Answers that are usually given in a show’s final episode are, in this case, split into the last two episodes of the season, which, considering a certain post-credit scene, might be just the first in a longer run. But what exactly are those answers? Well, for starters, there’s the already mentioned matter of what happened to Scott, but the questions don’t stop there. There’s also the matter of why Ramona and Scott can’t kiss after being reunited, and whether the so-called evil exes have something to do with it. Without further ado, let’s discuss what happens at the end of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off
- Release Date
- November 17, 2023
- Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Brie Larson, Chris Evans, Mae Whitman, Alison Pill, Ellen Wong, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza
- Main Genre
- Streaming Service(s)
Who Kidnaps Scott Pilgrim?
Let’s start with the big one: who’s responsible for faking Scott’s death during his fight with Matthew Patel? As it turns out, Scott fakes his own death. Or, well, sort of. In “2 Scott 2 Pilgrim,” we learn that Scott was actually kidnapped by an older version of himself that wants to stop him from ever dating Ramona. Now in his 40s, Old Scott is devastated by their ugly divorce and cannot fathom leaving his younger self to go through their relationship just to end up like him. So, with the help of the Katayanagi twins (Julian Cihi), two of Ramona’s exes that he eventually becomes good friends with, as well as their super technological robot, he opens a portal through time to take Scott to the future and talk him out of dating the girl of his dreams.
Scott, however, isn’t exactly convinced. Having witnessed the entirety of his relationship with Ramona through VR, he begs Old Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) to take him to his beloved’s house. Once there, he learns that Ramona has developed a backup plan to remind Scott of their good times together. After putting her hands on a memoir written by Old Young Neil (Johnny Simmons), she went back in time and wrote a screenplay about Scott’s fight against her evil exes and their inevitable love story — you know, the screenplay that became a doomed movie and then a musical play adapted to the stage by Stephen Stills (Mark Webber) and Knives Chau (Ellen Wong).
Ramona is convinced that her plan has failed, as the Scott Pilgrim movie never actually made it to theaters. However, having seen her effort to find him in the past, young Scott convinces her to take him back in time so that he can patch things up with Young Ramona. After telling her everything that happened, the couple decides to pick up from where they left off. Sadly, there’s something in their way — literally: whenever they lean in for a kiss, a force field stops their mouths from touching and pushes them away from one another. Convinced that this must be the work of one of Ramona’s exes, they make a plan to go to the premiere of Stills and Knives play to face the evil league. After all, Matthew Patel is the star of the show, and all the others are guests of honor.
What Happens After Scott and Ramona Decide to Face the Evil Exes?
But, once at the theater, Ramona’s evil exes don’t seem to be that evil anymore. It turns out that, after Matthew’s fight against Scott, they all realized that they wouldn’t get Ramona back and decided to move on with their lives. The only one who still wants a fight is Roxie, but Ramona manages to make things right with her all the way back in Episode 3, “Ramona Rents a Video.” As for the rest of them, well, from Lucas Lee’s concerns about giving up on his acting career to Gideon’s (Jason Schwartzman) plan to get his empire back from Matthew, they all seem to have something else going on.
Ramona and Scott are at a loss about what to do. But as they sit down to watch the play, an explosion in the theater takes them, alongside all of their friends, to an unknown, isolated location. Initially, they all believe the blast to have been caused by the dynamite that Gideon installed in the theater to sabotage Matthew. However, it soon becomes clear that that was no regular explosion — and the one responsible for it is none other than Even Older Scott, who also poisoned Young Scott with nanomachines in order to stop him from kissing Ramona.
After spending a decade training ceaselessly in his shabby apartment, having been kicked out by Wallace Wells, Even Older Scott developed the power to dislocate people through time and space. Having failed at convincing Scott to stay away from Ramona, he plans on beating his younger self up to a pulp to save him the heartbreak that he will one day experience. But Scott isn’t going down without a fight, and he’s not fighting alone. From Ramona to Knives to Gideon, everyone that Scott knows is standing by his side. Unfortunately, though, Even Older Scott is too strong, and the crew hardly makes a dent in his ripped body. Eventually, he gets tired of playing games and sends Scott and Ramona’s friends back to the theater, leaving just the young couple behind to fend for themselves.
How Do Scott and Ramona Beat Old Scott?
Alone, Scott and Ramona are no match for Even Older Scott, no matter how many tricks Ramona has in her inventory, a.k.a. her starry shoulder bag. Thankfully, along comes Even Older Ramona to stop the carnage. After berating Even Older Scott for wallowing in his pain instead of fighting for their love, Even Older Ramona opens her heart to her younger self and admits that she never fell out of love with Scott Pilgrim. However, she does have a habit of walking out on the people that she loves the most. Ramona looks back on her relationships with her so-called evil exes and realizes that there is indeed a pattern. Finally owning up to her flaws, she hugs Even Older Ramona and the two become a singular, luminous entity.
Accepting your flaws and learning from them has power. That is the core message of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off. After years of hurting those that she loved in order not to get hurt, Ramona finally gathers the courage to break the cycle, and doing so renders her able to send Even OIder Scott back to his shabby apartment in the future, where he must learn that he has to fight for the things and the people that he loves. In the past, young Scott will have to learn the same lesson, as the luminous entity that is now Ramona prompts him not to let her go. Through the power invested in her by owning up to your mistakes, Ramona splits herself in two once again, and, back in the 2000s, she and Scott are finally able to share a kiss.
What Happens to the (Not So) Evil Exes at the End of ‘Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’?
But that is not the end of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off. There’s also the matter of what happens to Ramona’s seven evil exes, who turn out to be not so bad in this version of the story. Ex number 1, Matthew Patel, revels in the success of his play and, tired of being a CEO, agrees to give Gideon back his empire. Lucas Lee quits show business and gets a job at Stacey Pilgrim’s (Anna Kendrick) coffee shop, where the Katayanagi twins spend their days reading about how to become better people. Meanwhile, Roxie becomes Todd Ingram’s personal trainer as he tries to get back to veganism.
As a matter of fact, all the characters in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off have some sort of happy ending. Scott reunites with his band, which now features musical prodigy Knives Chau playing the keyboard. Alongside Stephen, Knives has also been composing songs for pop star and Scott’s former girlfriend Envy Adams (Brie Larson). Ramona gets a job as a stunt performer, a talent that she discovered while doing some investigation on the set of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, based on the screenplay written by her future self. As for Wallace, he goes to Paris where he meets another Canadian and finally sees the sparks that signal that he is falling in love.
But will this happiness really last for long? A short post-credits scene indicates that it might not be over for Scott and Ramona. Sitting in his lair beside his new girlfriend, Julie Powers (Aubrey Plaza), a once again all-powerful Gideon announces that now it’s time for the real game to begin. Does this mean there will be a second season on the way? Perhaps. But also maybe not. The real game might have nothing to do with evil exes. The real game might just be Scott and Ramona trying to build a relationship despite all their flaws.
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is available to stream on Netflix.
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