Back up after restoring an image backup. From inside windows, I did shift reboot and was presented with the choose an option screen where I could choose troubleshoot, then advanced options->troubleshoot->startup settings and I could get into safe mode from there.
Tested again multiple failed boots and now I was taken to a recovery screen. Nuts! Why was it taking me to windows defender offline before instead of the recovery screen!?
Once I've restored my image backup, both last night and this morning I simulated boot failures and windows sent me to the correct recovery mode screen.
I have no idea why it was sending me to the windows defender offline screen last night and am certainly worried that issue will pop up again next time I can't get into windows and need to get into recovery.
Perhaps I had scheduled windows defender offline to run, but never actually ran it and it was sitting there waiting the next time recovery was called? I don't think I've tried to run windows defender offline for many months though.
I found no other reports of this at all in searching. This was a strange one.