Outlander – Season 7 Episode 7 “A Practical Guide For Time-travelers” Recap & Review

A Practical Guide For Time-travelers

Episode 7 of Outlander season 7 titled ‘A Practical Guide For Time-travelers’ begins with Bree reading another letter in which Claire says that they are close to the Battle of Saratoga. Just then, Roger calls out for her and she is shocked to see that Buck MacKenzie is with him. He tells them how his kid, Jeremiah and his pregnant wife Morag were travelling back when he heard the stones of Craigh Na Dun.

He went to check on it alone and found himself in the 20th century. On seeing Roger at Inverness, he followed him back to Lallybroch but was too scared to approach him…cause of the hanging. He tries to understand what ulterior motive Roger might have if he didn’t want to sleep with Morag.

Frustrated, Roger explains that the whole Buck getting jealous and having him hanged was not required because he was only with Morag to warn her since she is his…great great great something grandmother. Buck is shocked to find out that they are all related and is suddenly friendly.

Roger tries to help by tracing the family tree but sees that Buck is recorded as dead in 1778, the same year he travelled back in time, which means he probably never returned. But Roger keeps this information to himself.

Back in 1778, William is brimming with excitement as all the generals congregate and talk about how glorious the battle will be. They are expecting reinforcement which will assure their win. Sandy, who turns out to be William’s friend could care less as he nicks some wine but things get serious as a message returns that reinforcements will not be arriving.

There are many deserters as well, while the Continental Army keeps increasing. Captain Richardson privately tells William that the battle will not happen in New York but Philadelphia and he has recruited him to send the message to all the other generals.

This just means William will not be present for the battle which will take place in 3 days’ time and he is disappointed. With Simon Fraser being a senior, William requests to allow him to fight. Fraser is impressed by his passion and agrees.

Meanwhile, Jamie brings back a book for Claire from one of his hunts. She struggles to read, blaming the tiny font and as a professional printer, he points out that it is quite big. They joke around as he says that she just may need glasses and promises to buy her pretty and expensive glasses for every single day when they are back in Scotland.

She hopes he can see well enough to shoot and things get serious as he reveals that the battle will be in 3 days. He hopes she can pray for him and she knows he will come back to her. And if he doesn’t, she will go look for him.

As for the MacKenzie family reunion, it is cut short as Rob Cameron arrives unannounced. They hide Buck in the priest hole and get started on the dinner with Rob. He asks about Roger’s hymn sheets and is taken to the study. Roger leaves him there alone to help Brianna, with the unlocked chest full of the Fraser letters right on the table next to Rob. 

Dinner, surprisingly goes well with Rob bonding with Jem and Brianna, to the extent that he even gets a little too friendly with her. A distracted Roger, however, cannot forget Buck hiding for hours and tries to get Rob out. But Rob keeps finding reasons to stay and goes on about a sob story of his French wife who took their kid and left him. He offers to take Jem and his nephew Bobby to the movies and the MacKenzies agree to get him out. 

When they go back to get Buck they see that he is missing. But he is just hanging out with the kids in the trailer and watching TV. He has introduced himself as Cousin Buck and the kids already like him which surprises Roger and Bree. She also observes that Roger has forgiven Buck and he adds that he did get a few punches in before.

However, they don’t want Buck alone at home till they can go to the Stones on Saturday. Bree takes him to work and he has an existential crisis on seeing the same landscape but everyone he knows is dead. She tries to understand why he ended up in the 20th century but he doesn’t answer. She ends up telling him how he needs a gemstone to go back but is interrupted by Rob…did he hear them!?

Rob touches Bree’s arm and is curt with Buck who doesn’t appreciate his demeanour towards his great great great… daughter-in-law. He tries to warn Brianna but she just laughs it off, calling it kindness. At home, he is fascinated by a toy plane and Roger offers to give it to him for his son. He also tells Buck about his death year and they wonder what may have happened.

Buck tries to tell Roger too about Rob being flirty with Bree but he laughs it off too. That night, Roger and Bree joke about it with Rob probably just being a lonely divorcee and they have sex. But later, Mandy screams and when they go to her, she says that Jem is missing. They try to assure her that he is at Bobby’s, but she touches her head and says that she cannot feel him.

The MacKenzies remember her time-travelling connection to Jem and call Bobby’s mother who says there was no movie plan and that Rob is not home. Furious, Buck and Roger drive through the forest. Roger remembers seeing that the chest of Fraser letters was disturbed and deduces it must have been Rob.

Buck wonders why Rob would need Jem if a gemstone is the time travelling key. Roger suddenly remembers writing in his time-travelling manual about Geillis doing a blood sacrifice of a time-travelling child to travel and realises that is what Rob must be trying to do. They stop when Buck notices Jem’s shawl.

The 1st Battle of Saratoga is also off to a shaky start. Sandy is scared and to distract him, William tells him about his crush on Rachel. However, Sandy is the first casualty and William is frozen till Simon urges him to move. The battle begins and a furious William charges, killing everyone in his way.

After the battle ends, the British generals celebrate it as a victory while William grieves and digs graves. On the other side of the field, we see a bloody Jamie who is not moving.

The Episode Review

Outlander season 7 doesn’t have enough Claire and Jamie and previously we didn’t mind thanks to the new and welcome additions, well except for Rob. But episode 7 makes us realise how we missed them together. From their joking around of Claire needing glasses to being serious as they worry about the battle, season 7 definitely needs more Claire and Jamie.

Did she just predict the end about her going to look for Jamie? Because that may just happen with him being injured on the battlefield. Many fans may have also forgotten just how rugged and handsome warrior Jamie is but Sam Heughan thankfully reminds us in this episode. He could definitely be cast in a Viking show or the upcoming Winter King series.

And William really should have listened to Richardson’s order. Poor guy had the same mentality as those young boys who have never seen blood, pumped up by the noble notion of war and glory only to see that reality is very much different. If he happens to be the one who struck Jamie in the melee, oh man, that is going to be the plot twist of the century. And we knew it, we just knew it he liked Rachel too. Hopefully, he stays alive long enough to see her.

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