After burning through a particularly brutal premiere last week, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 5 rides again with its second episode of the year, as Jax struggles to keep the club together and protected before turning themselves in, making a bold decision with Tara, while Clay brazenly confronts Opie to remind him of his importance to the club.

Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ premiere “Sovereign” saw Jax and the club attempting to negotiate a truce with the Niners under Damon Pope, while Gemma found a new friend in Latin escort maestro Nero Padilla (Jimmy Smits), and Tig paid a deadly price for his sins. So how does “Authority Vested”  keep things running?  What will season 5 of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ bring next besides  more mayhem, and well…anarchy?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 5 episode 2, “Authority Vested!”

Opie awakens to the noise of cops prowling around his house, and finds Eli Roosevelt at the door asking if he knows where to find Jax.  Unbeknownst to Opie, Jax is safe and sound at Nero’s escort service Diosa International, and while the Sons aren’t sure they can trust him, Gemma vouches for him.  As Nero shows them their temporary new digs, Chibs gets the call from Tig to come pick him up.

Back at Gemma’s house, Unser awakes from his brutal beating and calls Clay, while the Sons meet a distraught Tig at the train yard.  Tig explains the horrific fate that befell his daughter Dawn, and asks that they retrieve her body from the pit before disposing of the various other corpses.  Back at the house, Unser explains that the thugs didn’t seem to have any specific aim in trashing the place, but that Gemma is safe and sound, even if he has no idea where.  Finally, we close on the terrible visual of Tig cradling his daughter’s burnt body while the Sons dispose of the evidence.  Ride into this world…

Back at Diosa, the Sons still aren’t having any luck tracking down Romeo Parada, and bring their lawyer up to speed on the various RICO charges and developments that stem from Otto’s turn last season.  The lawyer explains that their best option is to prove Otto’s confessions false somehow, even though no one seems to be able to get to him.  Just then, the group learns of Unser’s home invasion adventure from Clay’s call, and Jax tells the lawyer the Sons will give themselves up that night.

At the house, the police pour over the scene, but Clay only explains to Roosevelt that the thugs seem to have jacked his safe, full of minor personal documents.  Roosevelt repeats his threat that none of Pope’s retaliation can blow back on Charming.  When Tara returns to Diosa to give Jax an assessment, he compliments how well she’s handling all the recent upheaval in their lives.  Leaving to go track down Tig’s other daughter, Jax then has the idea that he and Tara should get married as soon as possible, without worrying about telling anyone else!  After all, what’s love, if not marrying someone you killed a fed for?

Unser pays a visit to Roosevelt to explain that he doesn’t believe the home invasions to have been Niners retaliation, and delivers a stern lecture on learning to work with the Sons in Charming.  He also plans to conduct his own investigation into the burglaries, wryly hoping Roosevelt will cooperate.  Elsewhere, the Sons arrive at the home of Tig’s other daughter Fawn, finding three suspicious looking men out front, though they seem not to be Niners.  Tig hears his daughter’s screams inside, and rushes in to find his daughter in the throes of passion , but in his confusion Tig smacks his daughter’s boyfriend off of her!  Awkward…

The matter settled, Tig explains to his angry daughter Fawn that she needs to leave town, revealing to her in the process that her sister Dawn died in retaliation from her father’s mistakes.  Fawn screams how much she hates her father, while Jax presses her boyfriend to take some money, and get the girl out of town if he really cares for her.  With no word yet from Romeo, Jax offers that the group split up for now, and make sure things run smoothly in getting Fawn to safety.

Meanwhile Bobby drives Clay before realizing that the man intends to visit Opie, an unnecessary risk considering it’s unlikely any club members would vote him out of SAMCRO for killing Piney.  Still, Clay remains persistent in delivering his message, and confronts a tense Opie in his backyard.  Clay confesses that he told SAMCRO at least part of the truth behind killing Piney, though Opie shouldn’t let his hatred of Clay be what keeps him out of the club, given that Jax will soon need him, it being their time to be in charge.

Jax catches a ride from Nero, and the two swap stories of their respective illegal professions, Jax admiring how the man manages to keep mostly below the radar and out of trouble.  The man next makes a pit-stop at a home for physically challenged youths, leaving Jax behind while he runs an errand.  Over at the SAMCRO garage, Unser begins conducting his investigation, when the group’s lawyer drops off Jax and Tara’s marriage license in front of Gemma.  More awkward…

Grabbing a paper, Jax observes as Nero greets a physically challenged young boy, while we see another car waiting nearby.  Out on the road again, Nero explains that his son Lucius got his spinal disorder from his mother’s drug use during pregnancy, something Jax knows from his own son all too well.  Just then, the pair notes the car following them, and attempt to make a break for it.  Jax tries to duck out of the car on a side street, but Nero has a better idea: swerving around and playing chicken with their pursuers!  Though Jax seems nervous, Nero ultimately wins the duel and the opposing car careens into a dumpster.  Trying to impress Jax, Nero shrugs off that it was fun.

Over at her porn studio, Lyla finds Opie waiting for her, as he drops off $20,000 in hopes that she can take the kids off his hands for a few weeks.  She reluctantly accepts, while over at Diosa Jax finds himself similarly confronted by Gemma over his impending wedding!  Not interested in his excuses, Gemma blows past Jax and confronts Tara, admitting that she doesn’t hate her relationship with her son anymore, and would still like to participate in her only son’s wedding.  Gemma offers up hers and John's wedding rings, and reminds Tara that she knows what it is to be the woman behind the man at the head of the club.

With a reluctant judge present, Tara and Jax stand before the club and exchange brief vows and rings, while Chibs offers up an Irish blessing.  Before you can blink, Jax and Tara are newlyweds, and the club finally gets the call to go meet Romeo as Gemma and Nero observe the proceedings.  Out in the middle of nowhere, Jax petitions Romeo for protection when the Sons head into prison, reminding him that the CIA needs him alive.  Romeo reluctantly agrees to see what they can do on short notice, but later notes to his associate that they’ll come up with a plan B if the Sons get killed.

That night, Jax, Tig and Chibs say their goodbyes to the club as Eli Roosevelt arrives to take the Sons into custody.  Opie too shows up, decking Roosevelt across the face toe get thrown in the wagon with his buddies!  Montage time!

Set to the sweet tunes of Jack Savoretti’s “Soldiers Eyes,” we see the thugs from the home invasion (including Nomad Frankie Diamonds!) looking over Clay’s personal papers and dumping the safe, Jax gratefully acknowledging Opie’s decision to stay close, Gemma visiting Nero for another romantic encounter, Clay drinking alone, and Damon Pope learning that the Sons have been taken into custody.  Back in the van, Jax ponders the wedding ring now replacing his “SO” and “NS” rings.

Well, any 'Sons of Anarchy' episode is bound to feel like a relief given the horrible fiery murder at the climax of last week's premiere.  And while "Authority Vested" still feels like a number of dominoes being set up for a relatively brief topple, as 'Sons of Anarchy' tends to do, at least things are moving rather quickly.  It remains to be seen what the biggest threat to the Sons this season will be, now that it seems Damon's vengeance is mostly carried out, and several fences have been mended by episode's end.  Either way, our curiosity is still piqued, especially considering what those wily Nomads could be up to.

What say you?  Did you get your thrill of road-thrashing ‘Sons of Anarchy’ action?  What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode recap of “Laying Pipe” on FX!