Sons of Anarchy’ season 5 rides again with its fifth episode of the year, “Orca Shrugged,” as the club makes a bold blackmail gambit to get themselves in the companion business with Nero, Jacob Hale Jr. (and a very special cameo!), while Gemma and Tara bond over the difficulties of life in SAMCRO.

Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode “Stolen Huffy” saw Jax tasked with getting Nero’s call girl Emma Jean (Ashley Tisdale) out of harm’s way, as the Sons said their tender goodbyes to a fallen brother and Nero made a deal for the future of his business.  So how does “Orca Shrugged”  keep things running?  What more damage can season 5 of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ do?

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

Montage start!  Jax ruminates on how hate can tear a man apart, how he’d hoped never to let it destroy him, as we see Gemma once again unraveling with drugs and sex, Clay cleaning his weapons, and Tara waking up to find Jax gone.   Jax suggests that its up to every man  to see every day as a gift or a coffin, as he and the boys meet up to surprise Mayor Hale at a diner.  The club dismisses Hale’s inquiries about the home invasions, and instead propose that they’d like to lease a building to operate their new-found escort service out of.  When Hale scoffs, the boys offer that they could make his long-held dreams of Charming Heights a reality.

Back at the clubhouse, SAMCRO debates how the town has come to see them in light of the recent home invasions, when Chibs offers up to the protesting Nomads that SAMCRO needs to get out of the drug business, for all the damage its done.  Jax puts forth that he’s begun negotiations with Nero to enter the companion business, but when a distrustful Clay presses they all vote on the issue then and there, the motion passes.  Alone, Jax asks Clay why he didn’t resist more, allaying his father-in-law’s concerns that Nero’s involvement with Gemma will stop as well.

Over at the hospital, Tara learns from her latest x-ray that her prognosis is surprisingly positive, and she may end up able to resume surgery after all.  Elsewhere, the Sons meet with the Galen and the IRA members at the barn, while even with Clay present Galen seems none-too-thrilled to see Jax as president.  Not one to tolerate challenges to his presidency, Jax along with Galen decide the best way to settle their differences over Jax’s time in Ireland would be with a bare-knuckle brawl!  Galen seems to have the edge for most of the bout, but the arrival of Romeo Parada ends the fairly even match.  Afterward, Galen insists that he demonstrate to Romeo the effectiveness of his weapons, opening fire with a large caliber cannon on the unfortunate Sons’ bikes!  Not cool, dude.

Meanwhile, Chucky pays a visit to Biancone insurance, leaving behind a delicious cupcake for its rather hefty employee, despite his diabetes.  Minutes later, the Sons enter to find the cupcake eaten, and the man passed out, as they begin to undress him.  What the what?

Not having heard from Nero, Gemma pays a visit to Diosa International to find the man himself giving her the cold shoulder, particularly after what she did to Carla.  Nero reveals his getting involved with the Sons, a prospect that excites her at first, but Nero reveals the two can’t see each other anymore per Jax’s request.  Gemma protests, but Nero explains that he has do what’s in the interest of his young, disabled son.

Over at Biancone, the Sons have the unconscious “Orca” decked out in bondage gear, when a rather tall, busty drag queen enters.  Say, wait a minute!  That’s Walton Goggins, of FX’s ‘Justified!’  And with quite a…ahem…makeup job!  We’ll never watch that show the same way again.  In any case, Venus Van Dam, as she’s called, accepts her pay from Jax, who explains the plan is to take photos riding the unconscious man.  Tig seems particularly intrigued with the woman, though she shuts him down before leaving to change.  As Juice puts it…really?

The plan seems to go off without a hitch, until the man’s stepson enters the office, seeing just a little too much.  Thinking quickly, Venus manages to seduce the young boy into the other room, to the Sons’ hilarious encouragement.  Meanwhile at the police station, Sheriff Roosevelt’s lunch with his wife Rita is interrupted by the arrival of Gemma and Clay, who have arrived to identify any stolen goods recovered from a recent arrest of One-Niners.  As Roosevelt bids his wife (and his unborn baby) farewell, Gemma fails to recognize any of the items and a fight breaks out in the cage holding the Niners.

After Venus and the boy finish their little dalliance, Jax threatens to release an album of the encounter should the boy discuss what he saw the biker crew up to that day.  Venus kisses Jax on her way out, and the now fully dressed “Orca” comes to just long enough to bite a gaping hole in Tig’s ass as he watches the trans woman depart.  Ouch.

Back at the club, Tara examines a bare-assed Tig’s bite mark, while Jax and Juice check out the photos from their activities earlier that day.  Gemma arrives to confront Jax about his interference in her relationship with Nero, but Jax fires back that she’s been a mess recently and needs to pull together.  Admittedly, he cops to treating her differently after the revelation of her involvement in John Teller’s death, but agrees not to shun his mother entirely.  Jax sends Gemma to help Tara patch up Tig, given that her hand still makes it difficult to perform even a minor surgery.

Jax pays another visit to Hale, who once more brushes off his offer to blackmail the city officials into voting for Charming Heights, but Jax manages to win him over by assuring the man he’s not Clay.  Unlike Clay, he simply wants what’s best for the town, and business with the right people could be a very fruitful relationship for them.  Back at the clubhouse, Gemma consoles Tara about the difficulty of being the matron at the head of the club.

Over at the Roosevelt residence, Rita hears a noise from outside her bedroom door, quickly pulling out her gun and dialing 911.  The home invasion attackers burst in before she completes the call, and in the ensuing scuffle around the room Rita accidentally shoots herself in the abdomen, leaving the attackers to flee in panic.  Back at the Teller residence, Gemma arrives to drop off a package delivered to Jax earlier that day, when Tara graciously invites her in to help feed young Thomas.

While Sheriff Roosevelt rushes his wife to the hospital, demanding the nurse preserve the skin under her fingernail from a scratch at the attackers, Jax arrives home to find Hale waiting outside.  Hale delivers the lease on the property the Sons want, reluctantly agreeing to go forward with their bondage photo blackmail plan.  Arriving inside, Jax finds both his wife and his mother asleep in separate rooms, and opens the package to find a cooler containing both a severed breast and a thumb.  Don’t worry, though.  We’re sure they’re not Ashley Tisdale’s.

Particularly with the jaw-dropping appearance of Walton Goggins as a transvestite, 'Orca Shrugged' certainly feels like one of the lighter entries of the season, a questionable choice given some of the grim deaths still hanging over SAMCRO.  No word from Damon Pope this week either, but the pieces are definitely moving in darker directions, and no doubt what happened to Sheriff Roosevelt's wife will throw a wrench into the club's escape plans as only 'Sons of Anarchy' can.  Admittedly, we were all in need of a lighter episode, though it hardly feels appropriate given all that's happened in just 5 episodes.

Did you get your fill of road-rashing ‘Sons of Anarchy’ drama?  Did you catch the secret cameo?  What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode recap of “Small World” on FX!