For much of this season "Sons of Anarchy" fans have spent a lot of time wondering what the heck Tara is up to. Some of us have spent even more time grousing about how long the show has been dragging out this particular story line.

During Tuesday's episode, "Sweet and Vaded," a good chunk of Tara's scheme finally came to light. And we saw just how devious Jax's wife can be.

As it turns out, Tara, indeed, has been faking her pregnancy -- something many fans had suspected all along. And her strategy has been to get Jax to sign a restraining order against Gemma, which he winds up doing.

The whole thing is diabolically brilliant and, to varying extents, Wendy, Wayne, Margaret and her lawyer have all been in on the plot. But will it work? Or will it all blow up in her face?

Early in the episode we see Tara getting a blood test. Just a routine procedure, right? Wrong. She'll eventually use the blood in her war against Gemma.

First, Wendy plays her part, yapping to Gemma about how Tara has changed her mind and has picked Margaret to be her boy's guardian. Wendy tells Gemma that Tara and her "bitch lawyer" are plotting something -- that Tara plans to divorce Jax and keep them from seeing the kids.

This, of course, enrages Gemma, who confronts Tara at the hospital (after choking Margaret in public). Tara obviously knew this was coming and has sneaked the packet of her blood into her pants. She clearly anticipates Gemma getting violent and wants to incite a fight that will lead to a "miscarriage."

Sure enough, Gemma takes the bait and slaps Tara. But that's all she does. She's sane enough to pull back.

"You're lucky you're pregnant," she hisses.

It's clearly not the level of rage Tara anticipated from Gemma, so she has to finish off the job herself by violently thrusting her pelvis onto the corner of a table. The blood bag bursts and saturates her pants. Tara screams. The hospital guards rush in. Gemma is hauled off to jail.

As Tara declared earlier, "Dire circumstances require desperate measures."

What a con artist!

But, again, will it ultimately work? Tara's plan has a lot of moving parts and she has to count on several people to keep their mouth shut. One is Wayne, who secured the restraining order for Tara without knowing who the target was. Right about now, he has to feel like he got played. Will he fall in line, or will he squawk? Also, as the episode comes to it's conclusion, we see Gemma behind bars, conveying a look that says she's starting to put 2 and 2 together.

As for the rest of the episode, it dealt with another very ugly child-custody battle -- this one between transsexual prostitute Venus Van Dam (Walton Goggins) and her/his mother, reprehensible Alice, who was played by none other than Adrienne Barbeau!

Unfortunately, things got bloody. Alice spewed lots of verbal filth and Jax put a bullet in Alice's head. Alas, Adrienne, our time together was all too fleeting!

Some other developments and random thoughts:

-- It is deliciously ironic that this rough and tumble motorcycle club now has to make its home in a malt shop called Scoops and Sweets. As always, the "SOA" writers maintain a great sense of humor. (And "Home is where the Reaper is.").

-- Speaking of humor, it's great to have Bobby back and delivering his sarcastic one-liners.

-- Um, but would you allow you kids to frequent a malt shop run by thieves and murderers?

-- Every week, someone is putting pressure on someone to squeal on SAMCRO. This time it's our lady DA, who has given Nero 24 hours to agree to testify against Jax and the guys. Will he take the deal?

-- Hooray for Rat Boy! He finally gets his patch.

-- Didn't miss Clay at all in this episode. Did you?

-- Conner is a free man. Will he come back to haunt Jax?

-- Who's the bigger con artist -- Tara, or Venus? The latter has been lying all this time about the child he fathered during "an act of confused love."

-- I don't know what bothers us more: The lustful glances Tig keeps casting at Venus, or the fact that Walton Goggins' legs are attractive enough to star in a hosiery ad?

Contact Chuck Barney at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.ChuckBarney, or Twitter.com/chuckbarney