Season 3 of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” ended with the show’s cast reeling from the news that their frenemy Jen Shah had pleaded guilty to the fraud charges she’d spent nearly two seasons screamingly saying she was innocent of. Months after those scenes were filmed, in federal court on Jan. 6 of this year, Shah was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison, which has since been reduced by a year. With Shah incarcerated at Federal Prison Camp Bryan in Texas — yes, the same prison where Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes began serving her 11-year sentence in May — the cast of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” has, paradoxically, been freed to move onto topics other than Shah’s guilt or innocence. After last season, which was also mired by a lengthy, frustrating whodunnit and howdunnit about why Heather Gay suddenly woke up with a black eye during a grim cast trip to San Diego, of all place — a question that was never answered — a reset for this show is very much in order.
Behold, the cold open for the Sept. 5 Season 4 premiere on Bravo, which flashes forward to the far-in-the-future finale set in Bermuda on May 10, 2023. Caught on audio, Gay says to someone who’s called her, “Hey, what did you find out?” Then, as we see producers’ feet scurrying around: “Are you kidding me right now? Shut the fuck up.” As Gay continues the call, her voice choked with emotion — “How could she do this to us? I’m freaking the fuck out!” — a crew member’s hand knocks on her door, as a producer says, “Just go in.” Gay, on a balcony, says, “You guys, no,” as she tries to usher the camera person out of her room, and closes the door. “How did we all fall for it?” Gay says. Over drone images over the snowy mountains of Utah, Gay adds, “I don’t know who to trust anymore.”
Then, a slow-motion tracking shot of each cast member has them reciting Bible verses. First, Whitney Rose quotes from, as the chyron says, Psalm 55: “It is not an enemy that taunts me; instead it is you,” as an SUV with Gay in the window rolls by. (Not the exact quote, by the way, but producers are taking dramatic license.) One by one, the women in the cast are shown — quoting from the Book of Micah, with Meredith Marks, for instance, intoning, “Guard the doors of your mouth from her.” And so on. We then see a montage of the women fighting, and the cold open ends.
In the absence of Shah, Angie Katsanevas — aka Angie K., who was a “friend” of the cast last year — has been promoted. Monica Garcia has also joined the cast full-time. And Mary Cosby, who was fired after she didn’t show up for the Season 2 reunion — because a major storyline of that season was that her church is allegedly a cult — is back on the show in a “friend” capacity. (Cosby’s work in the trailer shows how much she was missed. Gay: “Do you think I look inbred?” Cosby: “I do!”)
Variety has been assured that whatever Gay is reacting to in horror in Bermuda is not Black Eye Gate 2, and does, in fact, pay off.
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