Jen Shah Is RHOSLC's Biggest Scapegoat In Season 4 (& We're Already Over It)

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 The ladies of "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" might want to send a royalty check to Jen Shah, because the OG is already the biggest star (and scapegoat) of this season — despite not making a single appearance on camera.

The Season 4 premiere kicks off with Heather Gay throwing a party to celebrate a "fresh start," but the Shah-adjacent storylines in the episode are anything but fresh. With newbie Monica Garcia name-dropping her every five seconds and Heather Gay already attempting to re-write the history of their friendship, you can't help but wonder if they're capable of delivering an exciting season without her.

Mary Cosby, who makes a much-needed grand return after skipping last season, summed it up best in her confessional. "It'll be interesting to see what it will be like now that Jen's gone. She was the big elephant in the room," she told the camera. Shah may have been arrested for wire fraud and locked up to serve a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence (reduced from the six-and-a-half sentence she originally received), but it's clear the elephant has not left the room.

At BravoCon 2022, Andy Cohen told the crowd that Shah's time on the show was pretty much over and we're not sure if the housewives got the memo (via Vulture). If the cast of "RHOSLC" truly wants a "fresh start" they need to deliver fresh new storylines, without the same old Shah-nanigans.

Jen Shah's former employee is here to spill the tea

Monica Garcia's tagline for this season should be "Jen Shah told me ...". In the season premiere, we're introduced to the newbie and it's clear what Garcia's role on the show is — the mouthpiece of the chamber of Shah's secrets. The newbie was a former assistant to Shah (as fans remember, she employed more than a few), and she is leeching off of that connection for her entire storyline.

Her first confessional revealed that upon hiring Garcia, Shah allegedly proposed a shady — and possibly illegal — money scheme for her to join. Garcia even alleged that a friend in the Secret Service warned her of Shah's arrest two months prior to it happening on camera. 

Garcia spends the majority of her screen time teasing the "dark secrets" Shah has told her about Lisa Barlow's marriage and not-so-nice things about Heather Gay. We haven't learned anything interesting about Garcia herself, because all she's talked about is her connection to a housewife who's not even on the show anymore. It seems like she only enjoys spilling everything she's heard from Shah, which is probably why she was selected as a witness by the federal government in Shah's trial.

 When it comes to newbies, "RHOSLC" doesn't have the best track record — who remembers when Jennie Nguyen was hired and quickly fired? We're not so sure if Garcia has solidified her spot for another season. The "Jen Shah told me ..." confessionals are already eye-roll-worthy.

Heather Gay is jumping ship

During Season 3, many questioned Heather Gay's ability to tell the truth and, despite promising a "fresh start" this season, she's back with a few more half-truths to tell. After three seasons that Gay spent being fiercely loyal in her relationship with Shah, she kicks off this by season jumping ship — but not before pretending she was never aboard S.S. Shah. When mentioning the public backlash she received for writing about being a "Bad Mormon," Gay finally addressed her friendship with Shah. "In addition to that, I've been under scrutiny for being friends with someone who went to prison," she said. 

Right after Shah's guilty plea, Gay told the ladies on "Ultimate Girls Trip" that she was still "riding for Jen," but in the Season 4 premiere, she sings a different tune. By the end of the episode, Gay completely downplays their friendship. When Mary Cosby noted that her attachment to Shah was strong, Gay replied, "I think that was projected a lot by other people." Gay even pretends to play the naive friend who simply fell "too deep" into Shah's drama.

Cosby certainly wasn't buying the and neither are we. "Well you knew what you were walking into ... and you enjoyed that ride," Cosby bluntly told her. It seems like Gay's not enjoying that ride anymore, as she described Shah's absence as a relief and told the audience she was ready to move on. If she's going to keep lying about her friendship with Shah, then we're ready to move on from this storyline too.