Meredith Marks on the 'volatility' of the new season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Meredith Marks speaks of filming the new season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City as if she's just gone through a war, where the weapons were pointed insults and the pointed tips of sharply manicured fingernails: "There was just a lot of volatility."

The premiere episode of the third season of RHOSLC opens with a stinging montage of how basically the friendships between everyone — Marks and tequila queen Lisa Barlow, carousing cousins Heather Gay and Whitney Rose — have all but collapsed. And then there's Jen Shah.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Fred Hayes/Bravo)
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Fred Hayes/Bravo)

Fred Hayes/Bravo 'The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City'

In July, Shah pled guilty to criminal charges in connection to an alleged telemarketing scam. Before that, Marks and Shah, who vacillated between good friends and sworn enemies over the past two seasons thanks to shady social media behavior regarding Marks' son and tracksuit impresario Brooks, were on an upswing in their friendship, with Marks even visiting Shah while she was on trial in New York.

Marks was caught off-guard with Shah's plea, even though she recently admitted to Page Six that they were "still speaking."

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Fred Hayes/Bravo)
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Fred Hayes/Bravo)

Fred Hayes/Bravo 'The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City'

"My view on this whole thing from day one was that we have a justice system. I am not the judge, I am not the jury, none of this is up to me," Marks tells EW. "And so I figured we were going to trial, she believed in her own innocence, and somehow that shifted. Hopefully we'll get to see the rest of the backstory on that."

Shah faces up to 14 years in prison under her plea deal, and her presence looms large over the season, which, it seems, she's in from start to finish. Filming wrapped in April, but the producers did manage to tag on a coda gauging the Housewives' reactions to Shah-shank's lack of redemption. After all, when reality TV bleeds into actual reality, god help the cameraman who's not filming.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Fred Hayes/Bravo)
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Fred Hayes/Bravo)

Fred Hayes/Bravo 'The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City'

Still, with all the "volatility" and endless drama, one has to wonder what Marks sees in being a Housewife. She claims she loves the fact that she has a platform to speak about "the causes and charities that are important to me and to raise some money for them as well." But does she really enjoy it?

"The day I'm not is the day I'm done," Marks says. "It's a lot going on. You have to have some fun with it or what's the point?"

See for yourself when the third season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City premieres tonight at 9pm ET/PT on Bravo.

Make sure to check out EW's Fall TV Preview cover story — as well as all of our 2022 Fall TV Preview content, releasing over 22 days through Sept. 29.

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