When It Comes to ‘The Chosen’ Season 4, Expect the Unexpected

The theatrical release of new episodes has left fans of the show shocked and in tears.

Thomas (Joey Vahedi) and Ramah (Yasmine Al-Bustami) in Season 4 of  ‘The Chosen.’
Thomas (Joey Vahedi) and Ramah (Yasmine Al-Bustami) in Season 4 of ‘The Chosen.’ (photo: The Chosen/Mike Kubeisy)

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers about Episodes 1-3 of Season 4 of The Chosen. Read at your own discretion.

The theatrical release of Season 4 of The Chosen has officially kicked off and has left fans of the show shocked and in tears with both expected and unexpected moments.

In the first episode of the new season, viewers witness the tragic execution of John the Baptist at the hands of King Herod Antipas.

In a powerful scene between Joanna, the wife of Chuza, and John the Baptist, a terrified Joanna warns John of his execution while two Roman soldiers lead him out of his prison cell in chains. John quotes part of Matthew Chapter 11, saying: “The blind see; the lame walk; lepers are cleansed; the poor have good news preached to them.” The scene ends with John turning to Joanna, saying: “The way of the Lord is prepared.”

Later, a chained John walks toward the guillotine as flashbacks of his birth, as told in Luke Chapter 1, remind us of the role he was chosen to play in the story of salvation. With only moments left, he looks outside and sees a lamb grazing in the field before the Roman soldier takes his swing.

David Amito, the actor who plays John the Baptist, and Amy Bailey, the actress who plays Joanna, spoke to CNA in an interview about these important scenes.

Amito shared that filming the scene of his character’s execution “felt a lot like poetry.” 

“I didn’t know, or pre-meditate, how it was going to play out; and a lot of it was just experiencing it, and it was a really intense experience, but at the same time very creative,” he said.

He added that everyone involved worked hard to make the moment “feel as true as possible and something that would fit with what the expectations people had were and at the same time to give them something they weren’t expecting.”

Regarding Joanna’s storyline and where she goes next now that John has been killed, Bailey said: “I’m fascinated to see what the next season will bring for her because I think there are people in Jesus’ camp who are suspicious [of her].”

She also teased that viewers will see a “beautifully epic scene” for her character in Episode 8, which has been her favorite scene thus far.

While the death of John the Baptist was expected this season, the death of another character was definitely not expected by fans of the show. Ramah, one of the women following Jesus and who was in a romantic relationship with the disciple Thomas, is killed at the hands of Quintus, the Roman praetor (magistrate) of Capernaum.

The season picks up with Thomas and Ramah making arrangements for their betrothal. However, after a large crowd gets unruly following a sermon given by Jesus, Quintus’ sword pierces Ramah, leaving her dead and Thomas devastated.

Yasmine Al-Bustami, the actress who portrays Ramah, told CNA in an interview that she found out about her character’s death in Season 2 but didn’t know when it would be coming. 

“Even before I read the script, all of my friends — everyone on the cast basically — were texting me asking, ‘Hey, how are you? Is everything fine? Are you doing okay? Did you read the script?’ So, already I knew; I was like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be in this one,’” Al-Bustami said.

She added: “So I finally got to it, read it, and it hit me; but it didn’t hit me, obviously, until I did the whole thing.”

The actress explained that the scene wasn’t an easy, one-day shoot. Instead, it took six days to film.

Al-Bustami shared that while she has several favorite scenes from her time playing Ramah, a scene from Season 4 stands out at the top of her list: the scene where Thomas and Ramah tell Jesus of their plan to get married and ask him if he’ll take part in their wedding.

“Seeing how that played out — I just thought that was very beautiful,” she shared. 

Throughout her time playing Ramah, Al-Bustami said she learned several things from her character, including “following your gut” and “making sure that you’re staying true to yourself.”

She added that her experience being a part of The Chosen has reminded her that she hopes to continue to make “meaningful work for people.”