Warning: Spoilers for the Silicon Valley season finale follow. Read at your own risk!
Halfway through the current season of Silicon Valley, HBO announced that T.J. Miller was leaving the show.
The actor, who has starred as Erlich Bachman since Season 1, revealed that he made the decision to allow himself the freedom to both slow down and to develop his other projects. But while fans are sad to see Miller go, Erlich's departure in the fourth season finale felt like inevitability.
Since the very first episode, but particularly throughout Season 4, Erlich struggled to live up to his own expectations for what his place in the tech world should be. The discrepancy between Erlich's lavish expectations and ramshackle reality even led him into such a deep depression this season that at one point he nearly killed himself by getting stoned and burning down his palapa.
Fortunately, Silicon Valley decided not to go with anything as dark as suicide or death as the reason Miller wouldn't be returning for the already-ordered fifth season. Instead, Miller's final episode follows him on his journey in Tibet, where he's tracked down Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) at a monastery to find inner peace.Of course, it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that instead of focusing on enlightenment, Erlich is more interested in watching House during meditation and smoking opium -- not that this bothers Gavin too much. But after Gavin learns that Jack Barker (Jack Tobolowsky) has been taken hostage in China, Gavin decides to ditch a very stoned Erlich in Tibet to negotiate Baker's release/steal Hooli back. Before he goes, Gavin leaves a local with enough money to pay for Erlich's board for five years.
When Gavin meets with Richard (Thomas Middleditch) after returning stateside, Richard asks if Erlich ever made it to Tibet. Gavin lies and says he never saw the Aviato founder. And that's it. Erlich is stuck in Tibet with no money to get home and no one even knowing he's actually there.
But at least he'll apparently be well-supplied in drugs.