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T.J. Miller explains why he's leaving Silicon Valley and won't be returning

It was a little bit of a shock when it was announced last month that T.J. Miller would not be returning for Silicon Valley's fifth season, but the actor told Entertainment Weekly that he first began entertaining thoughts of leaving the show in the middle of shooting the current season. It will be hard to imagine Silicon Valley without Erlich Bachman's unforgettable one-liners, but I suppose we'll have to make do without. Thankfully, T.J. Miller says that there will be a lot of closure for Erlich Bachman by the time his story comes to an end.

There is a lot of closure — in the most nonsensical, ridiculous way… Look at the way that Erlich is and has been flailing to have a reason to be involved with Pied Piper. Look at how much the rest of the people on the show hate him, can’t stand him. Martin Starr’s character is always rolling his eyes — he can’t believe that this manatee is even present. But I think we saw in this last episode, he’s again kind of flailing, needing some reason to be involved, some purpose. When we sat down to read [the finale]… I come in and the first time I see the script is at the table read because I’m best at a cold read, because I’m an improviser by trade. We ended the show and as everyone was clapping, as we always do at the end of any table read, I just sat back and I went, “That’s it! That’s the way he disappears into the ether. That is… the end of Erlich Bachman.”

As T.J. Miller has become quite busy in the years since Silicon Valley's debut, his increasingly packed schedule started to affect his ability to give the series the focus that it deserved. Although Miller seemed certain that Erlich's tale had some to an end, the conversation with HBO and the producers didn't happen until months later. The network threw out a couple of options for his continued involvement, but Miller said, "well, look, we’ve got this organic ending, let’s take advantage. I just think the best thing for this show is for this character to fade into the ether. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Wouldn’t that be unexpected?" Now you've got me curious.

In the end, T.J. Miller thinks that his absence will ultimately make Silicon Valley a better show as he believes that the whole is more important than its parts. As to whether the comedian will return to the series at a later date for a guest spot, you probably shouldn't get your hopes up.

No… [Deep breath.] I think a lot of people in my situation would be like, “Never say never!” but that’s who I am. Just because: What if felt like a whimper instead of any sort of bang? What if it had no pop to it? What if it was in any way a disappointment? Why? Why would one do that? Especially because the final episode is so — I wouldn’t have left the show if this finale hadn’t absolutely, perfectly, organically allowed an exit for Erlich in a way that I found very funny. It’s a funny joke for him to then never be back on the show. It was perfect.

Silicon Valley is currently airing on HBO and the season finale is set to air on June 25, 2017.

Source: EW

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