Erlich Bachman’s character was randomly written off on Silicon Valley. What happened to him?
The highly lauded and successful HBO comedy series Silicon Valley bid farewell in December 2019, and viewers got an interesting surprise regarding what transpired with Erlich Bachman.
T.J. Miller portrayed the character in the initial four seasons, but the actor departed the show quite dramatically after season 4 concluded.
The departure wasn’t exactly pleasant as Miller talked honestly and openly in interviews about his displeasure with executive producer Alec Berg and fellow castmates. In response, the cast pointed out that the set had a more fun atmosphere with Miller not around.
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The last time we witnessed Bachman, he was deserted by Gavin Belson in Tibet. At the beginning of Season 5, Jian-Yang (Jimmy O. Yang) believed Erlich was deceased and sought to take ownership of his estate.
But in the final episode of the show, Jian-Yang got the word Erlich’s alive in Tibet, and we see him journeying to Tibet to take care of stuff.
In the decade later documentary clip, the crew heads to Tibet and sees a complex belonging to Erlich Bachman, but as they enter the “Erlich” we see is, in fact, Jian-Yang, surrounded by gunmen.
It’s never specifically mentioned what actually transpired with Erlich as Miller never returned to the series after Season 4.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Berg and showrunner Mike Judge confirmed the alternative iteration of the finale made it clear Jian-Yang went to Tibet and killed Erlich Bachman.
We wanted to deal with that character one way or another. And we went around to a lot of different versions, including one we came very close to where it was pretty clear that Jian-Yang (Jimmy O. Yang) had actually murdered him. But we backed off from that one and decided to leave it. It seems funnier that you don’t know what actually happened to him.
Berg adds fans can interpret it however they wish — including Jian-Yang and Bachman happily collaborating.
The more definitive ending of what Jian-Yang had done to him and just felt a little ghoulish and it didn’t feel like our show. So this way I think it’s up to interpretation. Is he working in concert with Erlich? Is Erlich buried in the basement? We don’t know.
We reckon it’s better Miller never came back to the show as it would have been too much of a nuisance since we mostly cared for the main characters who were still present in the series.
However, we’re glad Berg and Judge touched on what might have happened to Erlich. Even if it means he was horribly murdered by the manipulative Jin-Yang.