“Hit The Floor” is back after a long hiatus, and it is not messing around. Fans were happy to finally get to see the Season 4 premiere of the BET (previously VH1) series tonight, but that feeling was short-lived once they were faced with a major death of an original character.

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers from the Season 4 premiere of BET’s “Hit The Floor.”]

The dance drama returned with many familiar faces — Derek (McKinley Freeman), Kyle (Katherine Bailess), Lionel (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe), Jude (Brent Antonello), Jelena (Logan Browning) — but it was the return of Pete (Dean Cain) that proved to be the most bittersweet.

During the premiere, “Hit The Floor” suffered its first casualty of the season in the name of Pete Davenport. A character since the pilot, he will be a tough one for fans to mourn, especially since they just got him back after the year-and-a-half hiatus. The decision to kill Cain’s character was a “tough one,” creator James LaRosa told International Business Times, but it was one he felt needed to be made to help the overall storyline of the show.

“I look at [Season 4] like a movie and it has a great arc, and part of it was destabilizing some of our lead characters,” LaRosa told IBT. “And Pete has always been a very stable character inside Devils Arena.”

hit the floor s4 death An original character on “Hit The Floor” died in the Season 4 premiere. Photo: VH1

Before fans were forced to say goodbye to Pete, they were given some pretty great emotional scenes between him and Derek as well as him and Eve Vincent (Tiffany Hines). To recap, in the episode, Pete heard that Derek was back in town and decided to pay him a visit to find out what was going on with his marriage to Ahsha (Taylour Paige). What he learned was that Derek and Ahsha had gotten a divorce because she’d gotten pregnant and had an abortion without even telling him about any of it.

After Derek told Pete, his former father-in-law, about this, he also asked if this sounded familiar to him. He was, of course, referring to the fact that Ahsha’s mom, Sloane (Kimberly Elise), had kept the news that Ahsha was Pete’s daughter a secret from him for years.

Confused and hurt by the harsh comment Derek said to him and about what Ahsha had done, Pete found himself at Devils Playground, sitting at the bar. Unfortunately for him, Eve was there and offered him a drink. Though he’s sober, once she left, he was too tempted by the drink that he gave in and drank it. The next thing we know, he’s lying dead in a morgue after a drunken accident, with Derek there to identify him.

“To have the removal of the coach, to have the father-in-law after your big awful conversation, to have something like that happen, it has far-reaching effects for so many of our characters,” LaRosa explained to IBT about how Pete’s death will affect people. “Having the rug pulled out from under some of our key players is good drama. So, that was behind the decision [of his death].”

Though viewers learned at the end of the episode that Eve has it out for everyone inside Devils Arena, it wasn’t likely that she had anything to with Pete’s actual death, aside from leaving him a drink on the bar. “Really, Eve this season is about more than Pete,” LaRosa said when asked if there was more to that story.

hit the floor 401 eve pete Eve (Tiffany Hines) and Pete (Dean Cain) during a “Hit The Floor” Season 4, episode 1 scene. Photo: Ron P. Jaffe/BET

So, how exactly will Derek handle Pete’s death as the season progresses?

“You think about just what anyone would go through that lost somebody that they thought was the love of their life and have that mess up, and then, within a very short amount of time, look up to the person that helped you kind of figure out your own life and [lose them, too],” Freeman told IBT. “When you think about that on a human level, you’re like ‘[Expletive], that’s a lot.’ That’s the part that I think good writing does. It connects us at that level.”

With so many twists and turns on “Hit The Floor,” Freeman shared that the cast all has the same reaction each time they get a new script. “There are always things where you’re like, ‘What the actual [expletive],’” he said. “We’re texting each other like, ‘How is this possible? What are we gonna do?’”

Bailess echoed his comment, telling IBT that the show’s scripts often bring out major reactions from her. That said, Pete’s death kicked that reaction up a notch.

“I started screaming, and I called James,” Bailess said of when she read about that plot point in the script. “I’m like, ‘What the [expletive].’ I was like, ‘You can’t,’ and he’s like, ‘Yup, well, that’s ‘Hit The Floor.’”

She continued: “I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ But I love Dean Cain, as a friend. But we’ve had a lot of people on the show die. It’s a dramedy, or a night-time drama, so you’re gonna have that. But, yeah, I’m super sad still, but it’s gonna make for good TV.”

hit the floor 401 dean Dean Cain as Pete in the “Hit The Floor” Season 4 premiere. Photo: Ron P. Jaffe/BET

While McDaniel is also set to return this season, he was not in tonight’s episode. The star didn’t get a chance to act with Cain this time around, but he often did in the past seasons because Pete was the head coach and German was his assistant coach.

Still, McDaniel wishes that they had the chance to “have more scenes together because Dean is so awesome,” he told IBT. Like his co-stars, he said reading scripts about Pete’s death and other major twists really “does blow me away.”

According to the actor, fans will have the privilege of being “blown away by so many different things” in Season 4 of the series. “I think that there’s a lot of things that have to be played out. A lot of things have to be shown, and the writers just put it all together for the fans to see,” he said. “I think they’re gonna be excited to see what we have this season.”

Season 4 of “Hit The Floor” will continue to play out on BET on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EDT.