Rafe Hernandez has been on DAYS OF OUR LIVES for a decade now, and there hasn’t been any drama he couldn’t handle… at least not yet! The FBI agent first appeared in October of 2008 when PASSIONS star Galen Gering made his debut on DAYS. He took a little break at the beginning of 2019 but returned soon after. In February 2020, the actor revealed that he was leaving the soap but by August had announced he would be coming back.
Rafe was introduced as the FBI agent assigned to guard Sami Brady while she was in Witness Protection. While their relationship started off antagonistic, they soon became friends, and he even stepped in to help her hide the fact that she was carrying EJ DiMera’s baby. Once Sami was able to return to her regular life in town, Rafe took a job at the Salem PD to stay close to her and Grace. Tragically, Grace died, and Rafe was kidnapped by Meredith, the vengeful sister of a woman he was engaged to marry in the past but who had died. After being rescued, Rafe decided to prove his theory that Nicole Walker had switched babies with Sami, and that her daughter, Sydney, was really Sami’s child. Her scheme exposed, Nicole kidnapped Sydney and left town. As Sami began confiding more and more in EJ, Rafe decided to end their relationship.
Suspecting EJ was involved in Sydney’s kidnapping, Rafe seduced Nicole and found proof of his guilt that he exposed during E.J. and Sami’s wedding ceremony. Sami reunited with Rafe and when she shot her ex in the head during a confrontation, Rafe lied to give her an alibi. As EJ blackmailed Sami for custody of their children, Johnny and Sydney, threatening to turn her in. Rafe promised to protect Sami, and they became man and wife. Rafe continued to investigate EJ, determined to bring him down, but EJ and Stefano had the cop abducted and replaced with a look-alike!
Rafe eventually escaped and returned home, but when he discovered Sami had slept with EJ, he split up with her. Rafe got involved with Sami’s sister, Carrie Brady, but she eventually went back to Austin Reed. Next, he had an affair with Kate Roberts, and after falling into a coma following a violent attack, Rafe fell for his physical therapist, Jordan Ridgeway. After that, he began developing feelings for Hope Brady, but ended up stepping aside as she married Aiden Jennings instead.
Aiden tried to kill Hope on their wedding night and was shot dead by Bo Brady. Later, Bo revealed he was dying, and before he passed, gave Rafe and Hope his blessing. After Bo’s death, Hope had a breakdown and killed Stefano, so Rafe helped her cover up the crime and frame Andre DiMera for it. Hope and Rafe began a relationship but then Aiden returned from the dead. It turns out that he had been replaced with a doppelganger and imprisoned by Andre. Hope dropped Rafe to go back to Aiden, but the cop soon discovered that Aiden had left out the part of his story where he had originally planned to kill Hope for her money! To keep Rafe quiet, Andre kidnapped him and strapped him to a bomb. Luckily, Hope learned the truth in time to rescue him.
After Aiden gave up and left town, Rafe and Hope enjoyed a brief window of happiness before Hope was sent to prison for killing Stefano. Rafe joined a posse to track down Stefano and they found him alive, meaning Hope could go free. (In reality, it was Shane Donovan disguised as Stefano as part of his plan with Steve to help get Hope out of jail.)
Hope finally agreed to marry Rafe, but unfortunately, he cheated on her with a recently-returned Sami, and she didn’t find out about it until after they tied the knot! She left him and they were separated for a time, but continued working on their relationship and eventually got back together. They made a formidable team at the Salem PD, but then Hope began keeping secrets of her own. Rafe worried about her obsession with protecting her daughter, Ciara Brady, from Ben Weston, the seemingly-reformed Necktie Killer, and was upset to find her meeting secretly with attorney Ted Laurent. Although he initially thought they were having an affair, Hope was just trying to use him to get at Ben and Stefan DiMera.
Unfortunately, even as the tension rose in Rafe and Hope’s relationship, he suddenly left town to go to Europe to help Sami, who was struggling with E.J.’s recovery. So that didn’t help. And neither did his agreeing to help take in Jordan’s baby, David, against Hope’s wishes. He also got shot by a member of The Cartel while trying to save Gabi and didn’t realize when Hope started acting oddly after she was brainwashed into becoming Princess Gina again!
After a year passed in the blink of an eye, Rafe was still keeping the peace in Salem with no idea that Hope’s shoddy police work was the result of her brainwashing. Finally, Rafe got a clue when her son, Shawn-Douglas, got suspicious and realized the truth! Once Hope was returned to normal, she and Rafe resumed their friendship but there were clearly some sparks still left. Jordan’s murderer was finally revealed to be Evan, and once he was brought to justice, Rafe lost custody of David to Zoey, the boy’s aunt. So Rafe was happy to agree to Allie Horton‘s request that he adopt her unborn child, but Sami stepped in and persuaded him to turn her down.
Although he started rekindling things with Hope, Rafe left town with his father and Gabi in August 2020 when their family was in danger, and by the time he returned to Salem in November, Hope had left town herself. After accepting the job of police commissioner, Rafe started spending time with Nicole but then found himself drawn to Ava Vitali. He began dating the former mob princess and they soon fell into bed together!
But Rafe was still hung up on Nicole and when he comforted her over the end of her marriage, Ava got jealous. He assured Ava he wanted to be with her, but Rafe was still drawn to Nicole and got jealous himself at the idea she might get back together with EJ. After Rafe and Nicole gave in to passion and spent the night together, they tried to ignore it but naturally, Ava found out and retaliated by framing him to Internal Affairs!
After Rafe cleared his name, he and Nicole were finally able to be together officially and they eventually got engaged. After setting a date and postponing, the couple eloped before a newly-returned Eric could confess his love to Nicole. Rafe also continued enforcing justice all around Salem, hiring Jada Hunter to join the Salem PD. He continued to be jealous of Nicole and Eric’s closeness, having a dream that she cheated on him with her ex. Eventually, Nicole broke Rafe’s heart by revealing that she still loved Eric and in fact, had never stopped loving him. He then found himself leaning on Jada, but was reluctant to get involved with a co-worker.
Stay tuned to see how Rafe’s story continues!