stephen Nichols days
Credit: Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Back so soon?

Days of Our Lives fans bore witness to a tragedy like no other when Tripp died saving his love from the devil. It didn’t stick of course, and he came back to life, better than ever — only to announce he was leaving town! So, we said farewell once more… until he popped up on Beyond Salem: Chapter 2! A quick adventure around the world with his brother and Li Shin’s little sister and it was time to say goodbye a third time.

All of that is to say: Let’s hope Stephen Nichols’ recent Instagram post isn’t a prelude to saying goodbye a fourth time! Steve’s portrayer gave fans a surprising treat when he shared a video of himself and his TV son, Lucas Adams on-set.

“I’m so lucky this young man is my TV son,” Nichols wrote. “He’s talented, hardworking and kind … like my real life son. Couldn’t be better. It’s always a joy with you, Lucas Adams.”

Their close relationship is obvious, even in the brief interaction we get to see in the video as the two joke around like father and son, with Nichols teasing Adams, “Why do you have to be more handsome than your poppa?”

“That’s not true,” Adams protested with a laugh, “you age like fine wine.”

The big question, though, is: What does this mean?? Was Nichols giving us a blast from the past or a taste of the future? The actor is usually pretty good about sharing behind-the-scenes clips pretty close to when something is going to air — no small feat seeing as how the show shoots half a year in advance!

We didn’t get any further clue, though, from Nichols or Tamara Braun, who just replied with a cute, heart-filled, “My child and the father of my child.”

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Adams himself responded, “Always an absolute joy, Pops!” but that was about it.

Fan replies were varied, from some folks saying they miss him to others wondering if he was back on the soap. Was this just a quick visit? A memory of days gone by? A preview of a more permanent return?

Tripps’ folks are certainly in hot water with Orpheus and his big sister is back in town, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think he might want to swing by Salem.

And, as Adams noted to Soap Opera Digest upon his exit, all his co-stars reminded him that “‘You didn’t die. You’ll be back.’ They’ve been in the ballgame a long time. They’ve seen people come and go. They’ve come and went. They know how it works. They kept telling me I’d be back.”

Well, let’s hope we find out soon! In the meantime, it was just good to see dad and son together again on our screens, one way or another!

While we wait, check out our photo gallery of Steve “Patch” Johnson’s wild life