Galen Gering as Rafe Hernandez on Days of our Lives

Image: Chris Haston/NBC

FBI agent turned Salem protector.

After almost 12 years of playing Rafe Hernandez, Galen Gering announced in February he was leaving Days of our Lives. But not so fast! On August 18, before Rafe even left Salem, it was revealed Gering would be back filming as his long time character. Like his onscreen sister, Gabi Hernandez, who will also be returning, Rafe is expected to exit in the coming weeks. While we wait to see what brings about their temporary departure, we are taking a look at where Rafe’s been, which could indicate where he’s going.

Rafe was first introduced as an FBI agent on October 31, 2008, when he met Sami Brady who was in the witness protection program. Of course, that relationship quickly evolved into a personal one that lasted years as Sami went back and forth between him and E.J. DiMera.

Other women came into his life, most notably Sami’s aunt Hope Brady, but true love was never in the cards for Rafe Hernandez. However, he developed close relationships with his exes’ children and served as a father figure for much of the youth of Salem. His other defining characteristic was as a protector and defender of the good citizens of Salem, which more often than not included his sister Gabi Hernandez. And who can forget about his doppelganger Robo Rafe?

Most recently, Rafe lost custody of Jordan Ridgeway’s son David and has been growing close to Hope again. While romance looks to be in his future, the impending return of Rafe’s father, Eduardo Hernandez, could throw a wrench into things.

Will Eduardo facilitate his children’s exit from Salem? What will this mean for Rafe and Hope? What would you like to see for Rafe when he returns? Sound off below and then relive Rafe’s history in the photo gallery. If you haven’t already, sign up for Soaps.com’s newsletter for all the soap opera scoop.