In October 2008, FBI agent Rafe Hernandez met Sami Brady who was in witness protection. They grew close when Rafe replaced the agent originally assigned to protect Sami because she couldn’t handle Sami’s antics. Though Sami was pregnant with E.J. DiMera’s baby, once his assignment was over, Rafe stayed in Salem to be with her, thereby entering into a longterm rivalry with E.J.
After some time, Rafe joined the Salem Police Department as a detective and eventually became the police commissioner. He also worked as a private investigator for Carrie Brady’s law firm, was the manager of The Edge, and served as an ISA agent. Rafe’s work occasionally found him on missions with John Black and Bo Brady.
While in Salem, Rafe reunited with his sister Arianna Hernandez. Other members of his family were eventually introduced including his brother Dario Hernandez, father Eduardo Hernandez, mother Adriana Hernandez, half-sister Paige Larson and niece Arianna Horton. His longest onscreen familial relationship was with his sister Gabi Hernandez who he had to help out of more than a few scrapes.
After Rafe was in a car accident, Stefano and E.J. DiMera replaced him with a double named Arnold who impersonated him. While Rafe was locked in the DiMera basement, Arnold was tasked with breaking up Rafe and Sami’s marriage. Though Arnold succeeded in causing a rift with Sami, Rafe escaped and reclaimed his life before any permanent damage was done.
Before he came to Salem and met Sami, who he married and divorced, Rafe was married to Emily Hudson who died. After Sami, he became involved with her sister Carrie Brady (who he developed feelings for while married to Sami), Kate Roberts, Jordan Ridgeway, and Sami’s aunt, Hope Brady, who he also married but cheated on with Sami.
Rafe saw his fair share of danger over the years. His late wife Emily’s sister Meredith, who blamed Rafe for Emily’s death, kidnapped and attempted to kill him. He landed in a coma after getting beaten up by Nick Fallon’s former cellmate. While incapacitated from that attack, Stefano DiMera, who found out Rafe was having an affair with Kate, sent one of his henchmen to castrate him. Luckily, Sami was there and shot Rafe’s attacker. He was also once strapped to a bomb by Andre DiMera’s men when he got too close to the truth about Andre’s plan to kill Hope using Aiden Jennings.
Though not a biological father himself, Rafe was a father figure to many of his exes’ children. While they were married, he helped raised Sami’s kids and, though they were never technically involved, Rafe pretended to be the father of Nicole’s baby to protect it from EJ. Rafe also had a close relationship with Hope’s daughter Ciara, who he walked down the aisle at her wedding long after he and Hope divorced. Rafe was also named as Jordan’s son David’s guardian while she was in the psychiatric hospital and then he attempted to adopt him after Jordan died. That ended in heartbreak for Rafe when David’s biological aunt came on the scene to claim the child. Finally, Sami’s adult daughter Allie Horton told Rafe she wanted him to adopt her son but he thought the situation was too complicated and declined.