'Days of Our Lives' Star Mary Beth Evans Dishes on Stephen Nichols' Return

It's been a little strange for Mary Beth Evans on the set of Days of Our Lives for the last year or so. The reason for that has been the absence of Stephen Nichols. After all, Nichols had been playing Steve "Patch" Johnson on the daytime show since 1985 before coming in and out of the show over the final few years of his run.

It was announced earlier in the year that he would be making his return at some point, and that was welcomed news for Evans. Nichols is slated to return later in November. Evans calls the upcoming return "a fun ride" for the fans and advised them to "put on your seatbelts."

"I was so devastated when [Nichols] left — personally and my character," Evans shared with TV Insider. "I was glad that [the writers] wrote in some phone calls and some things where Kayla could cry and talk to him but those were real tears!"

She added: "It never feels the same to me when he's not there. We've been apart a few times on the show and I'm always like 'hurry up and come back!'"

Soap Opera Digest was the first to learn of Nichols' return in April. Speaking with the outlet, Nichols said he was thrilled to get the call that he could come back and be a part of the series again. He also spoke very highly of the fans he had the chance to communicate with after his exit.

"These good people who are so loyal and dedicated to supporting us, mean so much to me," he explained. "In my opinion, the most beneficial thing about social media has been connecting with the fans on a deeper level. So much so that I consider them true friends."

When Nichols re-joins the cast, he'll find himself in a different storyline. That's because Days of our Lives employed a new tactic recently: a time jump. The series hit fast-forward one year, creating a new timeline for the fans.

The decision to skip forward a year has received mixed reactions.

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"I really do not like the time jump, I have been fast forwarding hoping it would come back to present day. But it just keeps on a year ahead. Ever since the Halloween episode you have lost me as a watcher," one user tweeted.

While some feel that way, others are fine with the time jump angle. Another user tweeted, "Another crazy jump story, but can't stop watching it even if I am so tired of this soap!"