EastEnders fans were left surprised on Friday night as Scarlett Moon returned to the BBC One soap, but who exactly is the character? And where is Janine Butcher?
EastEnders welcomed back Scarlett Butcher in Friday night’s episodes.
The character made an unannounced return to the BBC One soap opera for the instalment as she was revealed to have been in secret communication with Kat Slater’s son Tommy Moon.
Kat was terrified when Tommy went missing and had learned from Lexi Pearce that he had been in communication with a mysterious woman.
Fearing he had been taken by this woman or worse, Kat eventually tracked down Tommy and found he had met up with young ‘cousin’ Scarlett in the park.
It was revealed that Scarlett had been in foster care and had run away, having gotten in touch with Tommy thinking they were cousins.
However, unbeknownst to both Scarlett and Tommy, they are actually half-siblings.
So, who exactly is Scarlett Moon?
Who is EastEnders’ Scarlett Moon?
Despite being Janine’s first child, Michael already had a son with Kat Moon, the wife of his cousin Alfie Moon, who she named Tommy Moon.
While he was the biological father of Tommy, Alfie raised him as his own.
Therefore, Tommy and Scarlett are half-siblings.
Born premature, Scarlett was fought over by Michael and Janine from birth – with there even being disagreements about her name.
Despite having gotten married during the pregnancy, Janine and Michael’s marriage fell apart after their wedding and Janine left the Square alone, leaving Scarlett in the care of Michael and her new nanny Alice Branning.
However, Janine returned months later and managed to win custody of Scarlett and denied Michael access to her.
Janine plans to change Scarlett’s second name to her own, prompting a violent outburst from Michael and Janine to take out an injunction to keep him away from their daughter.
In response, Michael lures Alice into a scheme to murder Janine and then flee the country together with Scarlett.
Alice can’t go through with the scheme and tells Janine, prompting a violent confrontation where Michael attacks his estranged wife and Alice stabbed him to defend Janine.
When Alice leaves the room to answer the door, Michael regains consciousness and goes to attack Janine again and she stabs him and finally kills him.
In the aftermath, Janine maintains that Alice is responsible and the nanny is arrested for murder and awaits trial.
Eventually, Janine’s involvement in Michael’s death was exposed and she too was arrested on Christmas Day 2013.
Scarlett was sent to live with her mother’s sister Diane Butcher in Paris.
Janine agreed with Kat Moon to frame Alice for murder in exchange for dropping false charges against Kat’s fugitive cousin Stacey Slater, prompting Kat to lie under oath and later face a legal fine for her behaviour.
However, during the trial, Janine had an attack of conscience when she learned Alice had attempted suicide in her cell.
Janine came clean over killing Michael and both she and Alice were acquitted of his murder under the grounds of self-defence.
Despite this, Janine was an outcast on Albert Square and decided to leave London to join Scarlett and Diane in Paris.
Yet, it seems things did not work out well for mother and daughter.
Will Janine and Kat clash over Scarlett now all the ladies are in Albert Square again?
*EastEnders continues on Monday at 8.05pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.