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"FROM YOU!!? You are a disgusting piece of flesh!!".
~ Michael's mental breakdown as he attempts to murder his estranged wife Janine Butcher, moments before she kills him in their dramatic confrontation.

Michael Moon is a fictional character and recurring antagonist of the BBC British soap opera EastEnders. He served as a supporting character in 2010, the secondary antagonist in 2011, anti-hero in 2012, one of the two main antagonists in 2013, and a posthumous antagonist in 2014 and 2021.

He first appeared as the cousin of established character Alfie Moon before later marrying fellow villain Janine Butcher, which gradually fell apart after she gave birth to their daughter Scarlet and the two embarked on a bitter custody battle for her. This led to Michael forging a romantic interest in Scarlet's nanny Alice Branning, and ultimately concludes in his dramatic showdown with Janine that ends with her killing him with a knife.

He was portrayed by Steve John Shepherd.

Biography

Michael Moon first arrived in Albert Square to visit his cousin Alfie Moon, who he lends money to for the leasing of Alfie's ownership of The Queen Victoria public house. When Michael starts interacting with Alfie's wife Kat Slater, she appears skeptical towards Michael and it soon emerges that the pair had some history together. As Michael settles himself in the square, he finds himself reacquainted with his old schoolmate Jack Branning. They commence a business partnership on setting up a boxing club, with Michael also spending his business dealings with Jack's younger brother Max Branning as time goes on. Michael soon meets Jack's wife Ronnie Mitchell and begins dating her sister Roxy Mitchell.

By 2011, Michael's illegitimacy begins to unravel in the aftermath of both Ronnie and Kat respectively giving birth to their own babies; Kat's baby Tommy was born through a successful natural proceeding, but Ronnie's child James had died of sudden infant death syndrome. This resulted in Ronnie, struggling to cope with her loss, swapping the two babies that caused Kat to believe that Tommy had died and the square to believe this as well as assuming that Ronnie's pregnancy came out well. Although it was initially speculated that Alfie was Tommy's father, Kat later revealed that Michael was the child's father. When Ronnie eventually revealed the deception to Alfie and his relatives, Michael surprisingly showed little interest - though he nonetheless embarks on a revenge campaign against her. Michael sets-up Ronnie for breaking into The Queen Vic, when in reality Max's youngest daughter Abi Branning and her boyfriend Jay Mitchell broke into the building. In doing so, Ronnie is arrested and sent to prison for three years. The result of this causes Jack and Roxy to learn the extent of Michael's actions, to the point when they decide to not trust him any further. Ronnie and Roxy's cousin, Phil Mitchell, later attacks Michael after learning what he did.

At the same time, Michael remains unrespecting towards Alfie and their family on several occasions. He dismisses his half-brother Tyler Moon and is outraged when their father Eddie Moon appears in the square, as Michael holds a grudge against Eddie since the latter is accused of murdering Michael's late mother in the past. Michael soon appears to make amends with his father, but hides the fact that he is actually scheming against him. This includes paying a boxer to trick Tyler into believing that he is a talented boxer. Michael also bribes Eddie's lover Vanessa Gold to break up with him. After Michael sets up an unlicensed boxing match for Tyler to be involved and end up getting humiliated in, Tyler is hospitalized. The family visits him in hospital and Michael joins them, whereupon he learns that he has a brother named Craig Moon. Denying it at first, Michael sympathizes with Craig after learning that the latter has Down's Syndrome. When Eddie takes him to visit Craig himself, Michael confronts Eddie and is shocked to learn the truth behind his late mother; Michael's late mother had used her own son to get back at Eddie over their marriage breakdown. Michael apologizes to Eddie and they make amends. However, after Eddie learns from Vanessa about Michael's scheme, he disowns his son and leaves the square; both Tyler and his brother Anthony Moon also reject Michael for his actions, leaving Michael rejected by his own family apart from Alfie.

In 2012, Michael is uneasy to find that Jack and Max's eldest brother Derek Branning has reappeared on the square. It transpires that Derek had not only been schoolmates with Michael as well, but was also his school bully at the time. Wanting to get even on his enemy, Michael approaches Derek's arch-rival David Wicks and they team up to get Derek arrested for his crimes. They nearly succeed by planning to plant stolen goods in Derek's home, but Derek discovers the conspiracy and sets out to get revenge. Derek confronts Michael and beats him up, which causes Michael to admit that David was behind the plot. Derek forces Michael to lure David into a trap. This works and Derek attempts to silence David with his brothers, but both Jack and Max stop Derek in the end. Sometime later, Michael is approached by Tyler and Anthony when they explain themselves to be in debt to Derek. The pair ask Michael for help against Derek, but he refuses at first. However, Michael eventually relents and locks Anthony in his office before calling the police on Derek - setting him up for felony. Despite their efforts, Derek is released and threatens to kill Anthony and Tyler out of spite. Michael uses the opportunity to persuade Tyler and Anthony to leave the square, which they plan to do until the duo eventually find out that Michael called the police on Derek. In the end, though, the family's debt to Derek is sorted out and Michael is left aggravated by the circumstances that both Tyler and Anthony had caused him.

As time goes on, Michael had begun a romantic bond with local resident Janine Butcher. This nearly collapses when Michael learns that Janine was the one who settled the debts to Derek, but they continue dating to the point where she becomes pregnant with their baby. Tensions build when Janine insists their child's last name will be Butcher and not Moon. In response, Michael breaks up with Janine as he feels she does not trust him. He further asserts that Janine is refusing to let him to be part of the child's life and insists that the child be raised by a nanny. Janine is distraught by this. However, Michael lures Janine to a "business meeting" and surprises her by proposing they get married. She accepts on the condition that Michael signs a prenuptial agreement, which he does. In the build-up to the wedding, Michael resorts to make his own decision without Janine's consent and resolves to con Kat's relative Jean Slater out of her lottery winnings in order to pay for the wedding. Michael persuades Jean to give him more money, promising he will invest it for her. By the time Michael has moved in with Janine, he is edgy to find out that Jean is working for her. He worries that Janine will find out where his money is coming from and tries to convince Jean to leave her job as the investment will do well. Janine grows suspicious of Michael's closeness towards Jean and is angered when Jean tells her that Michael has actually confided in her about his mother's suicide. She then goes to Michael to see if she was telling the truth, but he claims that Jean is lying.

Eventually, Jean learns about Michael's fraudulency and reveals this to Janine. She also tries to turn the square against Michael, but he instead turns the square against Jean by fabricating her claims as if she was obsessed with his unborn baby. To further makes his claims more convincing, Michael sets out to make everything believe that Jean is obsessed with Roxy's daughter Amy Mitchell by planting a bed containing her things inside her bedroom; although Jack is Amy's father, it had been previously speculated by Roxy that Amy's father had been her ex-husband and Jean's son Sean Slater. On the day of Michael's wedding to Janine, he is arrested for alleged fraud and is released on bail. Janine, meanwhile, learns the truth when Kat reveals that Jean has threatened to kill herself if she gets sectioned because of Michael's actions; Michael confesses this to Janine but still persuades her to marry him as well as destroy the prenuptial agreement. After their wedding, Janine suffers a placental abruption and goes into labor. She is taken to hospital and has the baby by emergency caesarean section. Their daughter is put on a ventilator and Michael struggles to bond with her as she fights for life; he abandons her and Janine at the hospital. However, he soon returns and assures Janine that he will stay. They name the baby Scarlett Moon and the two decide to have her christened as she is in a stable condition. Even though Kat understands what Michael is going through, she insists he repay Jean - to which he does as well as having to use £1000 from Janine.

As Janine recuperates in hospital, Michael begins to takeover her business enterprise and becomes a signatory on her bank accounts. Janine soon catches on with Michael's progress and distrusts him, up to the point where she decides to test his loyalty by offering him £450,000 cash and making him choose between the money or their marriage. Michael chooses Janine, but later berates her for testing him by calling her twisted and accusing her of letting the situation elevate their daughter into becoming just as twisted as them in future. This causes Janine to doubt herself as a mother, and she ends up leaving her in Michael's care. Overtime, Michael slowly manages to bond with his daughter after having a hard time cope with both his fatherhood and managing the business. He soon hires Derek's daughter Alice Branning to be Scarlett's babysitter. They soon begin an affair while Janine is in hospital. Once Janine comes back to the square, she learns about this and decides to get revenge by getting sole custody on Scarlett while refusing to let Michael have anything to do with their daughter.

Michael is livid and decides to use Alice when Janine trusts her to look after Scarlett. At first Alice complies, but Janine soon finds out and leaves the square with Scarlett to go on holiday. Enraged, Michael angrily blames and claims that their fling meant nothing and that he never loved her in the first. This upsets Alice, who had recently told Michael that she is a virgin and later informs her brother Joey about her heartbreak. When Michael encounters the siblings, Joey punches him before leaving with Alice. Unfazed by this, Michael recovers after having a one-night stand with Kat upon learning that her marriage with Alfie has broke down ever since she cheated on him with Derek a year ago.

When Janine reappears with Scarlett during 2013, she and Michael seemingly make amends and agree to be civil to each other for their daughter's sake - particularly when Scarlett gets injured amid an argument between the pair. Eventually, the two begin an intense custody battle for their daughter that leads to both Michael and Janine each resolving to usurp Alice's trust from the other. Michael succeeds at first by reconciling with her, which comprises her relationship with fellow neighbour Tamwar Masood in the process. Following an incident where Michael pins Janine against the wall and threatens her, Janine takes out an injunction on Michael to stop him from seeing their daughter. Michael soon plots to kill Janine and convinces Alice to help out. On the night his plan is set to come to fruition, however, Alice has a change of heart and warns Janine at the last minute. Michael confronts them at Janine's house and she calls the police whilst Alice denounces him for using her, accusing him of having never loved her all along. When Michael is unable to take Scarlett from her bedroom, he corners Janine in the kitchen and threatens to hurt her whilst she tauntingly urges him to accept defeat as the police are moments from arriving. Alice tries to defuse the situation by urging Michael to leave with her, but he rejects her and tells Alice that she is dead to him. Michael then attacks Janine and nearly strangles her to death, but Alice stops him by grabbing a knife and stabbing him with it in the back. He survives, though, as Janine watches on whilst Alice goes to let the police in at the door. In that moment, Michael and Janine both try to grab the knife. But in the end Janine gets it first and stabs Michael with it, killing him.

The morning after Michael's death, Alice believes that she killed him and is taken into the police station for questioning. Janine later decides to frame Alice for Michael's murder by fabricating a statement to the police that Alice had attacked both her and Michael before murdering him in the end. Consequently, Janine is released whereas Alice is arrested and charged with Michael's murder. On Christmas Night 2013, though, the truth is exposed and Janine is arrested for Michael's murder; though she and Alice are both found not guilty of murder, and Janine leaves the square with Scarlett to start anew - with most of the square resenting her over framing Alice and also the fact that Michael wasn't the first husband that Janine had killed, as she previously murdered her first husband Barry Evans and that what she did to Michael has resorted some of the square's worst memories of her crimes. During this time, Michael's funeral takes place in the square and Alife mourns the fact that he lost a cousin - unaware of the fact that his other cousin Danny Moon is dead, whilst the latter's older brother Jake Moon is presumed to have been murdered in light of his contribution to working for his gangland boss Johnny Allen in the past.

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Trivia

  • Michael Moon is arguably considered the most villainous member of the established Moon Family, whose most noteworthy member is one of EastEnders' most popular all-time characters; Alfie Moon.
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