Spoilers for Season 2 Episode 3 of The Handmaid's Tale. Prior to Season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale, viewers knew next to nothing about most of June's family. The show told them all about Hannah and Luke, her daughter and husband, but very little was revealed about her parents, or any other lingering family she might have had before the war. So what happened to June's mom on The Handmaid's Tale?
Apparently, as June heartbreakingly finds out in a flashback to her time with Aunt Lydia, her mother was captured. She's shown in a slideshow presentation about how Gilead functions, and June has the stunning realization that she must have been taken and forced into labor. It's an especially poignant development given what viewers learn about June's mother in Episode 3. She was an activist, seemingly even long before the creation of Gilead was remotely on anyone's mind.
She was on an extreme end of the spectrum, even shown judging June for choosing to marrying Luke while women were beginning to face so many more injustices in the world. She couldn't understand the thought of wanting to devote any of her life to a man during a time like that.
It's also revealed that June's mother might have been a doctor. In a flashback, she has a cut on her head after someone throws a bottle at her while working at a clinic. Details aren't really given in full about the work she's doing, but enough context is provided. Given the politics her mother and her friends were discussing and the fact that people were protesting her work, it seems to be pretty strongly implied that she worked at a women's health clinic.
And, Moira mentions that clinics "destroyed records of all the abortions" as she wonders how June's mom was caught, so it seems like she definitely worked to help women in a way Gilead's leadership wouldn't have liked. Even if Gilead even does keep female doctors around in a professional capacity — that's unclear, as viewers haven't seen a female doctor, and it seems like a position of authority the government would be unwilling to place them in — June's mom probably wouldn't have been the first choice.
It's unclear if June's mom is alive — June herself seems to think that she'd fight like hell against Gilead's oppressive rule, but while that might mean she'd try to escape, it also means she'd be an easy target for those looking to punish the enslaved. In Gilead, you have to play it smart when you rebel; lay low until it's safe to make your move. If June's mom is as unruly as June thinks she would be, hopefully she knows how to temper that lifetime of fighting into a more manageable, sneakier tune.
It also wasn't immediately apparent if June's mom is working at the colonies or at another location — she was shown as Aunt Lydia talked about farming, and reclaiming the planet's soil. But later in the episode, Moira seems to assume the colonies are where she's been taken.
The colonies are no joke, as viewers saw in Episode 2 when watching Emily navigate her way through its toxicity. If that is where June's mom is, depending on how long she has been there, she may have died through natural causes rather than literally at the hands of some of Gilead's rulers. Or, she might be miraculously powering through. Emily has already run into Janine in the colonies, so that could mean it's a relatively small region. Who knows — maybe Emily will encounter June's mom at some point. But, unfortunately, it seems unlikely that June will learn her mother's ultimate fate anytime soon — and she may not want to.