‘Westworld': Thandie Newton Tells Us Why Maeve’s Superpower Went Into Overdrive in Shogun World

“All the times she’s used this skill, it’s a time of great trauma and fear and danger,” HBO star says of her android alter ego

Last Updated: May 21, 2018 @ 6:05 PM

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen Sunday’s episode of “Westworld” Season 2, “Akane No Mai.”)

Maeve (Thandie Newton), give it to us straight, are you a witch? After watching the ex-madam host turn an android Shogun army against itself on Sunday’s episode of “Westworld” — and hearing that one guy scream it — we just had to ask.

The way Newton explains Maeve’s ever-growing power is like this: “She’s really got control over other hosts in the way satellites can give us all information on our screens in our living rooms. It’s technology taken to its sort of obvious conclusion. And it’s not something she can do easily.”

Fans finally got their long-awaited dive into Shogun World with the episode “Akane No Mai,” which began with a Geisha house robbery that’s almost a shot-for-shot remake of the Mariposa Saloon heist from Season 1 and ended with geisha host Akane (guest star Rinko Kikuchi) and Maeve’s teams joining forces in a battle for their lives against the Shogun’s men.

Maeve was able to save herself and Akane from certain death at the last second by psychically forcing their would-be executioners to take themselves out instead. Though she soon had the entire army at its own throat, a mind manipulation stunt of this size is unprecedented for Maeve, whose “powers” also seem to come and go.

“All the times she’s used this skill, it’s a time of great trauma and fear and danger,” Newton said of Maeve’s power. “So I don’t think it’s something that she can just use easily and typically. It’s something that comes at times of high points of drama.

“And I love the fact that it’s erred in that respect. You know, it’s not like a superpower where she can shoot lasers from her eyes or something like that. It’s a superpower that comes out of difficulty in the same way we grow and learn out of difficulty. For me, it echoes that. Where it goes I really, really can’t say — but it’s pretty amazing.”

“Westworld” airs Sundays at 9/8 c on HBO.