taraji p. henson as cookie (in empire)

*Cookie Lyon is by all accounts the supreme queen of “Empire,” ever since she gave her prison guards the deuces in the first episode.

But the character, played exquisitely by Taraji P. Henson, isn’t exactly running things when it comes to her ex-husband Lucious Lyon, not to mention their youngest son Hakeem.

The actress, however, says that will change as the season progresses.

“You really get to see Cookie’s talent, as far as managing talent. You get to see her business sense, how she was able to make Lucius who he is today; how she planted that seed,” Henson told us. “You get to see that because she’s starting to blossom as a manager with Jamal’s career.

“Some people are going to think that it’s a war between Lucius and Cookie, but I don’t really see it that way. I don’t think she sees it that way. I think she has been away from her family for so long that she just wants to right the wrongs.

“She wants to be the mother that she wasn’t able to be for 17 years, especially for Jamal, because she knows that he’s the black sheep of the family, and she just wants to protect him and she wants the best for him. She wants to give him the life that he doesn’t see within himself, so that’s what she wants for Jamal, and she will stop at nothing to make sure he succeeds.”

Andre (Trai Byers, L) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson, R) chat in the "Dangerous Bonds" episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 4 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Andre (Trai Byers, L) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson, R) chat in the “Dangerous Bonds” episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Feb. 4 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

With Cookie gaining control of the purse strings, we wanted to know…what exactly does Cookie carry in her purse?

Be afraid.

Watch a First Look at tonight’s episode, “Dangerous Bonds,” featuring a cameo by Anthony Hamilton. Cookie receives an anonymous gift from an admirer that she believes might be a veiled threat from a person from her prison past. Meanwhile, Lucious takes charge of Hakeem’s first video shoot.