November 04, 2015 09:00 AM

Olivia Pope deserves an Oscar for this performance. (And while we’re at it, where is Kerry Washington‘s Emmy?!)

In a sneak peek of Thursday’s Scandal episode exclusive to PEOPLE, the gladiator-in-chief tearfully feigns disbelief when she catches President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), press secretary Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield) and chief of staff Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) discussing her dastardly dad Eli Pope’s (Joe Morton) escape.

“Escape” is putting it politely – Command sauntered out of federal prison with the requisite paperwork after Olivia got Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) to forge Fitz’s signature, freeing him so he could blackmail Congress and save the political fixer from having to testify or – even worse – marry the love of her life.

“My father escaped? He’s out?” Liv cries.

“Don’t worry, we’ll find him,” Fitz coos, enveloping her in a hug. “I don’t know how this happened, but we’ll get to the bottom of it, okay? I promise you.”

Over her man’s shoulder, Liv shoots Abby a desperate look that can only mean one thing: She knows she messed up. The question now is whether Washington’s top political fixer can fix her own treacherous secret.

Scandal airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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