Kerry Washington: Dealing with the Aftermath of an Abortion ‘Changes a Lot About’ Olivia Pope on Scandal

After a midseason finale that left fans utterly shocked, the winter premiere of Scandal is finally here.

The controversial episode that featured Olivia Pope getting an abortion proved to be a major turning point in the Beltway fixer’s life.

“That winter finale was intense, and it reflected a very difficult decision for Olivia, and it’s a decision that was not an easy one,” Washington said. “It changes her, a lot about her. That moment is a moment of realization about who she is, about the life she wants. So, we’ll start to see how some of that manifests.”

And in a sneak peek exclusive to PEOPLE, Liv reunites with her father Eli (Joe Morton) after leaving Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and the White House.

“Olivia, you’re overcompensating,” he says. “You stood on the mountain top. The ring of fire was around you. You played him like a fiddle. You held power in your hands. You were power. You had the Oval. My baby had the Oval! You were running the place, and he was clueless. Tell me I’m wrong.”

“It’s better this way,” Liv responds.

“No,” Papa Pope says. “You taste the blood. You know what it’s like. You want it.”

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

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