In the Heat of the Night: Season 5, Episode 5

Ruda's Awakening (5 Nov. 1991)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama, Crime, Mystery
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When Virgil's estranged aunt is eyewitness to a teenager killed in a botched arrest, her resentment for Virgil clouds her better judgement as to what really happened.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs (as Howard Rollins)
David Hart ...
Hugh O'Connor ...
Fran Bennett ...
Officer Luann Corbin (as Crystal Fox)
Dan Biggers ...
Jethro Puller
Michael Burgess ...
Chris Lobban ...
Joe Neffin (as Robb Edward Morrris)


Virgil's vengeful aunt, Ruda Gibson, is the only eyewitness to a fatal shooting involving Capt. Bubba Skinner and a young black robbery suspect. Bubba insists that he never shot the suspect, but Virgil's Aunt Ruda alleges she didn't see anything but murder. Meanwhile, the Sparta Herald runs a hit piece on this matter in their paper attacking Gillespie's tenure as chief. Bubba asks for Althea's help in talking to Ruda about coming forward about what she witnessed on that fateful night. Ruda Gibson wrestles with the decision to talk to the Sparta P.D., since this tragic incident is similar to what happened to her own son and the outcome has a definite impact on the strained relationship with her nephew, Virgil Tibbs. Written by mts77

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Crime | Mystery





Release Date:

5 November 1991 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Were You There
Traditional Early American Spiritual
Adapted by John W. Work Jr. and Frederick J. Work (1907)
Sung by African Zion AME Church choir
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