In The Presence of Enemies
Today, I’m continuing my week-long marathon of the Bibleman franchise as part of Secular Students Week. If you make a donation to the Secular Student Alliance this week, and I’ll cover a movie of your choice.
2010’s “In The Presence of Enemies” marks the final episode of the third and final incarnation of the Bibleman franchise: “Bibleman: Powersource.” Willie Aames’s replacement, Robert Schlipp, stars once again in the lead role of Bibleman in this final entry into the franchise.
“In The Presence of Enemies” was produced, directed, and written once again by Steve Gilreath, who was a consistent creative presence throughout all of the episodes in “Bibleman: Powersource.”
“In the Presence of Enemies,” as the name suggests, features nearly the entire cast of villains from throughout the run of “Bibleman: Powersource,” including The Cheater, Snortinskoff, Gamemaster, The Slacker, 2kul 4skul, and the supercomputer, L.U.C.I.. Likewise, Bibleman is joined by his entire team of allies from throughout the duration of “Bibleman: Powersource”: Melody, Cypher, and Biblegirl.
The story of “In The Presence of Enemies” follows an alliance between a number of Bibleman’s toughest adversaries, who have grown frustrated with the hero interfering with their various sinister shenanigans. Together, they try to bring down the Bible Adventure Team with a cooperative plot to write and distribute a fake version of the bible with manufactured scripture, in order to confuse them and lead them astray.
The episode opens up with Bibleman and Cypher being flown around in fighter jets, for pretty much no reason at all. It reminded me of the racecar introduction to “Lambasting the Legions of Laziness,” in that it just seems to be something they wanted to do, and it helped them kill time.
It was a nice move to actually have a proper, consolidated sendoff for “Bibleman: Powersource”, as “The Bibleman Adventure” limped to its conclusion with various elements of finality spread throughout “A Fight for Faith,” “A Light In The Darkness,” and “Divided We Fall.” I do wish that either The Wacky Protester or Luxor Spawndroth had been brought back as a nod to the previous incarnation, but I wasn’t particularly shocked by their absence. From what I can tell, the transition from “The Bibleman Adventure” to “Powersource” wasn’t particularly pleasant, and those bridges were likely burned.
However, this is also probably the shortest episode in the whole franchise, not even clocking in at thirty minutes. Traditional wisdom would say that a finale should be big and flashy, but this is just the opposite: half-assed and short, like they just wanted to get it over with and put it in the can. Despite the presence of so many bad guys, this episode just feels small and uninspired, featuring a countless number of extraneous clips and flashbacks, and even a foodfight between the various villains. They couldn’t even get the guy who plays Snortinskoff to physically show up, and have him literally phone in his performance.
The villains’ plot, which involves creating a fake bible, is beyond ridiculous. They honestly think that Bibleman and company, who obsessively quote scripture from memory, won’t realize that their bibles have been tampered with, which goes to prove that Bibleman villains are far from the brightest bulbs out there. However, the plot inexplicably works for a while, proving that anti-intellectual super heroes might not be the best idea, either.
In a rare showcase of mercy to conclude the series, the villains are shrunk, captured, and placed in a tiny cage for the amusement of the Bible Adventure Team, instead of ritually executed to please their ever-hungry God. However, Gamemaster is never shown in the cage, and Snortinskoff is also never specifically dealt with, leaving a theoretical window open for future adventures. Thankfully, however, those have not come to be.
Between this and the equally zero-effort “Combating the Commandant of Confusion,” “Bibleman Powersource” manages to end even less gracefully than “The Bibleman Adventure.” This was clearly either due to financial constraints or a collapse behind the scenes, or perhaps even a combination of both of these things. In any case, “In the Presence of Enemies” makes for a pretty lackluster nose-dive into the finish line for the “Bibleman” franchise. On the positive side of things, this means I’m done with Bibleman! You all can look forward to retrospective on the series within the next day, and thanks for sticking around!
You still have a day to make donations here in order to have a coverage request on the blog honored! I already covered the experience of watching paint dry, so literally anything is on the table. Even paint.