In the movie A Scanner Darkly, there is a scene where the accelerator of the car gets jammed. The car fails to slow down. When they check the engine, they note that the link nut has been messed around with.

Who sabotaged their car? They don't really show another gang or anything of the sort. Is there any mention of Barris doing it?

  • I just assumed that it was a mechanical failure and that the paranoid junkies are... well, paranoid about it. – user7812 Mar 18 '16 at 19:12
  • :) I guess I got sold on the direction of the screw's thread and how it couldn't unwind.. – John Mar 18 '16 at 20:09
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    A lot of Dick's writings and the movies based on them touch on the fluidity of reality, especially of drug users, so you get few concrete answers. With that said, in the novel at one point Barris suggests he damaged something of Arctor's and says: "It had to have been me who did it. I have access, the equipment, and the know-how. What I can't figure out is my motive, and I have no memory of having done so." Whether this points to him also being responsible for the car, who knows? – Andrew Whatever Mar 18 '16 at 22:40
  • Ok, nice, that's an interesting piece of info @Andrew – John Mar 19 '16 at 6:28
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    I realize I worded that poorly. The thing Barris was referring to at that moment was NOT the car. However, it suggests that Barris probably destroyed something of Arctor's and has no memory of it, which makes it very possible that he sabotaged the car and had no memory of it as well, which would explain why he would still get in it. It's hard to explain but within the context of the novel Barris definitely felt like the prime suspect to me, he had a lot of negative energy towards Arctor. There is an alternate theory that Donna did it to have time to get the cameras set up but I dunno. – Andrew Whatever Mar 23 '16 at 15:20

I think one could narrow it down to either Barris or Donna...

Barris was already out to get Arctor and had access to the car, the knowledge and tools to do so, but his whole not remembering part, makes uou wonder why he would get in the car, knowing it would malfunction?

But Donna, also has motive to do it, as she gets left behind when Barris and Luckman go with Arctor after the car malfunctions. She would need time to install the cameras in the house.

Agreeing with commentor Andrew Whatever, Dick's works can be very fluid and there may not be a clear answer, because we don't necessarily know whose on what and whom remembers what when!

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