The Atlantic, November 2009
"Todd Hopson does not come across as the sort of person who would hire a kidnapper. His idea of excitement is watching Seinfeld reruns. He is quick with a one-liner if conversation flags. He clears his throat repeatedly, a nervous tic that may be related to his fondness for cigars. During most of our time in Costa Rica, he wore the same outfit--a khaki shirt with lots of pockets, jeans, and bright-white sneakers. But while Hopson may seem like a softie, his resolve is strong: he would rather break the laws of Costa Rica than his word to Andres."
HELEN ZAPATA: That's Jason. Maybe he's turning around. You should turn down because I don't want him to come down from that way. You know, because he can come from that way and see you here.
TODD HOPSON: You mean lay down?
HELEN ZAPATA: Mmm hmm.
TODD HOPSON: Because if somebody walks by, they're going to be...
HELEN ZAPATA: I don't want Jason to be turning around. Because I don't understand why he didn't stop there. Maybe because the bus is in that side here. You know? What should I do, should I turn? Because Jason went all the way there so I don't know if the bus is on this side.
TODD HOPSON: Beats me, I don't know. Just go ahead and go, sweetie, and we'll see what's going on.
HELEN ZAPATA: Why Jason went through like that so quick?
TODD HOPSON: I don't know. Maybe he's going to work.
HELEN ZAPATA: So where's Andres?
TODD HOPSON: I don't know, baby.
HELEN ZAPATA: That's what I said. So maybe he left him in this street like this right here.
TODD HOPSON: Let's go down there and see.
HELEN ZAPATA: I don't know if we should.
TODD HOPSON: If you want to run into him. You want to make the full circle around again?
HELEN ZAPATA: Oh, here! Ah! With Chino! Get down, get down. Come, Andres! [Rolls down window.] Ven, Andres!
TODD HOPSON: Open it.
HELEN ZAPATA: No, because el dice--he said no.
TODD HOPSON: He said no?
HELEN ZAPATA: Mmm-hmm.
TODD HOPSON: Did he see me?
HELEN ZAPATA: No, but pull yourself down! No, he said no.
TODD HOPSON: Did Chino see me?
HELEN ZAPATA: Yes.
TODD HOPSON: Chino saw me? Why don't you just go get him?
HELEN ZAPATA: He doesn't want me to. He's with Chino.
TODD HOPSON: Go out and get him, Helen. Just go out and get him.
HELEN ZAPATA: But you told told me not to ...
TODD HOPSON: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fuck, I'll get him. Come on! Go back, go back, go back. I'll get him. Okay?
HELEN ZAPATA: Okay. Because the bus is coming here.
TODD HOPSON: I don't care. Let's go. Is that the bus?
HELEN ZAPATA: Yeah.
TODD HOPSON: Just go, because we're made. Let's go. I'm going to go get him. Just go. We're done. Let's go. Go! Stop. Where are they at?
HELEN ZAPATA: Here.
TODD HOPSON: [Opens the car door] Andres, come on! Let's go. Come on! Come on buddy!
HELEN ZAPATA: Come on!
TODD HOPSON: Come on! Come on, buddy!
HELEN ZAPATA: Come, Andres!
TODD HOPSON: Go. [Slams the car door] You don't have to go fast.
TODD HOPSON: Just go. It's okay. Go, sweetie. Just take it easy. Hi buddy!
TODD HOPSON: How are you sweetie? Who's that?
HELEN ZAPATA: That's not Jason.
TODD HOPSON: Don't worry, Papi, it's going to be okay.
HELEN ZAPATA: Chino's running to the house...
TODD HOPSON: That's okay, sweetie, just, just ...
HELEN ZAPATA: ... but Chino cannot make it.
TODD HOPSON: That's okay. Fuck him. Hang a right, nice and easy, nice and easy. Go.
HELEN ZAPATA: Papi, why didn't you want to come when I told you so?
TODD HOPSON: You scared? Look, he's scared, sweetie. It's okay. It's okay.