Many of the folks featured on “Locked Up Abroad” (9 p.m., National Geographic) are the authors of their own misfortunes. They apparently were born without that inner voice that tells most people not to smuggle drugs into Turkey or Thailand, or to accept mysterious luggage from strangers. It’s easy to pity them for their suffering, but it’s harder to sympathize with their actions or motivations.
The subjects in tonight’s episode, titled “Nightmare in Somalia,” are different. Australian photographer Nigel Brennan and Canadian reporter Amanda Lindhout traveled to Somalia in 2008 to report on that nation’s continuing conflict. On their way to document conditions in a refugee camp, they were kidnapped by armed bandits. Although the journalists’ captors forced them to convert to Islam, the kidnappers’ motivations were neither religious nor political, but economic: They wanted more than a million dollars in ransom.
“Nightmare” does an effective job of evoking the paranoia and indignities of the situation. It recalls Brennan’s frequent resentment of his fellow journalist. The awkward fact that the two victims didn’t always like each other adds a touch of realism to this harrowing account.
Despite their differences, the two captives managed to escape from their cells. They were recaptured and faced an even more gruesome form of incarceration, all before being freed well over a year after their capture.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Anna Friel and Marc Warren star in the miniseries “What to Do When Someone Dies” (7 p.m., Ovation), airing Monday nights through Sept. 3.
• A difficult “Nutcracker” to crack on the season finale of “Bunheads” (8 p.m., ABC Family).
• Raydor tries to win over the staff on “Major Crimes” (8 p.m., TNT).
• Juliette’s illness is explained on “Grimm” (9 p.m., NBC).
vThings become clear on the finale of “The Glass House” (9 p.m., ABC).
• A therapist’s last session on “Perception” (9 p.m., TNT).
People who deny that America is divided by social and economic classes should study the 1980 comedy “Caddyshack” (8 p.m., Golf).