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If the process state and topology is such that the process will be "stuck" after an activity is completed, the engine will abort the process. It is possible to have paths through a process that do not lead to the "Last" activity, but these should run in parallel with an activity path that does. This is an unusual configuration, for most processes should end in a controlled, deterministic way. Junctions are a good way to resynchronise parallel activity paths.
I'm not sure what you mean by "the engine stalls." The engine offers or queues ready activities, and waits for clients to start them. Until a client does this (or a process timer expires), the engine will do nothing to newly created process instance. The console will allow you to examine all current activities, and which (if any) sessions are performing them.
Does this help?