Breaking Bad introduced a plot hole with the depiction of Jesse Pinkman’s appearance throughout the series. The character, played by Aaron Paul, appeared in all five seasons of the AMC series created by Vince Gilligan. After starring alongside Bryan Cranston for the original title, Paul reprised his role for the sequel film, El Camino. By then, Jesse endured a few rocky years, and although the events affected his appearance, one specific aspect of his appearance didn’t change.
When the events of Breaking Bad began, Jesse was 24-years-old, and he already had a history of using and dealing drugs. Based on Jesse’s experience making crystal meth under the alias “Cap’n Cook,” Walter White (Cranston) approached his former student about partnering for a new business endeavor. As a high school science teacher with a vast understanding of chemistry, the pair were able to produce a pure product later known as “Blue Sky.” Aside from cooking and distributing, Jesse would often abuse various drugs, including meth.
Over the course of the two years in which Breaking Bad was set, Jesse found himself in several dangerous situations. He often found himself on the wrong side of violent beatdowns, leaving him bloodied and bruised. Some of those scars, physical and mental, never went away, but Gilligan regretted one particular aspect of Paul’s character that led to a plot hole in the eyes of many viewers. Back in 2018, Gilligan revealed that he was “really sorry Jesse’s teeth were so perfect.” With the character’s history of drug use, the series creator thought that Jesse’s appearance, specifically his teeth, should have been altered.
What Vince Gilligan Wanted To Change With Jesse’s Appearance In Breaking Bad
While Jesse did go through spans of looking a bit hardened and rough in terms of his outside appearance, Paul retained his near-perfect teeth for all five seasons. Meth use is often connected to physical side effects such as tooth decay or the loss of teeth altogether. The series made an effort to depict heavy drug abusers in a certain light like the case with the two addicts that robbed Skinny Pete in season. Even though Jesse had a history of drug binges and clear issues with ongoing addiction, his teeth never changed, which obviously bothered Gilligan looking back at the series. Some viewers, however, had argued that drug use doesn’t directly cause tooth decay, but instead, a lack of oral hygiene. Based on Jesse’s priorities, it was unclear how much time he set aside from hygiene during his downward spirals.
Interestingly enough, Paul spent time with former and current meth addicts to prepare for the role of Jesse. He learned how the drug overtook the mind, consuming one’s self before transforming them inside and out. Paul and Cranston even learned how to make meth so their actions were convincing on-screen. There were a ton of realistic aspects presented in Breaking Bad due to the research done by the cast and crew. Even though Jesse’s altered appearance may not have come into focus, elements of his difficult journey were pretty spot on.